While watching Valentino a/w 2015 collection one can’t really avoid but thinking “absolutely beautiful. Some of this pieces are not just clothes, it’s art.” And this is the case in which you wouldn’t be that wrong. Maria Grazia Chiuri e Pierpaolo Piccioli took some serious inspiration from art this season, in particular they “stole” a bit of their magic from Gustav Klimt portraits of Emilie Flöge, the artist life companion and artistic muse.
It is beautiful to see how the designers recalled Klimt ART by using golden embroidery in their evening gowns, inspired by “the golden age” works,
geometrical patchwork in black and white used on everyday dresses to pay an homage to lady Flöge herself,
and a color palette which could just be taken out from Klimt canvas.
The ways that art influences fashion are so interesting. It’s a collaboration of creative minds, a merge between past and present sensibility which generates something unique and modern even if old.
Talking about Klimt in particular we need to go a little bit deeper: He was a revolutionary artist and during his life he was always an innovator. Klimt founded the Secession Viennese in 1897, a movement meant to break the conservatism of Vienna Society of Visual Artists, his goal was to open and renew art by bringing avant-garde to the city and exposing young foreigner artists works . Being a symbolist he believed that art should reflect an emotion or idea rather than represent the natural world in an objective manner and he had a deep fascination with both the productive and destructive forces of female sexuality.
Women were his main interest and erotism his favorite subject :when Freud became famous in Vienna and his “three essays on the theory of sexuality”came out, Klimt
decided to bring the same idea of celebration of sexuality into his art, a very brave decision that was not well received by the society but that gave birth to Klimt masterpiece “the Kiss”.
Klimt's highly ornamental style reveals as well a close connection between Symbolism and parallel movements in the decorative arts such as Art Nouveau. It is this same sensuality, the modernity of Klimt portraits in which the viewer is directly confronted by the gaze and the nudity of the models, the art nouveau influence that led to his use of color and highly garnished prints, the gold and jewel tones mosaics, are the reason why Klimt was and he’s always going to be a very powerful source of inspiration for fashion designers.
We saw his work taken to the runway by Dior,Alexander Mc Queen and hermes just to name a few.
The Clear references to “the kiss”,”,”the hope”, or “Judith” into our days fashion shows makes me think about a quote of Schiller which Klimt included in is painting “Nuda Veritas”: “ If you can’t please everybody with your deeds and your art please only few”. Fashion transformed art from something which was appreciated just from a small group of people into something that is actually under everybody's eyes, everyday, every time: clothes. Such amazing commercialization of art is beneficial for both designer and artists, New ones and past ones. Overall though this combination of amazing ideas is really beneficial to someone else: consumers. Indeed life is too short to wear boring clothes.