The Authors of Art + Fashion Name Their All-Time Favorite Collaborations
A volume of magnificent proportions, Art + Fashion is as exciting and elegant as the creative partnerships it celebrates. Spanning numerous eras, men and women’s fashion, and a wide range of art mediums, these collaborative projects reveal the astonishing work that results when luminaries from the art world come together with icons of the fashion world.
And now, perhaps the best part—hearing directly from the authors Julien Tomasello and E.P. Cutler themselves! These two let us in on the behind-the-scenes of writing the book and their favorite art and fashion collaborations.
Julien Tomasello, Co-author & Picture Editor
Co-creating Art + Fashion: Collaborations & Connections Between Icons with E.P. Cutler was an intense and deeply enriching experience; how many times in the course of your life can you say you are inspired by and completely in tune with the company you keep? Working with E.P. and the equally passionate artists, gallerists, fashion houses, and archivists was something I will always remember. We became a groovy geek club of kids on a sugar high of art, fashion, and amazing imagery—banded together to tell the story of what happens when the two rebellious, narcissistic, and fantastical worlds of art and fashion have come together.
Of all the collaborations and connections contained within Art + Fashion, two are particular standouts to me—the first of which being photographer Melvin Sokolsky’s Bubble series that was shot for Harper’s Bazaar in 1963. I am proud of the story of how a young, self-taught artist from the Lower East Side of New York City began photographing for Harper’s Bazaar at the age of twenty-one, and subsequently created a cover and editorial shoot that evolved the way fashion is depicted in media.
Melvin Sokolsky’s story proves that visionary art isn’t about going to a hip art school or who you know—it’s about having the talent and guts to lead by your talent and to create. It also proves that the velvet ropes stationed at the entrance of the art and fashion worlds are really just for appearances’ sake. True talent gets recognized and those ropes quickly come down.
Lumiere Street, From Bubble; Harper’s Bazaar, 1963. Photograph © Melvin Sokolsky
The second standout in Art + Fashion is found in the Epilogue of the book, devoted to the contemporary artist Christophe Aguirre Schwarz (also known as Zevs). I came up with the idea of using our Epilogue to offer a more critical view on the fashion world, and Schwarz—or rather his bad-boy, alter ego Zevs—was the perfect choice for this antithetical stance. Beginning in the 1990s, Zevs’ canvases were the streets, signs, subways, and buildings of Paris—he was part of a small and notorious group of graffiti artists tagging their urban terrain in spray paint.
In the beginning of the new century, Zevs’ tagging became focused primarily on the fashion industry and its influence on mainstream culture. He began “bombing” fashion billboards and sidewalk advertisements with dripping, bullet hole-like paint markings that were often on the faces of the celebrities or models within the ads. Called Visual Attacks, I found this series of work startling, raw and yet beautifully brutal in its commentary of the fashion victim turning vigilante.
Visual Attack, Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, 2001. Zevs Paint on Sidewalk Advertisement. © Zevs/Image Courtesy DeBuck Gallery, New York
I was also mesmerized by the power and simplicity of Zevs’ Liquidated Logos series, which took the fashion world’s most iconic logos and transformed them into melting visages of power and status.
Liquidated Louis Vuitton Murakami Multico-Black, 2011. Zevs’ Liquitex on Canvas. © Zevs/Image Courtesy DeBuck Gallery, New York
E.P. Cutler, Co-author and fashion historian
Taken out of context, fashion can seem so strange; artistic pair Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset plopped a sealed Prada store in the rural Texas desert to highlight how weird consumerism and brand worship is through their Prada Marfa installation. Made with fashion designer Miuccia Prada’s blessing, the never-open store constructed in 2005 is full of aging Prada accessories. The allure of high fashion is hilariously lost amidst the blowing sands. I love thinking of the baffled truck drivers and cowboys!
The Prada Marfa art installation along US Highway 90 in the Chihuahuan desert between Van Horn and Valentine, Texas. Created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. © Al Argueta/Alamy
Prada fashion accessories on display inside the Prada Marfa art installation. Created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. © Luc Novovitch/Alamy
“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.” —Roald Dahl
In the spirit of Roald Dahl, let your imagination go! With separate signature approaches, filmmaker Tim Burton and fashion photographer Tim Walker create fantastical otherworlds that bring to life waking dreams. Together, the two transformed the English countryside for British Vogue and then Harper’s Bazaar. Massive props miniaturized models, including Tim Burton himself, and Edward Scissorhands got a chic makeover from cult fashion label Rodarte. The photos, a bit funny and a bit crazy, remind us to hold onto childlike wonder well into adulthood.
Tim Burton and Tim Walker collaborated on Tales of the Unexpected (inspired by Roald Dahl’s short story collection of the same title) for the December 2008 issue of British Vogue. Pictured: Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. © Tim Walker/Art + Commerce
Tricks and Treats fashion editorial photographed by Tim Walker, appearing in the October 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. © Tim Walker/Art + Commerce
Brilliant stuff! We hope you enjoy our big, bold, weird, and wonderful book.
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