Over the last decade the amount of collaborations between fashion and contemporary art has increased enormously. These collaborations have given well-known and lesser-known designers and artists the opportunity to incorporate their own artistic styles and then distribute or exhibit them amongst the masses. However a problem has arisen with the word ‘collaboration’ as its meaning and boundaries have been extremely blurred. Questions have come to light about the authenticity of the collaboration considering many designs display no difference between the original work (of the artist) and the final design of the fashion.
An example of a selection of ‘collaborations’ are H&M and Jeff Koons’ ‘Balloon Dog’ and Stella McCartney’s read-to wear 2006 using Jeff Koons’ artwork ‘Easyfun Ethereal’. The reason for this is that the image or the artwork incorporated into the fashion pieces are almost ready made. Due to this there isn’t a sense of originality and shows the lack or absence of an actual collaboration taking place.
The disappointment with Koon’s collaboration with these designers has been the lack of creativity when using Koon’s quirky artworks. One might even say the art has been duplicated onto their products.
Aside from this there have been other specific collaborations that are credible due to the creativity or quirkiness, craftsmanship and attention to detail. Louis Vuitton over the years has been known to associate themselves with avant-garde artists for collaboration of their upcoming designs. (Berry 2015) In 2011, Louis Vuitton had their 100th anniversary celebration of the small leather goods market and the launch their ‘Mon Monogram’ service for these goods. (Delood n.d.) The French Fashion house for the upcoming celebratory pieces commissioned British artist Billie Achilleos. (Hughes 2012)
The prestigious fashion house briefed Achilleos that the celebratory work would display four main animals made from only preselected fashion pieces of small leather goods (LV) and aimed to highlight and keep alive the forgotten skills of this craftsmanship. Each sculptural animal would highlight unique elements of the product’s design while also reflecting the characteristic of each animal including colour, design, shape, texture and sounds. (Blouin Artinfo 2013) Products such as key chains, bracelets, bags and belts were some of the many disassembled elements from which these contemporary art/fashion pieces were created. (Meletto 2012)
The brief and requirements itself gave Achilleos the ability to input her own artistic exploration and experimentation, which have a sense of originality and therefore authenticity of the finished creation. Not only was this collaboration between herself and the label but also between herself, the designers of the products and even the crafters making the work a true collaboration. (Carrascal n.d)
Since this collaboration Billie Achilleos has gone on to make 28 animals in total and was named ‘Maroquinaris Zoologicae’. (Blouin Artinfo 2013)
The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Billie Achilleos is a verification of originality and authenticity not only because the process was documented but because of her variety and flexibility of each of her previous works. What a shame Koon’s artwork hasn’t been treated with the same originality.
-Louis Vuitton with Billie Achilleos, November 3rd 2014, , video, viewed 23rd August 2015.
Hughes, D 2012, Maroquinaris Zoologicae By Billie Achilleos For Louis Vuitton, Yellowtrace, 24th January, Accessed 23rd August 2015, <http://www.yellowtrace.com.au/maroquinaris-zoologicae-by-billie-achilleos-for-louis-vuitton/>
Blouin Artinfo, 2013, Billie Achilleos Cut Louis Vuitton Bags Up… For Art, Blouin Artinfo, 6th May, Accessed 23rd August 2015, <http://au.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/899084/billie-achilleos-cuts-louis-vuitton-bags-up-for-art#>
Carrascal, A n.d., Exclusive Interview Artist To Billie Achilleos, Horse Magazine, n.d., Accessed 23rd August 2015, <http://www.horsemagazine.es/es_ES/tag/billie-achilleos/>
Delood, n.d., Louis Vuitton by Billie Achilleos, Delood, n.d., Accessed 23rd August 2015, <http://www.delood.com/fashion/louis-vuitton-billie-achilleos-0>
Meletto, B 2012, The zoo imaginary Billie Achilleos for Louis Vuitton, barbarainwonderlart © Barbara Meletto, 20th July, Accessed 23rd August 2015, <http://barbarainwonderlart.com/2012/07/20/lo-zoo-immaginario-di-billie-achilleos-per-louis-vuitton-26/?lang=en>
Berry, J 2015, ‘Contemporary Fashion: Fashion, Aesthetics & Art- an overview’, retrieved from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, Learning@Griffith website, viewed 23rd August 2015, < https://bblearn.griffith.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-1510364-dt-content-rid-5018991_1/courses/2432QCA_3155_SB/Course%20Content/Week%202%20Fashion%2C%20Aesthetics%20%26%20Art/wk%202%20fashion%20as%20art.pdf>