BASQUIAT X Alice+Olivia
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an instigator of the neo-expressionist art movement. Art that was powerful in meaning, yet primitive and raw in technique.
Basquiat's work comprised of the utilization of words in the form of epigrams, statements, and stark poetry, paired with graffiti-esque drawings, which were infused with cultural, political, racial and emotional connotations.
He was an American artist, of Haitian and Puerto Rican origins, who started in Brooklyn and helped found and fuel an entire street art generation. One that grew from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where hip hop, post-punk and late-modern creative culture was thriving in the 1970's.
"The New Wild Ones" or Neo Expressionists came just before flat out Postmodernism. As someone who appreciates process, it is fascinating for me to see where all the Contemporary art we see today, hung up on the walls of museums such as the Tate Modern, really truly came from.
I came across this collection while shopping in Dubai last weekend; one of the most culturally, religiously and racially diverse cities in the world. The piece that grabbed my attention was a perfectly cut classic leather jacket with painted, embroidered, and what felt like hand drawn details of elements inspired by Basquiat's work.
The messages behind Basquiat's artwork are as true and relevant now as ever, particularly during this year and in the midst of chaotic and unsettling global occurrences. Read into it. Art, music and fashion mirror the occurrences of any decade.
I have always been a fan of Alice and Olivia by Stacy Bendet as a fashion house. They celebrate, fundamentally, the vibrancy of color. After having watched La La Land a few weeks back, I fell back in love with color. A+O have an uncanny ability to incorporate aspects of classic cuts with modern shapes, creating garments which feel both vintage and brand new all at once.
Their capule collection featuring Basquiat's most notable artwork is one of absolute brilliance. This is hand downs one of the most radical takes on a classic leather jacket I have seen to date.
When shopping for what many call "statement pieces", keep art in mind. Look for collaborations that bring back a forgotten genre or celebrate a creative mogul. It makes wearing the clothes that much more interesting.