Pop Art Influence on Fashion: Trends since 1950s

a collage for blog post on popart influence on fashion

We all know that Fashion trends are cyclical at times while at other times, they represent the new generation’s popular culture. These days, a graphic t-shirt or an outfit with a pop art pattern is quite popular among the youth. Let’s try to dig a bit deeper into the origins of pop art influence on Fashion.

Pop art was first noticed in the 1950s after World War II, as a movement against abstract expressionism, traditional unspoken rules and its elitism in the west. While trying to find the new forms of expression, the young rebel minds started using common objects, colourful elements, bold patterns to express their ideas. Fashion experts grabbed the opportunity to create something new as they started collaborating with pop artists.

One of the early collections inspired by graphic art was the Autumn/Winter 1966-67 Pop art collection by Yves Saint Laurent. His designs were inspired by the work of renowned artist Tom Wesselmann and received phenomenal response. Similarly, the most recognizable “Souper Dress” made by Warhol Marilyn, featuring Campbell’s Soup Cans, had set the trend going in the 60s. These outfits were affordable to common people and so it became highly popular among the masses.

By the 1970s, infusion of popular art culture in the fashion industry reached a high. A memorable collection from the era was that of paper dresses with graphic art printed on it. As the time went by, the presence of multiple musical bands and performers in the 70s had led to a boost in demand for art inspired designs. Popular bands like The Beatles, The Doors, and performers like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Debbie Harris used art designs for t-shirts, jackets, bags, accessories etc.

The legacy of art inspired fashion was also carried forward by accomplished designers like Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Moschino, and Gianni Versace. Classic brands like Chanel, Prada, Adidas, Nike, Vans etc. have been surprising people with their collections from time to time with the use of vibrant colours and pop art designs.

Pop art has given people a chance to experience glamorous, witty, and popular designs at low cost. Its popularity is deeply rooted in the fashion industry and so is the impact of the pop art movement. It is going to rule the Fashion trends, every now and then.

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