You know you've made when you're invited to work on an editorial for French Vogue. Loads of fashion blogs are fronting this shoot in a frenzy of graffiti-meets-couture posts - but I suggest you get the real deal direct from the horses mouth. Kaws blog.
The shoot was put together by Photographer and Director, Mario Sorrenti, who invited Kaws to collaborate (and I love collabs). If you haven't heard of Sorrenti by name, there's no doubt you'll know his work. Sorrenti's 1993 photograph of Kate Moss for Calvin Klein Obsession is arguably one the most prolific and memorable for both the brand and the model.
When I first looked at Sorrenti's flicks, I thought to myself 'remove model, insert Lady Gaga'. And not necessarily to the benefit of the shots. As beautiful as I think Sorrenti's November 09 Vogue editorial is, I'm a bit over the Lady Gaga thing that's seems to be sticking to almost everything like flies to shit right now.Although I have to admit, I do like the lace mask.
But as much as graffiti couture is so hot right now according to all the fashion blog hype saying this shoot is God's gift: it's really nothing new. One of the most iconic examples of fashion design-meets-graffiti comes in the form of the late Stephen Sprouse. Sprouse was using graffiti in his couture as early as 1983. Here's one of his 1984 sketches:
Of course Sprouse's designs are now iconic and easily recognised as part of recent Louis Vuitton collections.
Beginning in 2001, Sprouse began working with Marc Jacobs on a collaboration collection for Louis Vuitton. The results looked a little like this:
Since Sprouse's untimely death in 2004, Jacobs' has gone on to spearhead a number of Sprouse-inspired collections for Louis Vuitton (I'd love a pair of the 2009 leggings!).
All this couture shit has pushed graffiti fashion prices a little out of reach for ordinary folk like myself (US$600 for the Sprouse leggings is a little steep). If you still want a little slice a graffiti couture but can't afford the price tag, there are some alternatives. Here are just a couple of my favs... Check out Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field's pieces that pay tribute to Sprouse. You pick up Pat's signature leggings for US$68 or a tote for just under US$200. A lot easier on the bank account than Louis!
Or Insa heels.
Or of course, you could check out some of Kaws' very own Original Fake line. Not much for the ladies though, unless you're down for something over size...