There’s no doubt about it. Salvador Dalí came to this world to leave a mark on it. Dalí strongly believed that the realm of art and real life shouldn’t be apart from the other, and he did all he could to merge these worlds into one. He gifted the world with surrealist and quirky everyday objects, from his famous Chupa Chups lollipop design logo in 1969 to his many home appliances like the great lobster telephone. Perhaps one of the greatest collaborations he carried out was with the fashion industry and his influence continues to be felt to this day. The thing is this relationship may go unnoticed by many, but it certainly had an enormous influence on the artistic output of Dalí.
Dalí created a public character that fed into his artistic persona. Now, I’m not saying that he lacked artistic vision or talent, but we can’t deny that his iconic status was helped by how he presented himself. Clothes were just another brush he used to paint his out-of-this-world persona that’s considered emblematic for most creatives around the world. But how did he get involved in the fashion industry?
His first step into the fashion world began when he met the iconic designer Coco Chanel. He actually moved into her house with Gala, and together, they designed the label for her popular Chanel Nº 5 fragrance. Later, he would meet Elsa Schiaparelli, a designer who was very much involved in the creative and artistic world. Her creations were actually considered to be walking works of art. Together they created many pieces, like the famous shoe-hat inspired by a photo Gala took of Dalí with a shoe on his head. Perhaps, the most popular and polemic piece that came from both geniuses was the famous lobster dress worn by no other than Wallis Simpson, King Edward VIII’s wife.
So, as your hands itch to get a hold of those stunning pieces, I want you to picture the following scenario, imagine that just for a day Salvador Dalí was your style assistant. Would he go for outlandish colors? Surreal pieces? That would likely be the case but I bet you'd wear those pieces with pride. Believe it or not, he had a great fashion sense and he know how to seamlessly incorporate his surrealist esthetic in these fashion pieces.
In 1965, he started working on a fashion line alongside the American company Jack A. Winter, where he designed a summer and beachwear collection. The project didn’t come to fruition, but the Mayoral Galeria d’Art in Barcelona, Spain assembled an exhibition showing Salvador Dalí’s involvement in fashion, which included his sketches for the failed clothing line. Here are some outfit ideas inspired by these particular designs you can easily adapt to your personal style.
We know that fashion works in cycles, and some trends come and go. It’s impressive how, despite the 50-year difference, this design is still fashionable nowadays. Now, I know those pants wouldn’t be so comfortable to wear out there, but just with regular skinny jeans and a nice backless top you’ll be able to embrace Dalí’s vision. Oh, don’t forget to add a nice clutch!
In Dalí’s mind, this bathing suit was made with denim. There are many bikini suits made with fabrics that resemble denim and, although it’s very revealing, there’s an easy way to replicate this look. Now, we didn’t go for the bikini choice, but here we present a nice look you can wear during summer.
Like the first illustration, this dress is actually very trendy today. It won’t be a problem finding a nice blue off-the-shoulder dress to get that fresh vibe. Get some quirky glasses (which won’t be a problem getting anyways), and embrace all the attitude to rock his Tennis look.
Nothing shouts Dalí more than objects placed in unconventional settings. So, while the best way to mimic this look would be by attaching images of crowns to a square blouse, you can opt for more down to earth patterns.
Yellow Astronaut Clerical
Finally, my favorite. This yellow jumpsuit is everything; it has the loud color characteristic of his work and the baggy top is an homage to his eccentric style. His design includes an accordion-shaped strapless top with some loose pants, accessorized by a quirky hat with sunglasses attached. The latter will be more difficult to get, but you can interpret the look with a textured jumpsuit like the one above.
Fashion is not only looking at the trends out there and buying stuff at high street; it’s about adapting it to your personality. Art and fashion will always have an important connection like you have seen here. Next time you want to put together a special outfit, take a look at your favorite works of art or movies to get inspired.