Written by Peyton Haahr
Image Courtesy of VENTURELLI, Glamour.com
Fashion is, undeniably, art. Argue all you want, but for us, this debate is settled. Creativity is currency in the fashion industry, and each runway show confirms that there is an abundance of that to go around, as they churn out jaw-dropping looks that have us with wide eyes and smiles…and empty wallets. The Spring/Summer runways gave us a very literal and very tangible example of the fashion + art connection, with looks featuring well-known artists (like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring), comic-book prints (it’s impossible to ignore the prominence of Marvel comics nowadays) and screen-printed graphics. Wear your art on your sleeve this season. Trust us, it’s a showstopper.
While print newspapers and magazines may be loosing out to the relentless onslaught of technology and screen-oriented activity, a lot of us still remember the days of reading comic strips in the newspaper. Prada harnessed that nostalgia in their Spring runway, bringing black and white graphic prints to coats and shirts. Featuring the work of women’s cartoonists and manga artists, pieces were given an 80’s club vibe, mixing blacks with fiery reds and street-style inspired prints. For some, graphic tees conjure cursed images of Forever21 tees, ones that have been smacked with some trashy early-teen phrase or wanna-be vintage pictures. If you’re feeling triggered, don’t worry, we are too. But push those out of your mind, and drink in the fabulously effortless styles that Prada allows – in easy-to-wear button-downs or structured coats perfect for on-the-go girls. The slouchy but elegant looks are wearable but unique and have the ability to be paired with your basic black jean and sneaker, or utilizing that newsprint coat for a groundbreaking work-wear coat. If you work in the fashion industry, as a writer or journalist and you wear this coat, you get all the bonus points in the world.
Prada Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear, courtesy of Monica Feudi / Indigital.TV
Calvin Klein was awash with Americana prints and painted graphics. It was sort of an artist’s dream mash up. Motifs of cowboys were far and wide, this one specifically being the Andy Warhol print of Dennis Hopper circa 1969, paired next to 70’s-era cheerleaders and horror movie posters. America’s love of all things pop were highlighted, as these prints were painted on jean jackets (can we get any more American than denim, people?), crisp white tank tops and lace dresses. Fair warning, the below jacket is a hefty weight, the screen-prints themselves are not very pliable for the wearer, but the effect of such a makeup is a tangible one. The heft and body of the piece elevates the look, giving it less of an only-for-special-occasions feel and more of an upgraded “my boyfriend’s a cowboy” vibe. Men’s looks were given the same treatment, with whole outfits coordinated with monochromatic paint jobs. On the dressier side, the white lace dress with several different prints and a plastic layer is the way to go. We know, you’re thinking “yikes, plastic?” but both transparency and this material are having a moment (check out our other blog posts on the subject if you’re interested, or simply watch Chanel’s recent runway for proof). Wear this dress with delicate jewelry and thin-strapped heels and you’ve got a catwalk-ready look. In the end, Calvin Klein gives us a very real, very unique mix of Americana and pop culture through his clothing.
Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear, photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.TV
Atop a glitter-soaked runway at Coach, some of the same threads were continued that were started at Klein, but featuring Keith Haring in the artist spotlight rather than Warhol. Haring, an American graffiti and pop artist during the 80’s, had his work resurrected at Coach, with his signature squiggles and chalk outlines of dogs and boom boxes bearing his persona on the runway. Creative director Stuart Vevers created a twist-up of millennial fashion and 30’s & 70’s garb, ones that are destined to worn by style icons of today and tomorrow. Haring’s prints topped short-sleeved shirts wherever you looked, given a makeover in glitter or mesh and worked in with some of Coach’s classic leather pieces, while also being featured on skirts and bags alike. These pieces are about as wearable as you can get. Grab one of these tees for a day out, layered on your favorite boyfriend jeans or track-inspired athleisure shorts. Or, utilize the printed skirts, throwing on a chunky sweater (if it’s cooler weather), or a flowy, cropped top that shows off the artistic effort of the piece. Graphic tees are here to stay; it’s just up to you to decide which you want to go with. Word of advice? You can’t go wrong with any of Coach’s tops, so get to shopping.
1941 Coach Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear; Photos courtesy of Vogue.com and Edward James
Painter Gerhard Richter stated in the 1980’s that “Art is the highest form of hope”, and we agree. Art, and the incredibly creative souls behind their existence give the rest of us a never-ending stream of inspiration and influence. It has always been alive and well in the fashion world, too, as many would be quick to quip that fashion is a form of art. Those who have made history through their art were honored on Spring runways – Andy Warhol and Keith Haring were given the center stage through their famous works that were given ceremonious placement on the pieces. Art-inspired fashion, if that isn’t as redundant as it sounds, was clearly an integral trend of 2018. Graphic prints and signature styles are an easy trend to work into a wardrobe, and at the same time you’ll be showcasing some masterful works that line the pages of history.