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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Salvador Dali and Surrealist Fashion

dali schiaparelli dress
schiaparelli shoe hat

Fashion has always been synonymous with art.  The recent Prada and Schiaparelli exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum reminded everyone of my favorite artistic fashion movements, surrealism.  My favorite surrealist artist growing up was Salvador Dali.  I was clearly not alone as a fashion designer influenced by his unique vision. 

Elsa Schiaparelli was famous for her collaborations with Dali.  Her famous shoe hat was inspired by a photograph the artist took of slippers balanced on his wife’s head.

His painting, The Dream Places A Hand on a Man's Shoulder and Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra depicts female figures, much like fashion mannequins adorned with rips and tears.  A trompe l’oeil print of tears is combined with actual torn fabric in the artist’s collaboration with Schiaparelli for a dress that imitates art in 1938.

prada surrealist
 Designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada has staged some truly surrealist fashion shows.  This dress of drawers from her Fall 2009 show clearly has its roots in Salvador Dali’s The Burning Giraffe.
dvf dali

Diane Von Furstenburg is the go-to label for many chic women.  Much of the appeal is that it flatters most people and practical for most demographics. Yet, Von Furstenburg’s spring advertising campaign pays homage to one of Salvador Dali’s most bizarre paintings, the Atavistic Vestiges after the Rain.  The surrealist backdrop complements the graphic print of the model’s outfit while creating a striking image.  This campaign proves how fashion designers can take inspiration from the most wild of sources and succeed in making it commercial. 

Now I would love to challenge designers to step it up and see if they work with Dali in a new way… Melting watches off a model’s arm?  Waxed moustache makeover? Some surrealist images start to make sense after a few Stoli cocktails, let’s see what they do on a catwalk…

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” 
Salvador DalĂ­

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Museum photo by Mariana Leung, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada FW09 from awwwards, Dali images from the museum , DVF advertising from DVF

Savor Stoli Responsibly. STOLICHNAYA® Premium Vodka. 40% Alc/Vol. Distilled from grain. William Grant & Sons, Inc. New York, NY. © 2012 Spirits International, B.V

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