Sculpture, painting, taxidermy… if it can be made a visual art, odds are fashion has pillaged it for inspiration on more than one occasion. So where in the field of the arts is that inspiration being sourced for the resort / pre-spring 2013 season?

To keep things fresh in the fast-paced fashion world, designers are looking less to the household names, less to the masters, and more to their own contemporaries for ideas. Can you see the similarities between their finished products and the spark of inspiration they gathered at their Muses’ flames? Here are five collections and the art (or artists) they were inspired by.

Prabal Gurung and Aaron Moran

It doesn’t take much mental effort to see the link between Prabal Gurung’s colourful resort 2013 collection and Aaron Moran’s fragmented sculptures. Moran’s artworks are put together using found wood; while Gurung’s garments borrow the shapes but apply a fresh coat of paint to the weathered, worn and discarded feel of their muse’s objects.

prabal gurung inspired by aaron moran
Prabal Gurung resort 2013; wood sculptures by Aaron Moran

Anna Sui & the Art Nouveau movement

For resort 2013, Anna Sui’s trademark bohemian prints took an Art Nouveau turn. It’s easy to imagine that Alfons Mucha’s wavy haired maidens were watching over Sui from a prime position on her seasonal mood board, while the gardens of curved lines and symmetrical shapes left their imprint on both Sui’s mind and the printed fabrics she produced.

anna sui alfons mucha
Anna Sui resort 2013; L’Améthyste by Alfons Mucha

Helmut Lang and Kate MccGwire

Kate MccGwire’s intense artworks constructed from feathers are the kind that are both visually awe-inspiring and mildly unsettling; playing in that space of the uncanny where something familiar is presented in an unfamiliar way. For resort 2013, Helmut Lang designers Nicole and Michael Colovos used MccGwire’s works as the basis of an abstract print that mimicked both the patterns and natural tones of MccGwire’s works.

helmut lang kate mccgwire
Helmut Lang resort 2013; feather sculpture by Kate MccGwire

Jason Wu and Mike Libby

You might not have heard of Mike Libby, unless of course you’re fascinated by cybernetic steampunk insects. Libby is the creator of Insect Lab, which “customizes real insect specimens with antique watch parts and other technological components”. These unique and immaculately put together pieces of entomological artwork were cited by Jason Wu as one of the inspirations behind his feminine resort collection (look out for some insect motifs and microscopic patterns).

jason wu inspired by mike libby
Jason Wu resort 2013; insect / mechanical hybrids by Insect Lab

Giles & Classical sculpture

Most literally witnessed in the photographic prints that splashed across some of Giles Deacon’s resort 2013 pieces, it happened that the designer was inspired by the Classical statues at North Yorkshire’s Castle Howard – one of England’s ‘grandest’ private mansions, most notable for having multiple interpretations of Brideshead Revisited set amoungst its grounds.

There’s something a little mind-bending about seeing folds of stone-carved marble fabric reprinted onto an actual fabric dress. Maybe that’s why it works.

giles classical sculptures
Giles resort 2013; statue a the Temple of the Four Winds, Castle Howard (photo: Pam Fray)

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