This year saw art and fashion aligning like never before. Burberry drew inspiration from Henry Moore and commissioned photographer Alasdair Mclellan for their AW17 and SS18 shows respectively; Jonathan Anderson curated an exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, while also running a series of hybrid initiatives as Creative Director of Loewe. It was the year that Louis Vuitton partnered with Jeff Koons to create a hotly coveted collection of bags, and the artistry of some of fashion’s greatest visionaries were celebrated in weighty tomes.
In light of this, we’ve put together a list of the most stylish contemporary and historical artists whose fashion sense is as enjoyable as their art.
Jean Michel Basquiat
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have failed to miss the hype around Basquiat at the Barbican. The first major retrospective of the New York-based artist brought long-overdue exposure to his compelling work, and to his unparalleled style – this is the man who managed to seduce Madonna, after all. With his signature hairstyles and impeccable approach to tailoring, Basquiat covered the street-meets-couture aesthetic long before Supreme got its $1 billion valuation.
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The Japanese artist is famous for generating round-the-block queues at her exhibitions; as Instagram friendly as they are fascination, Kusama’s work has spanned painting, collage, sculpture, drawing, film and fashion over the course of her 70-year career. Key identifiers include bright polka dots and pumpkins – the latter she attributes to growing up in a family that cultivated seeds for a living. Kusama’s style certainly reflects her aesthetic, with her red hair and bright, abstract prints.
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The subject of a blockbuster exhibition earlier this year at Tate Britain, David Hockney is famed for his use of bright colours and set pastiches of everyday life, with vibrant, seductive tableaus of quotidian glamour – the likes of American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) (1968), Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (1970-71), and Portrait of an artist (Pool with two figures) (1972). While we have written in the past about how to look like a David Hockney painting, dressing like David Hockney is just as fun.
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Faye Wei Wei
Having partnered with Hannah Weiland to work on Shrimps SS18 collection, London artist Faye Wei Wei has fashionable kudos aplenty – and personal style to match. Her paintings draw on mythology, merging symbols with emotional insight to create ethereal, immersive pieces. Unsurprisingly the artist’s style matches her work, making her one to watch in every sense.
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The obsession with Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has only heightened in recent years. Her series of mesmeric and surreal works which explored gender, identity and class have captured the hearts and minds of many, and her style has always been widely admired.
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The pioneer photographer and Gucci muse was one of the first to bring the new wave, female gaze onto our Instagram feeds, dousing the world in a soft, pastel light. An artist who reflects her aesthetic and muse-status in almost everything she wears, buying Gucci will inject your look with an instant douse of Petra-Collins’ vibe, but to achieve a more nuanced homage to the photographer, assume her favourite shades and silhouettes instead.
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Putting the fun back into the London art scene, French artist Camille Walala brought bright colours and bold murals to the heart of the capital this London Design Festival. On a mission to inject fun and playfulness back into contemporary surroundings, Camille’s architectural makeovers and installations are guaranteed to transform the spirits of any passer by – who wouldn’t want to embrace that kind of style?
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