Trends - follow or fear them, they come at us from every angle, every season: Designer and artist collaborations are the new trend in the fashion world. The collaborations are combining fashion, art and culture together.
Nowadays, a creative collaboration is happening between artist Francesco Vezzoli, Prada and architect Remi Koolhaas, the 24 Hours Museum is an artistic endeavor that clears of the traditional definition of a museum. The project consists of a neon enclave exhibiting thirteen figures, including the Greek bodies of Aphrodites and Venuses, the faces of Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly and the eyes of Vezzoli's mother. More importantly, the experiences about the event has been translated digitally on the 24 Hour Museum website.
While ‘in-the-moment’ experiences are new and being increasingly used by luxury brands to engage specific audiences, Prada is acting as a boss, supporting Vezzoli's vision and keeping any obvious brand presence to an absolute minimum.
In this point, I don't agree to people saying the museums are a bore but this is a museum probably not what they are referring to when they make such a careless statement. Also, the event that was shown digitally, is something out of the ordinary.
Actually, this is not the first creative project for Prada. The brand had collaborated with Remi also two years ago in Seoul, which was called Prada Transformer and a building was built to transform to fashion exhibitions and cinemas. Literally, it took all my attention by that time.
Another example of an art collaboration was held by Marni in May 2012. However, this was not a project of a museum or an architectural building, it was just a design collaboration but still I think this brought a new taste to fashion. Marni's Consuelo Castiglioni has teamed up with artist Brian Rea for pre-autumn/winter bags and T-shirts. "His graphic designs depict unusual urban situations," she explains, "they were perfect for the collection, with a metropolitan feel.
Another high-profile player in the market, Louis Vuitton, also was seen recently, pushing a new high with the collaboration on polka-dotted clothes, shoes and bags with Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. Loewe has also worked with Spanish artist Antonio Balester Moreno on a colorful range of traditional 'mantón de Manila' scarves this season.
Believe it or not, with fashion becoming the focus of an increasing number of museum exhibitions and a multitude of artists now collaborating with luxury labels, the distinct line that once separated fashion and art is more blurred. But also it's fascinating what happens when you match-make some of your favorite fashion designers with artists.
From another aspect, I believe collaborations between fashion houses and contemporary artists can benefit both parties. Collaborations gave fashion a new look, artists add brightness to luxury brands and brands add to artists more visibility and popularity. That's why there has been a huge discussion going on in the last years about the question “Is fashion a form of art?” Everybody has come up with different ideas and there is no final conclusion in this issue. I find the process of merging different ideas and visions very stimulating. But perhaps, it’s best to think of art and fashion as having a “symbolic relationship between two different entities” that feed off of one another.