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Both Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali worked as window dressers before ɛnding success as artists

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Issue 6 Monday 12 January 2008

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Andy Warhol: The revival Pop! Andy Warhol’s Art has once again burst onto the scene: this time, in the form of an inspiring fashion collection designed by Pepe Jeans. Comprising over 250 pieces, the collection pays homage to the artwork of the world’s most renowned pop artist, as well as continuing his legacy in the fusion of art and fashion. Known chiefly as an artist, Warhol actually began his career as a fashion illustrator for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He also produced adverts for the shoe manufacturer, Miller and Sons, and, like Salvador DalÍ, worked as a window dresser for New York department stores such as Tiffany’s. Such exposure to the fashion industry kept Warhol abreast with the kaleidoscope of fads and fashions of the early 60s: the time when a new and exciting era of popular culture was born. Love, peace and flower power: against this backdrop Pop Art emerged onto the scene, exposing the language and imagery of popular culture. Warhol exposed and created the imagery of mass culture by merging art, fashion and advertising in his artwork. ‘The Souper Dress’ is a classic example of this fusion; inspired by his screen prints of Campbell’s soup cans, a series of paper mini-dresses was produced. Meant as throwaways, these dresses acted at once as an advertising campaign for Campbell’s Soup and an ironic comment on consumerism. And so the ‘Warhol look’ was born. As an artist/designer, Warhol challenged the world to see art differently. Dresses became canvases; paper and plastic replaced fabric; dresses glowed in the dark or reflected light; and all were displayed in Paraphernalia, Paul Young’s New York boutique-cumgallery. Marketing a continuous stream of must-have trends, the store was the perfect setting for Warhol to experiment and to

exhibit his progressive art/fashion pieces. The ‘Warhol look’, revolutionary in the 60s, has made a decisive impact on contemporary fashion, and lives on today through posthumous collections. Amongst others, Stephen Sprouse paid homage to Warhol using his ‘Camouflage’ screen prints as textile designs; Gianni Versace made his ‘Marilyn Monroe’ dress; and Philip Treacy created a limited-edition collection of Warhol-inspired hats and bags. Yet Pepe is the first to offer the ‘Warhol look’ on the high street. In two sublines, the designers have managed to encapsulate the art and lifestyle of the man himself. The first, entitled ‘POP’, focuses on Warhol’s iconic artwork, such as the Marilyn Monroe screen-print and Flower lithographs. Expect statement pieces: iconic graphics, vivid colours and flowery prints. Most dresses are A-line, including the Campbell’s Soup Can dress, a close replica of the original 1966 paper dress. ‘Factory’, the second collection, is subtler, reminiscent of the artist’s personal style and milieu. Drawing on Candy Darling and Edie Sedgwick for inspiration, ‘Factory’ embodies 1960s underground cool. Expect a darker mood, with sharp tailoring and rebellious prints. Don’t miss out on the newly-revived ‘Warhol look’; get your hands on a piece of fashion history in one of Pepe Jeans’ London stores and, like Warhol, exhibit your own “deeply superficial” fashion statement.

High street, high fashion By Anna Behrmann Nowadays, anyone can be fashionable. Gone are the days when up-to-date fashion was reserved for models or the fabulously wealthy. The world of high fashion is being invaded, but we need to look a little closer to see where the battles are being fought. Haute Couture remains elitist. The term ‘haute couture’ is protected by French law, and only design houses whose names are on a list are allowed to use it. There are only eleven haute couture houses at the moment, including Channel, Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier. Artistic vision translates into fantasy for most women. Clothes that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds are still reserved for royalty and museum show cases. Whilst haute couture remains untouchable, the work of mainstream designers such as Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo is getting closer to that of high street brands such as Topshop and Primark. In 2007, Jimmy Choo won compensation from high street shop Oasis for allegedly copying a silver leather and cork wedge shoe. This is certainly not a one-off case. It is hard to open a glossy magazine without seeing comparisons between almost identical outfits – one by a designer, worth thousands; the other, from the high street, worth less than a hundred pounds. Lovers of designer clothes argue that they will continue to be bought for their designs, their brand image and their quality. Nevertheless, whilst designer clothes continue to set trends and sell a lifestyle, their quality has come into disrepute. Designer clothes are often made in the same overseas warehouses as high street brands. Whilst once designers were feted for their originality, copies are now seen everywhere. There is no denying that catwalk copies sell like hotcakes. Whilst many designers are enraged, other designers encourage the trend. Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld and Viktor and Rolf have all designed inexpensive clothes for H&M. We find ourselves with an uneasy alliance between the high street and designer brands. Despite the credit crunch, we live in a consumerist culture. This means that people still feel under pressure to buy new clothes, but have less money to spend. How will people spend their limited cash on clothes? People may choose to buy a few classic pieces from designers, but it is easier for most to buy disposable clothes from the high street. With fashion constantly changing and an everexpanding choice, it looks like designer copies for the high street are here to stay.

Epigram | The Mix  

Bristol University's student Newspaper

Epigram | The Mix  

Bristol University's student Newspaper

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