Before being creators, fashion designer are collectors. In their search for novelty and inspirations, they gather references and then dissect their findings, in search of what they need for their collection, purging them from the superfluous and un-interesting. In this process, not evens bodies are safe, as they get dismembered and severed, and sometimes just the heads live out to their designs.
In art, it was Andy Warhol who, in 1962, realized the famous diptych of silkscreens featuring the face of American diva Marilyn Monroe. The diptych, as part of a wider series of celebrities’ portraits, become itself iconic in respect to the work of the artist, and of Pop art and culture; it is still considered today an influential art piece for its multiplicity of meanings.
It is reasonable to say that the same complexity of meanings and intentions invests the use of celebrities faces in fashion as well. Although sometimes just the features of certain celebrities, whether used as a print or as a decoration, can make fans sob and sigh, celebrities’ faces on clothes envision or enhance the concept of the collection and sometimes, they serve to embody the ideals of the brand.
More than collaborations, icons of the past and the latest stars are used to illustrate the narrative of the collections. Sometimes out of their contexts, these images gain new values or are used in antithetic circumstances to create new meanings or question others. Other times, they are tributes to a particular muse and in their most extreme and outspoken way they are shaped or constructed to resemble their most visible and memorable feature – their image.