Crossing borders with artcouture

Fashion and its glamour are major impacts on contemporary art. Even modernism tried to bridge the gap between both fields: One of Joseph Beuys' trademarks was his famous stetson hat, Andy Warhol worked as a model. Today artists like Erwin Wurm and Alba d'Urbano take up fashion world's promises of beauty in an ironic yet witty manner.

Comics at Louis Vuitton

Comics at Louis Vuitton Japanese artist Takashi Murakami made it big last summer when his fanciful manga-based design ideas became a trademark for Louis Vuitton. Following his flirtation with the noble fashion label, Murakami is now setting his sights on Hollywood. In our interview, he explains what art has to do to gain mass appeal.

Art of the runway at Issey Miyake' s

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake already became a celebrated icon on the New York art scene back in the seventies, and he' s been collaborating with artists ever since. Now, his new artistic director Naoki Takizawa is placing his bet on the sophisticated comic paintings and murals created by Takashi Murakami and Chiho Aoshimo.

Fashion's muse: Claudia Skoda

Claudia Skoda was the main force behind 'Art and paper on the fashion runway,' a fashion show that took place in 1998 at the Deutsche Guggenheim during the exhibition 'The Swimmer in the Econo-mist.' In our interview, Berlin' s most prominent designer talks about chirping models, artists on flying trapezes, and other inspiring performances.

Bootlegging brands with Olaf Nicolai

In his exhibitions, he transformed Nike trainers into huge inflatable jungle gyms for kids, created a perfume for park trees, bootlegged Prada suits, and made carpets out of sequined cloth. Fashion, brands, and designer labels provide the raw material for Olaf Nicolai. The Berlin-based artist develops concepts linking art to fashion, expressing the post-modern diversity of contemporary life.



March is a feverish time on Paris' fashion runways. At the Prêt-à-Porter shows, major fashion houses are showing their women's collections for the coming fall and winter. The spectacle not only attracts a professional public, but also pop stars, VIPs, and fine artists - designs by John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Issey Miyake have become a new source of inspiration for contemporary art. The borders between high culture, pop, and fashion are gradually dissolving, and that's why's dedicating this month's issue to "art couture." ++++++ Ever since the inception of Modernism, artists have been interested in bridging the gap to fashion: Art Nouveau wanted to free women from the "dictates of fashion" with functional dresses. But an artist like Sonja Delaunay saw things completely differently - and opened her own boutique. Harald Fricke took a look at the history of elective affinities under the sign of chic, which has encompassed everything from Andy Warhol's modeling career to Erwin Wurm's sweater sculptures, which inspired the video clips of Red Hot Chili Peppers. ++++++ In his New York-based Kaikai Kiki Studio, the artist Takashi Murakami works on eliminating the boundaries between art and fashion. His comic designs and vignettes decorate bags by Louis Vuitton. Cheryl Kaplan spoke to the Japanese shooting star about how art can reach the masses even better. ++++++ Issey Miyake's designs have already been exhibited in major museums; the couturier himself enjoys working with artists directly. Today, his artistic director Naoki Takizawa follows the same philosophy when he commissions Takashi Murakami or his assistant Chiho Aoshima to design fashion lines and Issey Miyake shops. ++++++ Sometimes, having too much in common can be confusing: in reference to the fashion show "Art and Paper on the Fashion Runway," which took place under her direction in 1998 at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Claudia Skoda, Germany's most famous fashion designer, recalls in an interview: "John Bock's designs … posed a challenge to everyone involved; before the show began, he smeared the models from head to toe with shaving cream." ++++++ On the other hand, for Olaf Nicolai, fashion provides the ideal material for his conceptual pieces - it not only renders beauty and taste visible, but also points out social desires. Art and fashion are an expression of self-perception: that's how we live; that's how we shine.