see fall/winter 15 through our favorite works of art

From Chanel's Expressionist café to Dame Viv's Picasso and Jacquemus' Venus de Milo, we take a look back at fall/winter 15 and the great artworks that slipped by almost unnoticed.

by i-D Team and Francesca Dunn
16 March 2015, 3:15pm

Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden, Otto Dix
In 1926, German artist Otto Dix spotted journalist and poet Sylvia von Harden in the street and rushed over to her. "I must paint you! I simply must!" he shouted. "You are representative of an entire epoch... an epoch concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition." Quick, somebody sit Binx at a corner table in Chanel's café with a cocktail, cigarette and monocle! With her cropped hair, boyish figure and red plaid dress, Binx is today's Sylvia von Harden and King Karl clearly knows it.

Ballet Rehearsal, Degas
Painted in the early 1870s, Degas' ballet series was all sweetness and light in capturing the youthful elegance of the girls. Amongst a parade of monochrome madams and two really really ridiculously good-looking male models, it was Valentino's very own ballerina that had our hearts pirouetting. Her innocence commanded attention as she floated down the runway in her tiered tulle, face like a slapped arse because walking the show made her late to the dance rehearsals Degas wishes he could've painted.

The Great Wave, Hokusai
Faustine Steinmetz's brilliant hand-painted jeans drew us into the current trend for bold textures and deep into the work of Japanese artist Hokusai. Painted in 1831, The Great Wave crashes down before Mount Fuji — every shade of blue and white stirring the ocean and our souls. We too want a taste of the life aquatic, and a pair of Faustine's swell jeans.

Portrait of Dora Maar, Picasso
It was a little-known artist named Picasso who did the backstage makeup for Vivienne Westwood's gender-bending fall/winter 15 show… probably. Swapping canvas for model's faces, he recreated his abstract line drawings, embracing Viv's unisex concept and giving the boys exaggerated eyelashes to die for. Why don't we all decorate our faces in this way? It's only silly because you say it is.

Liberty Leading The People, Eugène Delacroix
Personifying the concept of freedom, Eugène Delacroix's Liberty lead Stella McCartney's army of structured silhouettes through the throws of fashion week. With her instantly recognizable one-sleeved dress (updated with a practical ribbed knit) she might not look like much, but she's full of hope and hope is a powerful thing.

Self Portrait, Egon Schiele
Having aced his course in natural sciences, Christopher Kane clearly moved onto human biology this term, studying the body and all of its hidden pleasures and treasures. Uniting on a sexual and spiritual level with Egon Schiele, the artist seemed to appear writhing in ecstasy across one of Kane's designs in amongst an orgy of electric orgasm dresses.

Madonna and Child, Rafael
Who doesn't love a bit of religious iconography? Often graced with flowers and candles to honor the mother of Christ, the Madonna and Child is one of our favorites. Walking in her own band of angelic beauties, Eloisa Fontes and her daughter (a thousand times more adorable than your average Renaissance baby) appeared flanked not by saints but Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, and were looked upon by the cherubic fashion babies of the frow. "Children are the future!" proclaimed Stefano. Viva la mamma.

Starry Night, Van Gogh
Following a breakdown and the resulting self-mutilation of his left ear, Van Gogh realized he'd gone too far and checked himself into the village lunatic asylum. Housed in a former monastery, Vince shotgunned a second room for use as his studio and began to paint the view from his window. He was so inspired by the night sky that he switched mediums and created the beautiful caped dress embroidered with gold and blue expressionistic swirling stars that showed in Valentino's fall/winter 15 collection.

Venus de Milo, Alexandros of Antioch
Hiding her face from the fans, Venus took a day trip from the Louvre to a derelict Parisian mansion where she walked for handsome young Frenchman Simon Porte Jacquemus. The stone-cold beauty, who has been fully embracing #freethenipple for over 2000 years now, switched her classic sarong for black velvet trousers to mark the occasion.

Temper Tantrum, Louise Bourgeois
Having written her art college thesis on the autobiographical artist, Simone Rocha turned to Louise Bourgeois for inspiration this season. Using tapestry, tailoring and a sense of stiffness throughout the collection, Rocha dressed Yana Van Ginneken in sculpted pale pink ruffles and a troubled expression. Very Louise Bourgeois. 


Text Francesca Dunn

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