The fashion and the art worlds collide


The art world has always had a reputation for being rarefied, more than a little inaccessible, and somewhat distanced from day-to-day reality. Likewise, high fashion, which, to a great extent, has been seen as a form of art when at its most elevated form: Haute couture is often informed by history and fine art.

It’s only natural that the creative threads that run through luxury fashion and art would become closely intertwined. Chanel’s Metiers d’Art collection, for example, is an annual celebration of the dying art of painstaking hand-work in fashion — and this year’s collection takes inspiration from French actresses and Italian cinema.

This year, the fashion-art connection gets a new twist to the ongoing tale, thanks to high-profile collaborations between artists and mass fashion brands. This month, H&M unveils its latest Conscious Exclusive Collection. It was created in collaboration with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (located at the Palais du Louvre in Paris), a creative first for the brand primarily known for its runway-inspired trends and high-profile collaborations with of-the-moment fashion designers.

The collection was launched in H&M stores yesterday to coincide with the opening of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs’ Fashion Forward — Three Centuries of Fashion exhibition in Paris, which will run till August 14.

Parisian style maven and sustainability champion, Julia Restoin Roitfeld — the face of the collection’s advertising campaign — lauded this collaboration. “I think that the idea of creating a collection inspired by the history of art and fashion is brilliant. Especially since it is made with innovative, sustainable materials, which are the future of fashion,” says Roitfeld.

Hot on H&M’s heels is the Uniqlo X KAWS collaboration for the Japanese high-street brand’s UT line of T-shirts. Set to launch in stores and online here from April 25, the renowned Brooklyn-based street artist KAWS (whose real name is Brian Donnelly) was tapped by UT’s creative director Nigo to design a capsule collection of 18 T-shirts and four tote bags that feature his signature Pop Art aesthetics and animated characters such as the Companion.


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