What defines art? Is art confined to paint and canvas? Can a piece of writing be art in its own right? Is art simply be that which is conceived as beautiful? Last week, I discussed the relationship between fashion and street art (read here). Designers seek inspiration in a multitude of places, and urban landscapes are not short of the power to influence. High fashion and high art has a long history of collaboration. When a garment becomes a wearable piece of art, how one views and conceptualises artistic creations changes. However, this means the boundaries between art and fashion are blurred. When modern fashion houses collaborate with interior designers, artists, even television shows, these boundaries are pushed even further.
Look at Coach’s collaboration with Keith Haring, which promoted the notion that ‘art is for everyone’. Hermes’ collaboration with wildlife artist Robert Dallet produced a highly sought-after set of china. And who could forget Louis Vuitton’s 2017 collaboration with artist Jeff Koons? They used art masterpieces of the past five centuries alongside Koons’ iconic symbols to create a unique and fun line of handbags. Whether business-driven, or launched from elite friendships, collaborations inspire subversion, innovation and reflection. Culture is recontextualised through a new visual cue: clothing. Not only does this generate exclusive artefacts that carve their space in fashion history. Bit it also motivates new dialogues to consider regarding art and culture.
This relationship lends itself to the crossover between art and jewellery too. From Dali, to Picasso, Bourgeois to Ernst, it’s staggering how many artists branched out to the fine world of jewellery - and yet many are ignorant to this knowledge! One thinks of Picasso’s cubist portraits, or Dali’s melting clocks… but what about Picasso’s golden medallions or Dali’s diamond honeycomb heart? To celebrate these beautiful collision of art and fashion, discover the rare and wonderful jewellery designed by famous artists. Feast your eyes on these treasures for your Wednesday fashion-meets-art fix.
Salvador Dali, the forefather of surrealism, had a vision that everyone wanted to take a step into. He once said: ‘Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision’. Dali influenced his contemporaries in film, music, art, and fashion. He questioned objective truths of reality, which is visible through his bizarre and wonderful creations. In 1941, Dali was acquainted with an emerging jewellery designer, Duke Fulco di Vendura. Accounts of their meeting detail the prankster-persona of the surrealist artist, whose fantastical ideas captivated the jewellery designer. The pair came up with five designs exhibited at the MoMA. One of the most renowned designs, pictured above, is the Eye of Time brooch, consisting of a painted eye/clock encased in diamonds and rubies. Inspired by this fascinating jewellery item, typical to Dali’s eccentric style, I have chosen Latelita London’s Eye of Horus Necklace. Harness the surrealist vision through the unusual form and array of colour of this necklace.
Jeff Koons’ artwork has become highly symbolic in the contemporary art world. Like a modern Dali, designers are thirsty to collaborate with the artist. Jeff Koons’ platinum rabbit pendant was part of a 2005 collaboration with Stella McCartney. A premium platinum piece is limited to 50 editions, each worth approximately $60,000. Whether you support or shun modern art like Koons’, a necklace like this will become your everyday staple. A silver, contemporary aesthetic is one to harness this season, so embrace modern art with a necklace that won’t break the bank. Origami Jewellery has created a geometric rabbit necklace for you to hop onto the modern art bandwagon. Inspired by the Japanese meditative practice of origami, this necklace has a simple and elegant feel to it.
Pablo Picasso. Where do we begin? His oeuvre covers a diverse range of mediums, but his jewellery pieces are incredibly rare and therefore highly sought-after by art collectors. Unlike Dali, Picasso’s jewellery did not use expensive materials. He made jewellery for his family and friends, mostly taking the form of gold coin-like medallions. Considering the coin trend is one of this season’s most desirable, Picasso’s Trèfle brooch had to feature. The abstract face emerging from the cloud-like shape reflects Picasso’s renowned style. To recreate this artistic delight, shop SoftDream by LauraGalasso. Her jewellery draws upon antique motifs with a modern edge. The abstract aesthetic is mirrored perfectly within the captivating moon face of the pendant. Who wouldn’t want to channel art from one of the greats?
Pop art icon Roy Lichtenstein channels optimism, joy and raw emotion in his work. His renowned paintings capture the American woman through generic turbulent emotion and vulnerability - but you can’t help but adore them. His painting are seeping with ambiguous narratives, all united from the typical red, blue and yellow colour palette. In 1968, Roy Lichtenstein designed a range of pendants and brooches that he enamelled with his renowned pop art style. Rich and vivid in colour, the jewellery aptly embodies the pop art movement - which was innately linked to fashion and culture. Drawing inspiration from the bold colours and sharp shaped within Lichtenstein's paintings and jewellery range, I have chosen Georgian designer Kimili to reinvent the artist’s work. Like Lichtenstein, the designer uses enamel to craft her intricate and joyful pieces. Become a muse with jewellery that is the epitome of artistic expression.
I remember when I first saw a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois. It was at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. The artwork was dark, disturbing, dripping with sexuality and pain. Today, Bourgeois is celebrated as a feminist icon within the art world. She created a range of jewellery within her lifetime. Sculpture was one of her preferred artistic mediums, which goes hand in hand with jewellery design. From minute spider brooches paying homage to her mother, to aggressive chastity belt-esque necklaces such as the collar pictured above, Bourgeois’ jewellery always makes a social comment. I find the collar particularly evocative. It feels threatening, yet, when considered as a jewellery piece alone, one could argue the item exudes power and strength. To channel the latter, shop Emily Grace Jewellery’s Silver Nest Choker necklace. This particular choker has a dramatic and powerful aesthetic. The blue resin detail adds a fun dash of colour, so you can harness Bourgeois feminist tenacity whilst feeling chic and collected.
You’ve know Klein Blue, but did you know Klein designed jewellery? I certainly didn’t! One year before he trademarked the Klein Blue, Yves Klein produced 500 editions of a jewellery piece named, Petite Vénus Bleue. The piece can be worn as either a brooch or a necklace, featuring a nude figure emerging from thin air. Klein blue is an iconic colour. It is deep, rich and striking - three things you should channel through your jewellery. Inspired by Klein’s jewellery creation - as well as his signature blue - I have picked Nobahar Design’s Fluidity Is The Way To Life Brooch. The profound title of this jewellery item certainly extends the artist’s philosophy. So champion life, and champion the gorgeous Klein blue with a brooch that aims to inspire. Like Klein’s Petite Vénus Bleue, this brooch is limited to 409 editions - thus is literally more rare than Klein’s creation! Feel luxurious and unique with a brooch you were destined to possess.
The Optic-Topic gold mask, pictured above, was originally designed with the aim of protecting one’s spectacles when driving fast (a problem we are all faced with in the 21st century…) The artist collaborated with Italian goldsmith GianCarole Montebello, with the finishing product being a gold mould with an array of pinpricks through the surface. Man Ray’s background in fashion and photography led him to create a number of jewellery pieces in his life that were superior in terms of style and fashion finesse. The gold, sculptural aesthetic of the mask is mirrored nicely through Ines Telles’ Mini Solar Earrings. Simple and chic, the jewellery designer serves some top quality flair with warm hues of gold. Channel elegance this season with a staple pair of gold earrings and become an sculptural vision yourself.
Images from Pinterest
Feeling inspired? Release your inner artist and find jewellery that enhances your creativity and authenticity!