21 Apr 2010

Neo-Expressionism: An Impact on Fashion

I'm seeing loads of Neo-Expressionist influences in fashion at the moment.
Neo-Expressionism emerged as a movement in the late '70s, early '80s by young and upcoming artists in New York as a response to the staid work of their contemporaries. It was filled with vivid colours, rough patterns and vibrant symbols.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the most notable in the movement. He was an African-American artist living in New York in the '70s and '80s and began his career in graffiti. Apparently there's a film about his life in which David Bowie plays his mentor Andy Warhol. Can someone please tell me if his performance is bad-good like the Goblin King in Labyrinth or bad-bad like Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ?
The movement was big in fashion too. Maripol, an artist, fashion designer and Madonna's at that time unknown stylist, became the art director for Fiorucci, a line known for its colourful, pop-art prints.
About a year ago I bought this long, side-slit vest-dress in Uniqlo, which has one of his prints on the front. It says "beef, pork, salt, water, corn syrup, solids, sodium nitrate". The idea of wearing the disgusting ingredients of sausage ("solids"?!) on my clothing appealed.
This vintage dress I recently bought in Garage in Berlin (a fantastic vintage warehouse where you buy by the kilo *DRIBBLE*) is totally neo-expressionist in style. It was below the knee, but I lobbed about 9 inches off the hem.
Additional photos of Jean-Michel, trainers and model (no, not me) from trendhunter.com and the Urban Outfitter blog.

1 comment:

  1. I love the chicken on the shoes!

    Interesting post!