Collaboration Anticipation: Raf Simons + Sterling Ruby

“…what interests me now is to say that this is not just a collaborative thing, not just asking someone in my field to do the knitwear or the bags. This is all the way, all the way. There is not one shirt, one shoe, one sock that is not from our mutual thinking process.”

-Raf Simons, as told to Style.com

Dior’s creative director, Raf Simons, has just announced his upcoming collaboration with artist Sterling Ruby on his new menswear collection, which will be shown in Paris on January 15th. Big deal, right? The two have worked together previously on the interior of the Raf Simons store in Tokyo, and a number of motifs from Simons’ first couture show for Dior were drawn from Ruby’s paintings. And artist-designer collaborations are so commonplace these days that it takes something completely out-of-the-box to turn heads.

Well, leave it to Raf Simons to do just that. “For one season, the brand ‘Raf Simons’ will not exist,” the designer has confirmed, meaning that every single article of clothing and accessory that will be sent down the runway is entirely the product of joint decision-making. In fact, the one-off collection will be known as the Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby collection. Simons challenged himself to find solutions to every concept Ruby ideated, so as to not restrict the artist’s creativity. And Ruby, who recently had begun incorporating textiles into his work, proved a capable accomplice based on a deep understanding of process and construction with those materials.

Congratulations, Raf, on what will likely be the most anticipated collection of the New Year. I, for one, cannot wait.

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The interior of Simon’s Tokyo store, the result of a collaboration with Sterling Ruby

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A dress from Simons’ first Dior Couture collection, inspired by Ruby’s paintings

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Sterling Ruby, SP171, 2011, Spray paint on canvas, 160 x 235 x 2 in.

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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.

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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

Fashion Crush: Diane Kruger

I have always admired Diane Kruger’s style, and am convinced she can take any fashion risk and make it work. As a juror at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, she had the (daunting) task of dressing for 15+ red carpet events.  And yet, every outfit she wore was absolutely stunning (starting with the Giambattista Valli Couture gown she donned at the Opening Ceremony) and perfectly suited for the event she was attending. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she often accessorizes with a hot red carpet date, boyfriend Joshua Jackson (whom, I might add, I have had a crush on since his Mighty Ducks days). Below is an edited selection of some of my favorite looks… the editing of which took up much of my morning!

In Giambattista Valli Couture at the Moonrise Kingdom premiere and Opening Ceremony

In Chanel at the amfAR gala

In Nina Ricci at the Killing Them Softly premiere

In Prabal Gurung at the Nights in Monaco gala (with Mr. Jackson – see how he adds to the outfit!?)

in Vivienne Westwood at the Amour premiere

in Dior Haute Couture at the Closing Ceremony