‘It’-art – when fashion and art meet

Recently I was at home watching re-runs of the brilliant Iconoclasts series on Sundance TV. Each episode teams a pair of ‘creative visionaries’ who work in disciplines from fashion and film to art, music and everything in between. Fashion designer Stella McCartney and iconic Californian artist Ed Ruscha happened to be the subjects of this particular episode and – although a project between these two talented creatives has yet to transpire – the concept of the successful marriage between art and fashion started me thinking about the many collaborations that there have been in the past.

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Stella McCartney and Ed Ruscha on ‘Iconoclasts’

Fashion and art are two creative disciplines that I love. They are endless sources of inspiration for me and my work so the combination of the two worlds never ceases to surprise and stimulate. London-based designer Richard Nicoll was in LA a few months ago to showcase his pre-fall collection so I took the opportunity to pay him a visit. We are both Central St.Martins alumni, so I was delighted when I saw that he had collaborated with one of our old teachers Howard Tangye. Howard taught fashion illustration and recently collaborated with Richard (a previous subject of one of his amazing portraits) on his collection. His vulnerable, pastel line drawings have been transposed onto one of Richard’s linear, butter-soft leather jackets in palest duck-egg blue and the combination of the two works perfectly.

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Richard Nicoll by Howard Tangye

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Richard Nicoll with a piece from his pre-fall collection

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Richard Nicoll leather jacket with artwork by Howard Tangye

Another of my favourite artists who has been as successful with fashion as she has with art is Julie Verhoeven. Julie studied under Howard and prior to her many exhibitions, collaborations and projects as an artist and designer, she taught me at Southend college. Julie’s work is as psychedelically colourful and humorous as the lady herself – there are so many layers to what she produces that are in turn, dark, sexy, camp, cool…each time you look at her work you discover another element you may not have seen previously. Julie was one of the first artists to collaborate with Louis Vuitton and her naive rainbow and mushroom strewn patchwork fairy-tale scene and patent ‘frog’ bags became an instant must-have.

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A Julie Verhoeven illustration

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Julie Verhoeven for Louis Vuitton

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A more recent collaboration about to come out in the Spring is between LA-based artist Gary Baseman and Stuart Vevers for Coach (you can read more about this HERE). Gary’s cute cartoonish creature t-shirts will almost certainly become one of the Spring must-haves. You can read more about fashion and art collaborations in this great feature on Complex.com – click HERE