Sunday, February 3, 2008

Art to Art

When I was in kindergarten, we had a class play where I played an artist. I don't remember much else about the play, but I distinctly remember my costume: an oversized men's button down shirt that was splattered with paint.  I thought that it was quite possibly the coolest shirt ever. I remember even after the play, I wanted to wear that shirt everywhere. My mother was opposed to this idea, for obvious reasons, but I still remember that shirt today.

That shirt seems to be still influencing my fashion tastes today: I love the classic tailoring of a white button-down and menswear-influenced style. I hadn't given much thought to the paint splatters until recently though. Lots of designers sent paint-inspired looks down the runway for their spring and resort lines. Dolce and Gabbana showed a number of dresses with bunches of tulle and what appeared to be layers upon layers of paint around the waist and bodice. While this may sound more like the insanity you'd be used to seeing at a Heatherette show, the results were surprisingly feminine and wearable, if a bit daring.

These dresses remind me of what would happen if  Betsey Johnson got to play in Marie Antoinette's wardrobe and then decided to repaint Versaille.
Yves Saint Laurent decided to continue with this theme of artsy fashion for his resort collection.

This collection seemed to be more influenced by Jackson Pollock. Stefano Pilati took his collection one step further by integrating the brush strokes into his accessories:

My personal favorite art-inspired collection was by Rachel Roy. Rachel hasn't been designing for very long, but so far her collections have been spot-on (I even raved about her fall 08 collection earlier this week).  Her spring collection seemed to have been influenced by the artist's smock and watercolors, and was so light and beautiful, but also incredibly versatile. 

While this might not work for the office in a conservative law office, this could work as a shift dress (with more sensible shoes) in an artistic field, and would work for anyone as a night-out dress.

This dress is perfect on so many levels, but let me just say this: pockets make my world go round. 

Oh, and while I still may love that paint-covered shirt from my childhood, I wouldn't recommend making this a DIY fashion project. Leave this one to the pros.

Fall/Winter things I want: BCBG's structured jersey dresses and fantastic belts, Erin Featherston's ability to mix florals with heavy winter fabrics, the burgundy silk formal dress from Nicole Miller, the menswear-inspired double-breasted cardigan from Rag & Bone, and the green party dress from Sue Stemp.

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