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When art and fashion collide - Comme des Garçons collaborates with Andy Warhol

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Art imitates life, imitates fashion when cult pop art pieces by Andy Warhol get a fashion makeover by conceptual style maven Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons.

Spirited prints and iconic images get a new lease on life in the form of t-shirts, plimsolls, cotton hold-alls and scarves.  The images have been tweaked with Kawakubo’s dark, structured edge after the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts approached the design house to create the fifteen piece capsule collection which pays homage to the artist while remixing the well-known content for classic casual wear.

The artist’s graphic ‘Cow’ piece, a vivid portrait with contrasting colouration and heavy outlines as per Warhol’s signature style, is printed on a plain white tee with inky Braille-style spots and a streaked slash across the chest. Meanwhile, a repeat print of the same finds itself on a Comme des Garçons backpack with a chequered print in stark black, and on a tote with pale blue checks for a trippy, playful effect.

Warhol’s 1964 ‘Flowers’ piece is a perfect example of the artist’s desire to create superficial, banal art that is as accessible and ‘inartistic’ as possible - in great contrast to Comme des Garçons’ usual design aesthetic – highly conceptual, soaked in social commentary and finished with an androgynous edge. Bright hibiscuses float over a shadowy background of grasses with the artist’s name tagged alongside. A two-toned self-portrait gets the same treatment with graphic text superimposed.

The neat items, combined with the poppy prints and underlying messages make for cool and cultured takeaway pieces. In Warhol’s own words - "Fashion wasn't what you wore someplace. It was the whole reason for going.” But if the irony is lost on you, the striking chromatic finishes and trippy, off-register silk screens won’t be. 

The 15-piece unisex collection - Andy Warhol x Comme des Garçons is available at Dover Street Market.

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