Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2011 and Roy Lichtenstein’s Wall Explosion II, 1965

While the spring/summer 2014 fashion season is well underway, nothing shown thus far is sure to stick in consumers’ minds for the next six months until the collections are available for purchase.

For fall 2013, top honors went to Tom Ford’s explosive appliqués that, regardless of their commercial appeal, made quite the impact. The buzz surrounding Mr.Ford’s fall collection could have been in part due to it being his first full-scale runway show since his return to womenswear, however his designs impressed nonetheless. The evening looks, complete with Lichtenstein-eque explosions, are featured in the Tom Ford fall ad campaign and have graced the pages of countless high fashion editorials since their runway debut. Looking back, it was Miuccia Prada who used a similar in-your-face approach to ready-to-wear for spring/summer 2011 with her firecracker leather skirts and jackets at Miu Miu (pictured above).

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2013 Advertisement

Soon after, Phillip Lim made an even more obvious ode to Lichtenstein for pre-fall 2012, mimicking the pop artist’s famous style similar to how Spanish pop art team, Equipo Cronica, has done in the past.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2012 and Equipo Cronica’s Guernica, 1971

Chanel Fall/Winter 2009 Couture

For fall/winter 2009 couture, Karl Lagerfeld took a more abstract approach to fireworks and explosions at Chanel. Two standout looks from the collection bared striking similarities to the works by artists Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay; entitled Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913, and Le Premier Disque, 134 cm, 52.7 inches, 1912-13, respectively.

Left: Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913 by Wassily Kandinsky and Right: Le Premier Disque, 134 cm, 52.7 inches, 1912-13 by Robert Delaunay

Lastly, no reference to explosive fashion would be complete without mentioning Christopher Kane’s 2010 resort collection. The atomic bomb dresses and separates were unforgettable and almost identical to images in Robert Longo’s series of charcoal, bomb drawings, The Sickness of Reason.

No matter what the season – fall, resort, spring or pre-fall – ready-to-wear or couture, designers are more than capable of making an impact. Now it is your turn spring/summer 2014, wow us.

Christopher Kane Resort 2010 and Atomic Bomb charcoal drawing by Robert Longo

Polaroids by Andy Warhol, clockwise from top left: Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Julian Schnabel, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring

Artists across multiple mediums have explored portraiture at points in their careers. The subjects depicted in such works often say as much as the resulting image. Just as designers find inspiration in their contemporaries, artists oftentimes look towards each other for stimulation.

Andy Warhol’s famous Polaroids have captured fellow creative’s from Roy Lichtenstein to Basquiat while Julian Schnabel has in turn painted Warhol in a dark, slightly abstract portrait. Robert Mapplethorpe was a favorite subject of his contemporaries while he himself found inspiration in fellow artists from Warhol and Keith Haring to Cindy Sherman. Ms.Sherman has recently been a subject for Chuck Close, while in the past Chuck was brought to life on canvas by painter Eric Fischl. David Hockney has been painted by both Elizabeth Peyton and Lucien Freud, while one of my favorite photographers, Thomas Struth, captured Gerhard Richter with his wife and children in a family portrait. Modern pop-artist Darcel Disappoints has made caricatures of everyone from Aurel Schmidt to Jeff Koons while KAWS was a subject of Takashi Murakami’s recent series of portraits. The ever-expanding list begs the question of who will be next…

From left: Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Keith Haring all by Robert Mapplethorpe

Andy Warhol by Julian Schnabel

Gerhard Richter and family by Thomas Struth

Cindy Sherman by Chuck Close

Left: David Hockney by Lucian Freud and right: Chuck Close by Eric Fischl

Robert Mapplethorpe and David Hockney by Elizabeth Peyton

Various artists by Darcel Disappoints

JR by Liu Bolin

KAWS by Takashi Murakami

Clockwise from top left: Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close, Takashi Murakami and Pablo Picasso all by Jacques Pelissier