Hey there, fashion enthusiasts and print design lovers! Today, we're diving into the captivating world of street art and how it influences fashion trends.
I recently visited the “Beyond the Streets” Exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London, and there’s another vast street art exhibition, Colors Festival, now open in Camden. As a textile designer, I’m getting excited to see the effect this is going to have on fashion and print trends for upcoming seasons. Keep reading to hear how street art has always influenced fashion and how it will continue to do so, from the point of view of a print and pattern designer. Get in touch here if you're looking to source exciting print design artwork for your fashion or product brand.
One of the most obvious ways street art influences fashion trends is through bold and vibrant colours and print, and this is where the Saatchi exhibition excelled. Street artists utilise a vivid colour palette to breathe life into their urban canvases, transforming dull city walls into captivating visual spectacles. These explosions of colour will feature heavily in upcoming fashion seasons, with designers using vibrant hues and eye-catching patterns in their collections. From graffiti-inspired prints to vivid splashes of block colour, street art will inject a dose of energy into the fashion world, challenging our current notions of style.
Street art has also empowered fashion to embrace unconventional beauty and celebrate individuality. Street artists have a knack for showcasing the raw and unfiltered realities of society, often amplifying messages of inclusivity and self-acceptance. Fashion, taking cues from these powerful expressions, has started to embrace diversity and reject narrow beauty standards. We now witness an array of body types, ethnicities, and gender identities gracing the runways, demonstrating that fashion, just like street art, is for everyone.
One of the original designers to embrace the whole spectrum of beauty standards was punk queen herself, Vivienne Westwood. The punk scene featured heavily in the “Beyond the Streets” exhibition due to it’s DIY aesthetic. Westwood was also one of the first fashion designers to collaborate directly with a street artist, when commissioning Keith Haring to create the textile designs for her AW83 collection.
There have been many more times that luxury fashion has teamed up with street artists. This has often been for the textile and print design within their collections. As well as Vivienne Westwood and Keith Haring, other examples of this might be Moschino x Ben Frost, or various designers' and brands' use of Basquiat paintings as print and placements on their garments, as seen below.
However, this has not always been to the joy of all street artists, some of whom may view this as a form of cultural appropriation. There was the famous case of Marc Jacobs vs Kidult graffiti war in 2013. Graffiti artist, Kidult, tags luxury stores as a revenge for the appropriation of the graffiti aesthetic. Marc Jacobs used this as a genius PR stunt. At least both sides seemed to see some humour in the situation.
In conclusion, the marriage between street art and fashion has always resulted in an exhilarating fusion that will continue to shape the way we dress and express ourselves. From captivating colours, vibrant and grafitti style print design and diverse representations, street art is going to have a particular effect on fashion for a couple of years to come. So, next time you stroll through the city streets, keep an eye out for the mesmerizing street art that might just inspire you.
Contact us here if you'd like to source any street-art inspired prints for your products, or would like us to create similar trend concepts for your brand.