Wear It / Hang It: Art Embodying Spring Fashion Trends

Yesterday marked the first installment of a new editorial column I will be writing on Artspace.com, entitled “On Trend.” I am so excited that Artspace asked me to write about the various crossovers between art and fashion, and it was only fitting that my first article (which you can read here) provide a brief history of art and fashion collaborations. For today’s On Trend, and in honor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I pulled together a roundup of some of Spring’s chicest looks—and the artworks that echo them. Below, I expanded upon that theme. Happy New York Fashion Week!!

TREND: Black-and-White Graphic Prints

After a year of color blocking and bold, bright hues, designers this season went back to the basics with mod looks in black and white.


The Clothes: Balmain / Celine … The Art: Franz Kline

Trend: Cutouts

The midriff-bearing trend of 2012 has evolved into a new obsession with all-over cutouts this spring, with exposed patches of skin peeking out in almost every runway show.

The clothes: The art:

The Clothes: Alexander Wang / Sass & Bide … The Art: Lucio Fontana

TrendOversized Ruffles

The ruffle—often used in sweet, demure ensembles—can be seen this season adding architectural flares and lots of impact to monotone looks.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Gucci / Balenciaga … The Art: Richard Serra

TrendBold Stripes

We now know that striples come in all shapes and sizes, with various iterations of this classic pattern highlighting a multitude of runway looks. This season’s trend focuses on big, bold stripes for a statement look.

The Clothes

The Clothes: Marc Jacobs / Michael Kors … The Art: Ian Davenport

Trend: White Hot

Generally a summer staple, white is staking its claim early this year. This season, the monochromatic neutral is appearing in all shapes and sizes, including structural dresses, menswear looks, and lacy-delicate fabrics. Pair it with a lucite heel, and your clean crisp look will be utter perfection.

The Clothes: The Art:

The Clothes: Dior / Valentino … The Art: Agnes Martin

Trend: Electric Colors

Neons are everywhere this season despite the fact that black and white continued its reign. The bright hues are lighting up both clothing and accessories—which is perfect for anyone hoping for an attention-grabbing outfit.

The clothes: The art:

The Clothes: Carolina Herrera / Reem Acra … The Art: Mark Rothko

Trend: Floral Delights

All things are blooming this spring, with the perennial favorite print making both a romantic and graphic revival. Raf Simons transformed his entire runway debut for Dior into a blossoming garden, with the walls of each room packed floor to ceiling with a different colored flower.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Paul and Joe / Erdem … The Art: Peter Dayton

Trend: Global Influences

Designers often look abroad for inspiration, but this season is ripe with influences from the Far East in terms of color palettes, patterns, and embellishments. Asian-influenced prints made their rounds this season, with bold reds as a central component.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Miu Miu / Prada … The Art: Raqib Shaw

Trend: Emerald Green

Pantone has labeled this jewel-like hue the 2013 Color of the Year, and the sartorial set has taken note, donning the shade of green from head to toe.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Gucci / Reem Acra … The Art: Josef Albers

Grace Coddington for Balenciaga

Grace Coddington, US Vogue’s creative director, has created a capsule collection for Balenciaga that includes a tote bag and two scarfs. The pieces feature hand-drawn fashion illustrations by Coddington of her cat, Pumpkin, wearing iconic Nicholas Ghesquière for Balenciaga looks. The “Pumpkin” collection launches today to coincide with Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out celebration, for which many brands have created specially commissioned, limited edition pieces. A very small quantity of each item was produced and will be available only in the brand’s New York and LA boutiques. 20 per cent of all proceeds from the collection will go towards The Animal Rescue Fund of The Hamptons.

Pumpkin Papier canvas tote, trimmed with calfskin. Retail price: $1,000

The Museum at FIT Relaunches Online Collections

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology has just relaunched its online collections, an amazing online resource allowing fashion lovers to search through the museum’s holdings from anywhere in the world. More than 600 objects are viewable online, which only accounts for a small percentage of the museum’s total archive of around 50,000 garments. The collection includes objects that date back to the 18th century and span every decade up to the present (the most current item I spotted was a Spring 2011 evening ensemble by Rick Owens).

The new digital site allows you to browse by designer, decade or time period, or type of clothing or accessory. I had some fun browsing through the looks, and hope the below images inspire you to get lost in the fashions on your own (click here for your daily dose of procrastination!)

Balenciaga, 1938

Salvatore Ferragamo, 1949

André Courrèges, 1968

Thierry Mugler, 1987-89

Jean Paul Gaultier, Fall 1984

Alexander McQueen, Spring 2010