Past, Present & Forever: Andy Warhol's Influence On Fashion
Andy Warhol was a key influence to women’s views on fashion in the 1960s and continues to influence fashion designers to this day.
This blog post is dedicated to the discovery of the true impacts Warhol and his pop culture pop art has had in the last half a century.
The Breakout Years - 1960s
When Andy Warhol burst onto the scene with his Campbell Soup Can’s in 1962, it wasn’t met with the reception you would think considering his modern day fame.
In fact, it was met with mockery and indifference so much so that a rival exhibition mocking Warhol’s work popped up (pun intended) and in summary; artists and the general public alike showed apathy and disinterest.
This didn’t last all too long when the owner of the gallery where the work was exhibited realised that these thirty two soups cans, of multiple variations, must be kept together rather than be sold separately.
The public's view immediately changed and suddenly; they became a statement.
The idea of painting things that you would often pay no mind too, placing them front and centre and making them look beautiful really appealed to an america who had a new fascination with consumer culture that would soon become mainstream in the westernised world
By the end of 1962, Warhol’s pop art was so mainstream that it was being printed onto dresses and worn by people of high power to high society events.
Warhol was one of the first pop artists to print his work on to garments and sell them.
However, these weren’t produced for the commercial market and instead were produced as one offs for high profile people intending on wearing them to gallery events. Wearing one of these was a sign that you were a part of a very exclusive club and was a huge contrast to a mass produced consumer item of those days.
This exclusive element was short lived, when in 1965 Warhol offered the paper ‘souper dress’ to anyone who sent $1 and two campbell soup cans to Warhol’s HQ.
Post war when fashionable clothing was considered luxury, the souper dress changed the way that women viewed clothing and fashion and made way for those of lower and working class to have access to mainstream and on trend fashion.
In modern day, the souper dress now fetches up to £5000.
Warhol continued to follow the same theme of everyday items and exposing their beauty.
Some of his most famous pop art include the Banana album artwork created for The Velvet Underground, the coca cola bottle and the fifty portrait strong pop art of Marilyn Monroe post death.
Marilyn Diptych was named the third most influential piece of art of all time.
It uses a publicity image of Marilyn from the 1953 film and from left to right shows vividly coloured pictures that eventually turn black and white and begin to fade.
This has often been interpreted as the star’s mortality and the fading from human life as we know it.
Fashion Of Today
Andy Warhol's approach to pop culture is still influencing the art and fashion world today.
Collections inspired by Warhol have been seen on the runway from as recently as Spring Summer 2018 and popular collections from the 80s and 90s are available to purchase at this very moment in time.
Here are three of the worlds biggest designers who have took inspiration from Warhols work.
One of Versace’s most iconic runway collections of the 90s and arguably of all time; the SS1991 collection POP.
POP is a huge homage to the 1960s and really hones in on the peek-a-boo, tongue and cheek feel that is often depicted in Warhol’s work. In a time where Calvin Klein was using Kate Moss as his poster girl to project androgyny, heroin chic and silhouettes with minimilastic qualities, Versace ploughed forward with his maximalist approach.
He took inspiration from Warhol’s work to produce a collection of dresses and audacious gowns. One of the most iconic pieces from this collection was the Marilyn Monroe dress and matching purse seen on the runway and later seen superstar models such as Naomi Campbell.
Versace have recently paid tribute to this collection; you can now shop the marilyn monroe print on their website right this second.
Calvin Klein x Raf Simons
A unique multi year licensing agreement between The Andy Warhol Foundation and Calvin Klein; Warhol’s work has been seen on the runway as recently as spring / summer 2018.
Creative director Raf Simons recently received full access to a variety of Warhol’s work, including pieces never published before to creative his new American Horror collection for the Klein brand.
Simons is not one to neglect difficult imagery, something clearly evident in his latest collection, with a variety of death and disaster images created by Warhol featured in this line.
Warhol always believed in the correlation between fantasy and high fashion clothing as do many fashion designers of today, meaning it is highly likely we are to see more of Warhol’s work on the runway in future.
Jeremy Scott is arguably the designer who takes inspiration from Warhol’s work the most.
As creative director for Moschino since 2013, Jeremy has accentuated Moschino’s high glamour high humour aesthetic and taken it to the extreme. The influence of Warhol is loud and clear for everyone to see in Scott’s work.
The designer regularly takes inspiration from visual icons of pop culture today such as McDonalds, Barbie and M&Ms to create high fashion that is energetic, tongue and cheek and ultimately super fun; suitable for anything but a wallflower.
The merging of fashion designers and artists, pop artists in particular, has allowed for new conversation, and new collaboration. This has ultimately unleashed the birth of what would would be Jeremy Scott and his creativity.