Perfect Pairs

From Left: Narciso Rodriguez, Erdem, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2013

The fall 2013 shopping season is well under way. Collections shown almost six months ago are finally hitting stores and available for purchase. In an effort to re-familiarize myself with pre-fall I have been flipping through shows style.com and noticed a pattern amongst the collections. Designers from Narciso Rodriguez to Erdem as well as Parisian houses like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior showed multiple, if not all, of their 2013 pre-fall looks in pairs.

Dolce & Gabbana, Viktor & Rolf and Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli

This latest pre-fall development is hardly the first time the fashion world has experienced the impact of a twosome. Could this trend have come about as a result of the continuing success of designer pairs from Dolce & Gabbana and Viktor & Rolf, to Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli? Just this past June the CFDA awards for womenswear designer of the year and the Swarovski award for womenswear were presented to American duos Proenza Shoulder and Suno, respectively, and in 2012 Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were awarded top honors for The Row.

John Galliano spring/summer 2006 and Chanel spring/summer 2013 couture

The art world, however, recognized the power of pairs far before John Galliano sent obscure couples down the runway for his namesake spring/summer 2006 ready-to-wear show and prior to Lagerfeld’s double bride finale for Chanel spring/summer 2013 couture.

Left: Dan Flavin & Donald Judd and right: Peter Fischli & David Weiss

Artists such as Dan Flavin and Donald Judd as well as Peter Fischli & David Weiss began collaborating in the 1970s while modern day duos from Elmgreen and Dragset to Kelley Walker and Wade Guyton have made names for themselves as twosomes.

Left: Elmgreen & Dragset and right: Wade Guyton and Kelley Walker

Countless solo artists have explored the concept of duality within their personal work. One of photographer Diane Arbus’ most celebrated images – Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967 – famously depicts identical young females and by happenchance began a cultural revolution; is it said that the pair were the inspiration behind the twins in Stanley Kubrick’s surrealist horror film, The Shining. Arbus herself even worked in collaboration with her husband, Allan, although he is rarely mentioned.

Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967 and twins from The Shining

Likewise, more contemporary female photographers, from Sarah Jones to Cindy Sherman, have embraced twosomes in their individual work; the latter elevated her trademark self-portraits during the photo-shop revolution of the early 2000’s and began appearing multiple times in one image.

Left: work by Sarah Jones and right: work by Cindy Sherman

Regardless of seasonal trends, fashion and art duos continue to prove themselves unstoppable.

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