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trends & subculturesWednesday, December 21, 2016

Andy Warhol & Fashion: A Perfect Harmony

When Andy Warhol printed a soup can on a paper dress in the 1960s, Andy Warhol fashion was born, and it has been prominent on runways ever since. Fashion inspired by Andy Warhol and his art never seems go out of style, as designers are constantly taking cues from his work and life.

Warhol didn’t one day become part of the fashion scene after he rose to fame as an artist in the Sixties; it would be more accurate to say that he never left it, and he still hasn’t to this day. Style icon Andy Warhol started out as a shy illustrator for a magazine, but now he is known as a core part of the fashion zeitgeist that he so loved.


Fashion History


In the 1950s, before Andy Warhol, the well-known artist began to exert his influence on the fashion world, he worked as an illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar. Warhol would often draw shoes and collages of beauty products that were far more celebratory of fashion than his later artworks. Known as somewhat socially awkward, Warhol was reportedly called ‘Andy Paperbag’ by then-fashion editor Diana Vreeland because of the way he brought his illustrations into the office.


Soup Can Phenomenon


Andy Warhol arrived onto the art scene in 1962 with his first solo show, which included 32 canvases painted with Campbell’s soup cans. His focus on consumerism and everyday objects would be a theme that he would use throughout his career and would inspire many of his contemporaries and artists who followed him. Warhol printed his soup cans onto paper dresses for society women to wear to events, and soon Campbell’s took advantage of the print’s popularity. In 1965, the company created their own ‘Souper Dresses’ that anyone could buy by sending the company $1 and two Campbell’s soup labels.


Warhol Meets High Fashion


Fashion inspired by Andy Warhol was thus relegated to paper dresses until the 1980s. Jean Charles de Castelbajac solidified Warhol’s high-fashion status when he included a dress shaped and printed like a Campbell’s soup can in his Spring/Summer 1984 collection. The phenomenon of Andy Warhol fashion did not end there, however. In 1991, Versace sent supermodel Linda Evangelista down the runway wearing a jewel-encrusted gown printed with Warhol’s depiction of Marilyn Monroe. She even carried a matching purse. Since then, Andy Warhol-inspired collections have been something of a mainstay in the fashion world. A year after Warhol’s death, his friend Stephen Sprouse was given permission by the Andy Warhol Foundation to use the artist’s camouflage screen prints in his collection.


Jeremy Scott and Moschino


Arguably more so than any other designer, the influence of style icon Andy Warhol can be seen in the work of Jeremy Scott, both in his eponymous line and the designs he has done for Moschino. Scott’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection featured a sequined dress and top emblazoned with a logo reminiscent of the classic Coca-Cola symbol, and the Spring 2013 Moschino menswear collection appropriated the Budweiser logo and that of a detergent company, printing it on jackets, pants and even entire outfits. For the Moschino Fall 2014 womenswear show, Jeremy Scott incorporated the famous McDonald’s logo into his designs in yet another nod to Warhol’s fascination with consumerism.


Inspired By The Man


It wasn’t just his art that made the late Andy Warhol a style icon, but also his own wardrobe. In 2014, the Peter Jensen resort collection paid tribute to Warhol by featuring just two models in the show, one man and one woman. The man walked the runway in blazers, jeans and sweaters that Warhol himself would have worn, while the woman was dressed like Paulette Goddard, Warhol's muse. The male model even had Warhol’s trademark silver hair and dark glasses. Tom Ford’s Spring 2016 show also took a cue from Warhol’s influence. It featured models in jeans and striped sweaters topped with leather jackets - one of Warhol’s favorite go-to outfits. One model with bleached blonde hair and glasses even looked suspiciously like the artist.




Warhol was fascinated by Hollywood and celebrity, and in 1969 he founded the intimate and off-beat magazine, Interview. At the beginning of its publication, copies of Interview were given away to those in the know, and even after he stepped away from the publication, Warhol would hand out copies on the street and give impromptu signings. Interview published stories about big name designers such as Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Halston, deepening Warhol’s connection to the fashion world. Still going strong today, the magazine now covers art, film, music, culture, nightlife and fashion - especially when an Andy Warhol-inspired collection pops up.

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