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Parallel Practices

Elvis in...

A Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Story
Art / Fashion

When I began questioning what a Minnie Muse spring/summer 2018 fashion story would look like, I started thinking about fashion as a verb, not only physical garments, but the act of ‘fashion-ing’ a person, an object, or, as it came to be, a painting.

Posted February 5th, 2018 By Colby Mugrabi

There were many standout shows from the spring 2018 collections, and too many looks to choose from. Before curating a fashion ‘editorial’ per se, it was important to know who was to be dressed. Thus begun a self-reflective journey not only on the current flux happening within the fashion industry, but the present, unstable state of culture.

Does ‘the objective’ still exist in a time so heavily defined by the fanciful personas people lead day-to-day on the Internet? How is the term ‘celebrity’ defined today, and how are creative individuals forced to adapt their specific approach to their medium in order to feed the subjectivity filtering through today’s world? Looking back, no single artist has been so successful at tapping into the tropes of Pop Culture as Andy Warhol. Albeit at a completely different time, still, Warhol had the ability to glorify celebrity and iconography so much so that they – the subjects – live on in institutions around the world today, objectively, as fine art.

Andy Warhol painted hundreds of portraits throughout his career, from athletes, movie stars, fashion designers, friends, drag queens, society women and so many more, the artist was never short on subject matter. Still, none embody Warhol’s Pop objective quite like his depictions of celebrities. From his many iterations of Marilyn Monroe to countless canvases of Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley, Warhol was obsessed with celebrity and fame.

Between all such examples, Elvis is the only subject of which Warhol rendered in full body. In ‘Elvis I & II’ (1963), the king of Pop Art depicts the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ in half color and half silver varnish, a treatment Warhol used frequently in the early 1960s. Through manipulating the colorful half of the chosen canvas, ‘Elvis I & II’ becomes a culturally relevant dialogue on the art of the past, met with fashion of today and content of the future.

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