Collaboration between Fashion Design and Visual Art

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Fashion is a form of art. It may be defined as decorative because it involves the use of an artistic expression into clothes and other items that are regarded as fashionable. Fashion design is used to explore many issues that surround people including their bodies, gender, and race among other things. Different designs are used to communicate different messages or express a variety of things since they are meant to be perceived by the eye thus making it part of visual art. Therefore visual art and fashion design are two fields which are closely related. Many types of research in art have shown that one of the major places where visual art is found is in the field of fashion. Additionally, in the past, and even currently, fashion designers have used famous artwork that was made by legendary artists and incorporated the pieces into their designs coming up with remarkable work. Many artists say that fashion is in love with art because the world of fashion is more determined than ever to involve a diverse range of the visual arts. The collaboration between fashion design and art is at its peak as the most recognized fashion figures have made it known that they are inspired by a variety of visual art. This paper will focus on the trend that fashion design is connected with visual art.

            Adidas is among the most successful footwear brands in the world. It holds a huge cachet in lifestyle, sports, culture, and fashion. Having existed for nearly seven decades, Adidas has released numerous iconic models that dominate the world of footwear. It holds a huge name in the sneaker market. The Adidas Group strives to be the leading global producer of footwear and strengthen its brands in order to improve its competitive position. It is committed to continually improve the quality and image of its products. Therefore, the designs incorporated into the products are not only comfortable but also very visually appealing and are constantly improved over time. On March 18th 2018, the company introduced its latest sneaker called Deerupt in Los Angeles. This design was inspired by its previous silhouette design which was made in the 80s and was later improved (Malcom, 21). Other inspirations for the deerupt design include urban planning and architecture thus proving the importance and application of art in fashion design.  

Adidas Deerupt

            The central design principle for deerupt is the grid which is extended to envelop the entire shoe. The launch in Los Angeles happened for two days and art installation was used. Adidas collaborated with a number of visual artists to change the structures of the grid into different physical spaces and forms. Those who attended experienced this honor of the launch. This design implemented the grid trend which was borrowed from the gingham trend. Grid is sophisticated and classy and can be implemented into all sorts of clothes (Brigitte, 246). The grid pattern is refreshing and is made of check patterns which are clean and neatly done.  This pattern has been used by renowned designers such as Kate Spade.

Adidas Deerupt

Kate Spader dotted grid design dress

            The grid pattern has a huge impact in the fashion world. The trend is slowly overtaking check and tartan designs and is about to be the next big trend in fashion especially due to the latest Adidas venture in deerupt which is now in the market. From a visual art point of view, grid lines bring more life to an outfit than the stripes in wardrobe staples. Additionally, these lines also tone down the chaotic appearance of tartan designs. Therefore, the grid pattern is suitable for all types of intended looks. It is an easy print to pull off and a lot of fashion designer are hooked on it. Adidas took advantage of this and incorporated visual artists in coming up with the design for deerupt and the result was a unique and trendy design.

            Grids can be regarded as the glue which holds a design together. Previous research has shown that grids originated from the 20th century art and design and has been getting improvements over time. They are used to establish a rhythm and meter thus are used in fields such as architecture which is also a part of visual art. They also bring order to chaos thus creating visual appeal and enhancing visual hierarchy. Working with grid patterns also saves a designer’s time as it is quite simple to work with to bring a better visual appearance of items. It also creates visual harmony which is also an added advantage over other patterns and designs in the fashion industry (Bettina, 20). Many designers are currently using this style as a starting point for their work or a guide hence coming up with products which are outstanding and very visually pleasant. Due to this, collaboration among designers becomes much easier. Moreover, grids are highly flexible and can adapt easily to changing designs. Therefore, this shows how visual art and fashion design are closely related and work side by side.

            Luxury fashion is going through a major shift. The major ingredients of high end fashion are changing to hoodies, logo t-shirts among other street wear which incorporate visual art into their designs. This has been shown evidently by Louis Vuitton which is the most valuable luxury fashion brand in the world beating out brands such as Gucci, Chanel, and Hermes as ranked by Forbes. Louis Vuitton made a move to name Virgil Abloh the artistic director of menswear. Abloh is the first African-American to work as a designer in the highly famed French fashion luxury house (Stone, 2). Abloh is highly recognized as a multi-talented creator. He invented the Milan fashion label Off-White in 2012 and the line has since then collaborated with major brands which include Nike and Jimmy Choo among others. Off-White is a favorite of many celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian hence making it a big label in the fashion world.

