We need to talk about pop art fashion. This one of a kind art movement is the experimental brainchild of the art world, fashioned through an eclectic combination of everything bold, brash or busy. Much like rebellious teenagers rejecting the customs of their parents, pop art achieved the same effect by rejecting the formalities of 50’s art. This movement thrived on pop culture references, brighter colors, nonsensical items and healthy amounts of irony.
Whether you prefer the comic book aesthetic of Lichtenstein, found objects of Duchamp or more kitschy elements of Koons, pop art challenges traditional art through its use of popular culture references and abstract expressionism. This movement is in direct response to the abstract art movement and focuses directly on the mechanical means of producing art—an aspect unique to Pop Art.
As for pop art fashion, it consists of a unique collaboration of model-studded runways and a “pop culture” influenced art movement. While picking our way through the messy closet of fashion in the past fifty years, pop art fashion became a sort of way to breath life into these cherished old art pieces.
Spots, Polka Dots, Color Blocks; these are all on the ingredients list of pop art. The bright colors found in pop art mesh well with flattering empire waist dresses and thick-rimmed sunglasses. And so, the two worlds collided to make pop art fashion. Take a look at how essential staples of these artists were transformed into runway-ready outfits.
Known as the unofficial king of pop art, Any Warhol studied the fascinating interaction between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertising. Despite his humble roots starting with whimsical shoe advertisements, this Goliath of pop art is now well known for his prints of celebrities and iconic American objects. Warhol is single-handedly responsible for the direction and prominence of the pop art movement, while his works are some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. The dresses on these models are in reference to Warhol’s most iconic paintings, including “Campbell’s Soup Cans” and “Marilyn Diptych”.
Commonly seen as child’s play, comic books were completely redefined by Roy Lichtenstein and transformed into a glamorous form of art. Lichtenstein’s most notable works include “Whaam!” and “Drowning Girl”, both responsible for propelling this artist into the world of pop art. Another leader in this movement, Lichtenstein painted pieces that lean more towards humor instead of the repetition found in Warhol’s pieces. Lichtenstein’s rise to fame is attributed to his iconic painting style, including harsh lines, flat planes of color and black Ben-Day dots. This style has been replicated loyally by pop art enthusiasts around the world, and looks surreal when painstakingly painted on faces.
Although she dropped out of sight from New York’s 1970’s art scene, Yayoi Kusama is attributed to being a main influence to Andy Warhol’s vision. Additionally, she is a valuable voice of the avant-garde movement and one of the most important artists to emerge from Japan. Her art practice spans across mixed platforms of media, including painting, sculptures, performance art and installations. She set the record for most expensive painting sold by a living female artist, with prices culminating to an impressive 5.1 million dollars. The bright polka dots, or “infinity nets”, characteristic to Kusama’s art, make hallucinogenic patterns that offer a view into the mind of this complicated artist.