We love a good print, and we might love it even more if it evokes the work of one of our favorite artists. However, prints that are too literal can be complicated to work into one’s wardrobe unless your job title is editor-at-large or gallerist. And while we’ll always adore vintage Mondrian-inspired YSL and Dali-Schiaperelli collaborations, those pieces aren’t accessible for most of us, or even all that wearable for most of us if they were.
But it is definitely possible to find stylish clothing that is art-inspired without wearing a direct copy of a painting or sculpture – just think interpretation rather than imitation and you’re good to go.
Vincent Van Gogh. The bold brushstrokes and delicate flowers of Van Gogh’s most famous works have been used as a print by many different labels, and we like Carven’s futuristic take on his famous cherry blossoms in the form of this versatile t-shirt dress.
Georgia O’Keefe. Bold florals have always had a place in the hearts and minds of many fashionable women, so it is only natural that Georgia O’Keefe-inspired prints have been translated to clothing. Something like this magnolia print top from Ted Baker has that intense floral inspiration without being too literal, and this Vince Camuto orchid scarf can dial the O’Keefe feeling up or down depending on how you tie it.
Alphonse Mucha. Although an exact Mucha print on a dress or pant might not be your sartorial cup of tea, a pair of Art Noveau-esque paisley pants like these from Etro, a fitted dress like this one from ASOS, or a simple pendant necklace (via Free People) might do the trick.
Gustav Klimt. Again, while not an exact replica, this larkspur dress by Maeve has an intricate, lush pattern that invokes his spirit and that of his contemporaries. All you need is a pair of simple nude-for-you sandals and you’re got a gallery-worthy outfit.
Pablo Picasso. While Picasso prints have been a popular way to add a touch of contemporary style to a look practically since Picasso himself gained recognition, perhaps the most up-to-date way to wear it is a subtle nod to cubism with a flowy pastel dress like this one from O’2nd.
Jean-Michel Basquiat. Graffiti prints have been a fashion and art “thing” for while now, but perhaps one of the originals might be the very best. While Uniqlo has an ongoing series of Basquiat-print tees, hoodies, and other basics, the coolest Jean-Michel inspired designs might be yet to come with Alice + Olivia’s fall 2016 Stacy Bendet + Basquiat collection.
Overall, if you’re going to get artistic with your ensembles, go for pieces that evoke the work of a particular artist rather than actual direct prints (save those for home decor, stationery, or secondary accessories like tech cases or cosmetic bags). Generally, you want to capture the feeling, not look like you’re hanging on a museum wall – unless you’re into that kinda thing, in which case we say go for it!
Vincent Van Gogh
Free People Art Nouveau Tear Drop, now $19.95
note: women can wear a men’s size small
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