Off-White hoodies

Abloh’s Off-White has made major collaborations with many brands while incorporating visual art. For instance, Off-White collaborated with Levi’s for a denim design which was decorated with vivid colors hence making it very appealing. Abloh drew inspiration from Princess Diana’s style which integrated a variety of works of art in her clothes. Through this inspiration, Off-White and Jimmy Choo dropped a collaboration in February 2018. They made women’s shoes with the nineties style made with stone details and floral designs. Those are just a few works of Virgil Abloh.

Off-White and Jimmy Choo shoes (Inspired by Princess Diana’s style)

            The appointment of Virgil Abloh in Louis Vuitton is an indication that luxury fashion houses are ready to utilize or complement their products with visual art. It is also a reflection that consumers are increasingly being driven to intermingle their luxurious and street wear. This move has helped boost the sales of luxurious personal goods globally by a huge percentage according to a recent study by Brain & Company, a global consulting firm (Linda, 3).  The appointment is also an acknowledgement by the luxury industry that it must pay attention and respond to the contemporary culture.

Louis Vuitton men’s wear design

            Abloh is considered a fashion genius especially in consummating purveyors of cool. He is an expert at using irony and visual art. His position in the music industry, previous work with celebrities and hype are some of the factors that give his work an aura of cultural currency. That is why his designs are very trendy. For instance, Off-White has more than 3 million Instagram followers and Abloh has received a number of awards such as the British Awards in 2017 (Stone, 7). Another reason why Abloh’s work is regarded as a major cultural trend was shown last year when there was almost a riot outside the Off-White show in Rue Cambon as many fans crowded to get in.

Virgil Abloh collaboration with Nike

            Abloh intends to use Louis Vuitton’s history to look further into different cultures and art around the world and make humanity visible. Melding together of creativity and global issues can bring the world closer. Fashion can be used as an eye opener. Fashion uses art and therefore both design and visual art can be used to send some messages and show expressions (Brigitte 251). Men’s wear business has been growing rampantly almost doubling previous sales. Abloh is determined to change how the Louis Vuitton brand communicates with its consumers by releasing products which interact with the global political mood. With his new position, it makes a compelling case that Virgil Abloh could be the man who will make Louis Vuitton men’s wear more visible and relevant to the younger generation especially the millennial generation who are interested in more visually art inspired looks such as graphic T-shits than executive suits. His work is artistic and can reach all sorts of audiences. For instance, the name Off-White is an intermediate of white and black hence can be incorporated into different genres in the fashion industry.

Off-White street wear

            In conclusion, there is a clear relationship between fashion design and visual art. The fashion industry links with art through activities such as working with visual artists as shown by Adidas in the latest sneaker design deerupt. Fashion designers are fascinated and curious about shapes, color and forms. Therefore, they find themselves attracted to museums, art galleries, and other design disciplines in the art world. Fashion designers are intrigued by a variety of historical, cultural and social trends in coming up with products for the fashion industry (Rissanen, 56). The incorporation of art in fashion is shown by luxurious fashion houses like Adidas and its implementation of the grid pattern in its sneakers. Additionally, since street wear is evidently more artistic, it has been incorporated by the most luxurious fashion house Louis Vuitton through their appointment of Virgil Abloh as the designer for men’s wear the founder of Off-White which is one of the most famed trends today in the fashion world. Visual art also plays a big role as an inspiration to fashion designs and vice versa. Visual art and fashion are always intermixing and they can both be used to send certain messages and as eye openers concerning social issues.

Works Cited

Barnard, Malcolm. Fashion as communication. Routledge, 2013.

Berg, Bettina. "Introduction." Retail Branding and Store Loyalty. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2014. 1-26.

Biehl-Missal, Brigitte. "Art, fashion, and anti-consumption." Journal of Macromarketing 33.3 (2013): 245-257.

Rissanen, T. I. Zero-waste fashion design: a study at the intersection of cloth, fashion design and pattern cutting. Diss. 2013.

Stone, Elaine, and Sheryl A. Farnan. The dynamics of fashion. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2018.

Tain, Linda. Portfolio presentation for fashion designers. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2018.

August 01, 2023


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Artwork Fashion

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