ART ON THE RUNWAY: THE BEST ARTIST + DESIGNER COLLABORATIONS

Richard Prince x Louis Vuitton

Art and fashion go hand-in-hand, constantly influencing and inspiring the other. From Louis Vuitton’s long history of artist collaborations to David Lynch’s erotic line of shoes created with Christian Louboutin, the king of heels, we’ve rounded up the most iconic instances of art on the runway.

Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton

No stranger to collaborating with artists, Louis Vuitton teamed up with the master of appropriation, Richard Prince, for its Spring 2008 collection. Prince’s series of nurse paintings made an appearance on the runway in the form of Stephanie Seymour, Eva Herzigova, Nadja Auermann, and Naomi Campbell clad in see-through coats and nursing caps, and the artist’s spray painting and texts were printed on purses. Marc Jacobs, creative director of Vuitton at the time, garnered praise for the collaboration.

Rosson Crow for Zac Posen

L-R: Zac Posen Spring 2010, Pre-Fall 2010 and Fall 2010

In 2010, American designer Zac Posen commissioned multiple works by painter Rosson Crow, known for her pop art aesthetic, for four collections that year: Spring, Pre-Fall, Fall, and Resort. Posen transformed motifs from Crow’s paintings into fabric that he then fashioned into playful, colorful party dresses.

Piet Mondrian for Yves Saint Laurent

Three of Yves Saint Laurent’s Piet Mondrian-inspired dresses photographed by Eric Koch, 1966. Photo courtesy of the Nationaal Archief.

Though Piet Mondrian wasn’t alive when Yves Saint Laurent designed a collection inspired by the artist in 1965, this quasi-collaboration is too iconic to omit. The collection was inspired by a handful of other artists including Malevich and Poliakoff, but the six dresses referencing the modernist work of Mondrian have gone down in history as the most influential. Saint Laurent, known for his patronage of fine art, once declared, “Mondrian is purity and one can go no further in purity in painting.”

David Lynch for Christian Louboutin

A photo by David Lynch of the 26-centimeter-high heel that he designed in collaboration with Christian Louboutin

In 2007, director David Lynch approached Christian Louboutin to collaborate on a design and photography project called “Fetish.” Under Lynch’s instruction, Louboutin created five pairs of shoes that jettisoned all notions of practicality and comfort, most notably a pair of 26-centimeter-high heels and “Siamese” heels, two shoes fused at the heel. These one-of-a-kind designs served as inspiration for a series of 21 photographs by Lynch, compiled in a now out-of-print book. The director and shoe designer continued their collaboration in 2014 and 2016, working together on a promotional video for Louboutin’s debut line of nail polish and then a “Shoe Peaks” bag, inspired by Lynch’s television series “Twin Peaks.”

Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton

A selection of popular Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton bags

Another standout in Louis Vuitton’s lengthy catalogue of artist collaborations, Takashi Murakami’s 13-year-long relationship with the French house resulted in a treasure trove of now-collectible signature LV purses printed with Murakami signatures, most notably his smiling cherries and flowers. The bags remain a hit among the fashion and art sets, and are often resold online at sky-high prices.

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