McQueen & Schiaparelli Design Inspired by Art

McQueen & Schiaparelli Design Inspired by Art
The late fashion designers Alexander McQueen & Elsa Schiaparelli were both inspired by works of art and artists. I'll discuss their works.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, had a blockbuster Alexander McQueen exhibit in 2011, "Savage Beauty" as a tribute to the British fashion designer who died in 2010.

McQueen was influenced by nature, film, and art (Flemish, the Arts & Crafts movement, and contemporary).

A dress from the autumn/winter 2010-2011 collection can be seen on this Metropolitan Museum of Art webpage:

Made of gray and white silk organza, the dress is printed in a fil coupe pattern with images of the Virgin from the Portinari Altarpiece, a triptych by Hugo van der Goes (1475), from the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

A silk and cotton twill jacket from his autumn/winter 1998-1999 collection, called "It’s a Jungle Out There" has an image from Robert Campin’s "The Thief to the Left of Christ" (1430).

Even after his death, Alexander McQueen’s resort 2013 collection was influenced by the gold paintings of Gustav Klimt.

Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian born, French fashion designer of the 20th century. A friend of Surrealist artist Salvador Dali, she designed the "lobster dress," "shoe hat," and "tears dress" for the artist.

The "tears dress" was slender, with a veil patterned with trompe d’oeil tears and rips to look like flesh.

Perhaps Schiaparelli influenced McQueen with his dress from the spring/summer 1996 "Highland Rape" collection, beginning his love affair with torn lace - what would become his signature look.

These two legendary fashion designers, from different generations, were both influenced by art and will inspire future fashion hopefuls.

You can own a copy of the book, "Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty (Metropolitan Museum of Art)" by Andrew Bolton, availabe here from

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Camille Gizzarelli. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.