Fashion: Fashionable for fifteen minutes

New York's fashion scene has never ignored Andy Warhol for long. A new exhibition, `The Warhol Look', shows the comeback collection of ex-Factory protege Stephen Sprouse alongside the high kitsch of Dolce e Gabbana. Tamsin Blanchard reports.

Photographs by Chris Moore.

The fashion world has gone pop art crazy. Not that fashion, by definition, can be anything other than "pop", but next spring, two designers and a major new exhibition in New York will be responsible for spearheading a new craze: pop art reproduced on clothes. You can wear it or you can frame it. Take your pick.

The designers in question are Stephen Sprouse, a Warhol protege who in the Eighties was responsible for dressing downtown New York, and Dolce e Gabbana, the Italian duo who have transformed their younger D&G label with the help of a young Italian pop artist. The exhibition, called "The Warhol Look", is now showing at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Stephen Sprouse's comeback collection, shown in a Soho warehouse in New York at the beginning of the month, could not have been better timed. While Sprouse's camouflage-print Superhero cape and trousers from the days at the Factory are on display at the exhibition alongside fashion by Halston, Versace and Vivienne Tam, his own collection featured brightly coloured screen-prints of Warhol robots, the Empire State Building (printed and sequinned on a long, slinky evening dress) and ticket stubs. There were no Marilyn prints - that would have been too obvious - and besides, Versace used the image for his collection for autumn/ winter 91/92. Iggy Pop, Tama Janowitz and I Shot Andy Warhol star Lili Taylor declared the collection a hit. Iggy Pop already has a wardrobe full of Sprouse and this collection, using images with permission from the Warhol Foundation, was declared a hit.

Sprouse had not shown on the catwalk for five years and this time he is there to stay. The collection will be manufactured by Staff International, the Italian company that produces collections for Vivienne Westwood. The high street copycat versions will follow soon after.

Of course, it is not the first time the paths of Andy Warhol and fashion have crossed. "The Warhol Look" exhibition examines the way the artist was driven by an obsession with glamour, fashion and Hollywood.

As well as showing some of Warhol's own clothes, including one of his wigs bizarrely framed and hung on a wall, the exhibition charts the artist's friendships with the in-crowd of the Seventies: Halston, Calvin Klein, and jewellery designers Tina Chow and Elsa Perretti. His magazine, Interview, served to fuse the two worlds even further. In turn, Warhol's work has never stopped being an inspiration to the fashion world: look no further than Calvin Klein's Steve Meisel advertising campaign for cK One. He uses Richard Avedon's larger-than-life portrait of the Factory members, including Joe d'Alessandro and Candy Darling staring listlessly at the camera lens. Meisel transformed it into an advert using a mixture or models and "real" people, but keeping the raw attitude of the original.

Stephen Sprouse is still living in a Warhol world. His East Village New York apartment is painted silver and he skulks around New York's underground, a reclusive, elusive figure. He is still obsessed with the idea of Velcro fastenings - his clothes rarely use zips or buttons, apparently because he broke his arm in the middle of the last decade and wanted clothes he could do up and undo with one arm. After five years away from the catwalk, and several shaky comebacks, Sprouse has revived his own name with the help of his mentor, Warhol.

If it seems as though Sprouse is living in the past, he perhaps is. But there is certainly a market for his bright and funky screen-printed clothes, if only as collector's items. In Milan, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce have found a brand new pop artist to collaborate with. For their younger D&G line, they have worked with a young 24-year-old artist, Andrea Martini, who is in his final year at the Accademia delle belle Arti in Milan. Martini and the designers share a love of religious imagery and high kitsch. The result is a collection of clothing that reproduces Martini's brash 3-D sculptures of sacred hearts, burning stars and thorny roses in hand-embroidered sequins on to plain shift dresses and simple T-shirts. Of course, if you want to get ahead of the trends, you could always try taking a photograph of your favourite Campbell's soup flavour down to your local print shop and have it copied on to a T-shirt. Now that would be worth hanging on your wall.

`The Warhol Look: Glamour , Fashion and Style' is showing at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York until 18 January, 1998 (001 212 570 3600).

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there