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Street-art and graffiti on the catwalk

Where fashion and street art meet: from Vivienne Westwood and Keith Haring in the 80s to the SS21 runways

Street-art and graffiti on the catwalk Where fashion and street art meet: from Vivienne Westwood and Keith Haring in the 80s to the SS21 runways

Art and fashion have been together for a while now, just think of the Yves Saint Laurent dresses from the Mondrian collection, the Elsa Schiaparelli collections in collaboration with Salvador Dalì or the more recent ones between Alexander McQueen and Damien Hirst. However, the catwalks are not the common ground of these two worlds, but the street is.

The road is where trends come from, before the advent of the internet and the bombardment of images to which we are subjected every day, it was the cool hunters who went around the world to catch what would be fashionable. And it is outside museums, beyond canvases and frames that art has sought and still seeks its place. Born as a protest between the 1950s and 1960s and exploded with the arrival of spray cans in the 1980s, it is actually in these years that Street-art and fashion meet.


The Witches collection by Westwood and Haring

Or rather, to bring these worlds together are two personalities that are anything but ordinary. It is during a trip to New York that a young Vivienne Westwood meets the artist Keith Haring and there it was creative love at first sight. From this unexpected union, between the pioneer of punk, owner of a clothing store, named Sex, at 430 Kings Road and the boy who smeared the subways of Manhattan - ended up in museums in 1978 and known today for his colorful men - that Witches was born. It was the winter of 1983/84, one of Westwood's most colorful collections, dazzled by the American metropolis and the colors of the fitness decade interpreted with Haring's "squiggles" reproduced on the shirt. An explosive potion, usually worn by the ultimate pop icon, Madonna!


Marc Jacobs, Stephen Sprouse and Louis Vuitton

Another son of those years will mark a collaboration that has remained in the history of fashion. Coincidentally, he was friends with Keith Haring: Stephen Sprouse, stylist, artist and costume designer, defined the king of glamour punk. It is with him that Marc Jacobs chose to collaborate in the years of Louis Vuitton's rebirth, exactly in 2001 when the highly sought after (still today) Graffiti Speedy 30 Monogram was born. The iconic monogram of Monsieur Louis Vuitton is distorted, highlighted and traced with the lettering of Stephen Sprouse with a spray effect. But it will be the homage dedicated to Sprouse by Jacobs himself, with the Monogram Neon Graffiti collection, that will remain in our imagination. Terry Richardson's January 2009 editorial that portrayed Marc Jacobs wearing only the capsule bags is probably guilty.

Jean-Michel Basquiat and COMME des GARÇONS

Another contemporary of the colorful Haring, who will not be outdone in the fashion system, is Jean-Michel Basquiat. He will show for Comme des Garçons in 1987 and will release a collection of shirts and t-shirts with his works in 2018. His imprint in the sector was so strong that it has no comparison in terms of longevity: still today the raw art of Basquiat lives in the recent creations of Coach, Off-White, Uniqlo, Supreme, Dr Martens, and many other brands in the sector.

Graffiti on the runways

Graffiti is reminiscent of another shoe, which appeared for the first time in 1999, the Maison Margela Replica sneakers. In a new version called Vintage Graffiti, it returns in collaboration with MyTheresa, the platform where it is for sale. Like any work of art, it has a strong message to be transmitted clearly written in black and white as on the walls of the streets, which mentions "Love Matters", "No Rules" or "Be Yourself".

Not only shoes. A few years ago, the Moschino FW15 collection signed by Jeremy Scott, in particular the dress worn on the catwalk by Gigi Hadid which ended up in court, was discussed. You understood well, more than a collaboration it was a plagiarism, for which Moschino had to compensate the street artist Joseph Tierney aka Rime.

On the other hand, Karl Lagerfeld was not inspired by anyone, if not himself, for the Chanel SS14, bringing on the catwalk a collection in light pastel colors of which a backpack has become an icon. By clearing the Chanel style, with a street touch, but still feminine, this is how the double C and the rue Cambon Paris address appear as if through a stencil.

Street Art in the season SS21

The logo becomes macro and the colors are reminiscent of neon, inspired by the street, pardon la rue, designed by Virgine Viard for Chanel SS21 collection arriving in boutiques. Marc Jacobs is not behind it, but Nicolas Ghesquiere is behind the slogans of the Louis Vuitton summer collection that praises the Vow, driving and skateboarding. Typical "men's actions" in typical "men's clothing" for Ghesquìere's message to today's women, that is, to look to the future. It doesn't get more street than this, with the presentation chosen by designer Francesco Risso of Marni SS21 called Manifesto. People, stories, lives and awakenings from the streets around the world, told on hand-painted clothes like graffiti.