Pop Art in Fashion

CHANELAutumn/Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear 

By Laura Edman

For Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2014 show the runway was transformed into a gallery full of Chanel inspired sculptures and paintings. Karl Lagerfeld followed up the theme for the Autumn/Winter 2014 show by transforming Grand Palais into a Supermarket. The models walked like they were shopping, carrying baskets made of Chanel chains to the sound of pop music. “The Art one was an art supermarket because art has become a product, no?”, explains Lagerfeld.  Even if you hardly could picture Karl himself strolling in a supermarket, he explores the consumer culture and had every product Chanel-branded, alluding to Andy Warhol’s early appropriation of mass-market merchandise and packaging. “The Whole thing is related to Pop Art”, says Karl Lagerfeld. 

Pop Art is usually associated with Andy Warhol when it comes to the context of consumption in its art movement. Pop Art was an art movement during the 50’s-60’s with an honest reflection of how commercialism was dominating much of the world. It turned to sources from everyday life such as pop music, Hollywood movies, advertising and product packaging. In the same way, as Karl uses a dash of Chanel to elevate everyday associations to the level of High Fashion, so did Pop Art with popular culture to the level of Fine Art. 

It is a relationship between same-but-different worlds of Art and Fashion. Creative industries practically need each other to survive. Even if Pop Art as an art movement was extinguished it still lives on in every form of fashion. Product packaging like Moschino’s Fresh Perfume that looks like a window spray bottle and the fashion photographer Miles Aldridge’s picture with a smashed ketchup bottle directly relates to consumption and Pop Art. It uses bright colouring and product merchandising, the same way as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can. In terms of fashion design, Warhol’s work is continually translated into Fashion of designers today. For fashion consumers a good collaboration with Arts provides an opportunity to participate in the Art world, likewise an artist gets to participate in the Fashion world. The consuming market was Warhol’s main inspiration to his work, and what market but the Fashion is our most consuming. The Chanel N. 5 bottle is one out of the ADS series, the perfume inspired Warhol to communicate the image of the female consumerism and glamour.  

Pop Art still has an impact on fashion because it says something about the world today. As the most referenced artist of consumerist, Andy Warhol’s use of logos and motifs made over 40 years ago are still representative of today’s popular culture.  

Andy Warhol himself as a print on dress by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac  A/W09.

Andy Warhol himself as a print on dress by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac  A/W09.

Fashion Photograph by Miles Aldridge.

Fashion Photograph by Miles Aldridge.

Like Andy Warhol, Jeremy Scott has celebrated the consumer market in his designs for Moschino.

Like Andy Warhol, Jeremy Scott has celebrated the consumer market in his designs for Moschino.

Linda Evangelista in Gianni Versace’s SS91 Pop Art collection with Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints, and for Moschino Fresh.

Linda Evangelista in Gianni Versace’s SS91 Pop Art collection with Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints, and for Moschino Fresh.

Chanel N°5, 1985 and Yves Saint Laurent, 1974, both by Andy Warhol.

Chanel N°5, 1985 and Yves Saint Laurent, 1974, both by Andy Warhol.