MASHUP: A Marriage of Fashion and Art

By Jo Phillips

Fashion and art come together more often than not. These two elements are not only compatible but complement each other beautifully in a marriage of creativity.

A new exhibition called ‘Charles LeDray Works’ which features the work of acclaimed sculptor and artist Charles LeDray is showing at the Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York. The exhibition presents 13 pieces created by LeDray’s work covering a period from 1990 up until present.


In typical LeDray fashion, these works have been created without assistants, meaning that they can take years to finish. In this special exhibition, visitors can get insight into the sculptor’s thought and creative processes. He is known for repurposing objects and using a mixture of materials; namely porcelain, fabric and oddly enough, human bone.

LeDray manipulates size and space in many of his works which are either small-scale or life-size. Some of his works in the exhibition include Overcoat, a 2004 piece,which features a black trench coat that covers a mass of men and women’s clothes. Also, LeDray’s first sculpture Becoming/Mister Man is presented, a 1992 piece that includes buttons and hand-embroidered labels. The exhibition features, but is not limited to LeDray’s works such as a miniature men’s suit and 130 hand-carved life-size buttons.


The pieces in the exhibition are loaned by Charles LeDray himself, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and individual private collections. Alongside the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue. The exhibition is on display now and will be available until 29th October 2016. More information is available here.

LeDray works with clothing and more specifically, fashion, in a way that is not unfamiliar. Many figures, both in past and present, work in both fields and bridge the gap between fashion and art.

Here are a few people who work with both fashion and art…

Elsa Schiaparelli

Iconic Italian fashion designer who was a prominent figure between World War 1 and World War 2. Her designs, amongst others, were at the forefront of the industry during which she created many revolutionary pieces that are staples today. Schiaparelli is credited with being one of the first to create the wrap-dress, which was revamped by Diane von Furstenberg in the 1970s. Her attention to cut, design and detail are what lead to pieces such as culottes, the hand-knit pullover and strong shouldered suits.

With clients like Mae West, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Wallis Simpson, her talent and increasing clientele led her to becoming a household name. She became the first female fashion designer on the cover of TIME magazine in 1934. In 1937, after the release of her fragrance Shocking, Schiaparelli then creates the colour shocking pink.

Her work in art is just as varied. Schiaparelli worked with, and was inspired by many artists such as Jean Cocteau, Meret Oppenheim and Leonor Fini. Most notably though, she worked with Spanish artist Salvador Dalí to create some of her most famous pieces; the Tears dress, the Shoe Hat and the Lobster dress. The dresses used prints created by Dalí and the Shoe Hat was inspired by what was first a drawing by Dalí, then a photograph taken of Dalí by his wife of the artist wearing a woman’s shoe on his head and another on his right shoulder.

Her autobiography, Shocking Life is available online.

Damien Hirst

One of the most important living British artists; known for his dead animal sculptures, diamond and platinum-encrusted skull sculptures and colourful prints. In 2013, he collaborated with British designer Alexander McQueen to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the McQueen skull scarf, recreating the scarves with the prints from Hirst’s ‘Etymology’ series which created kaleidoscope prints from insects.

Aside from this, Hirst has collaborated with Prada to create a limited edition of handbags inspired by his ‘Etymology series’ – the bags themselves, are decorated with jewelled insects. He has collaborated with Levi’s to create a range of printed clothing and also worked with The Row to recreate their popular Nile backpack, decorated with Hirst spot prints.

Giulia Scalese

A fashion still life artist, known online as The Collecteur. Guilia Scalese curates luxury fashion and beauty items in a fun, colourful, editorial style. She has collaborated with brands such as Fendi, Oscar de la Renta and Versace. You can find her online here.


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