LUXURYCULTURE.COM - La Mode en Peinture


Spring calls color to the catwalk, as a vibrant artist's palette splashes onto a moving cloth canvas.

Color and shape come alive this season with an eye-catching, artistic flair that uses graphic shapes and lively hues for a fully modern romanticism.

Fashion and art are notorious flirts, and they have been seducing each other shamelessly for centuries. While Elsa Schiaparelli's Surrealist-inspired designs and John Galliano's recent art-interpretations for Dior's 60th anniversary are examples of literal renderings of art in fashion, this season's catwalk is more sensual, playful and bold. It appears as if designers have ravaged the studios of artists across time and place, stealing their sketches and splashing their paints on apparel, with wildly interpretive fun.

The graphic dresses recall the visual vocabulary of Constructivist art, known for being precise, geometric, and kinetic. An artistic movement in the earlier part of the 20th century, its style is intimately related to motifs found in Cubism, Italian Futurism, and the Bauhaus School in Germany. Splashy and brave, yet not flashy or loud, this season's kaleidoscope-like array of hues is nevertheless structured. Cuts are designed to be simple and full of movement, while it is the colors and shapes that work to structure the female form; the graphics give shape to the body.

Chanel goes to the basics for an extreme effect by using a simple, red circle as an enhancement to the evocative and womanly waistline. Malandrino, too, suggests the shoulder and bustline curve in the solid twists of design on the dress. Miu Miu touches on the dramatically figurative, while both Les Copains and Fendi make hypnotic presentations, though through different means – fantastic bull's-eyes or graphic mazes – both timeless tools of seduction.

Such a prismatic and chromatic take on fashion releases a refreshing degree of expressivity and an exuberance of feeling, as a blank canvas represents freedom to a painter's inner emotive world. By shaking up the dynamic of a dress, the female form is freed for new interpretation. Romantic, modern and artistic at once, it's a creative color revival.

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