Geometric trend in fashion: Mondrian Inspiration

Cubism has made appearances on the fashion world. Cubism symbolizes a break with the stereotypes of art that remain until the time of its creation in the early years of the twentieth century. This artistic movement adds a new prism to represent on canvas what surrounds us. In itself, this is to synthesize the straight geometric shapes, usually squares and rectangles. It can speak of Cubism in general, but the artistic movement of this branch has had more impact on fashion is the Neoplasticism (De Stijl), which arises in 1917.  As we have commented before, Mondrian is represented in different stuffs, but now I’m going to talk about his relevance on fashion in a more extended way.

Specifically, what catches my attention is the representation of the works of Mondrian in tissues. The artist Piet Mondrian created a non-subjective art, but analytical internal structure of reality, mostly creating geometric abstractions. It can be said that his intention was to strip things of the transient and circumstantial, leaving only the form (lines) and color to reach its essence. He intended to create an artistic language of universal validity.

Designers of today as Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Christian Louboutin and Matthew Williamson have seen in Mondrian his muse to make their fashion lines. Agatha Ruiz de la Prada applies Mondrian paintings to her designs with a motley mix of colors her style, but without leaving behind the structural lines, which conform squares.

ImagenÁgatha Ruiz de la Prada, autum-winter collection 2009/2010

Christian Louboutin, a famous French fashion designer women’s footwear, created a perfect representation of the painting Yellow, red, black and blue in a pair of shoes, they become very famous and trendy. The designer plays with the continuity of the lines on the straps that hold the foot to the sole of the shoe, being the heel and sole part of the framework of lines.


Fashion houses, like the italian Costume National and The Rodnik Band have also represented Mondrian in their lines. The latter was founded by Philip Colbert, a creative musician, artist and designer that combines this three scopes under one label, searching the term ‘fashion’ in it. The Rodnik Band creates designs inspired in Mondrian but with a much more pop and casual appearance, displacing fill colors from the linear structures.


Yves Saint Laurent was a designer who in 1961 captured the famous pictures of Mondrian on his dresses exactly or with slight variations in the rigid forms and with the same colors (red, yellow, black, white and blue). It could say that this was a tribute more than a work developed by Yves Saint Laurent, as he didn’t add his own decorative elements.


Prada signature followed his example and created a similar line but with an oldschool style. The designer Sarah Schofield did what Yves Sain Laurent, but with feminine swimwear. I consider that the spanish designer Ana Locking was who most own work apported to her designs even basing its in Mondrian. She knew how to capture the essence of the painter in their dresses and suits, but varying in different forms, such as peaks and straight lines that are not strictly cubes. We can see this in his autumn-winter collection 2011/12.


Ana Locking, autum-winter collection 2011/2012

– Artículo escrito por Carolina Moya


http://www.vistelacalle.com, Piet Mondrian: El abstraccionista que inspira a los diseñadores, 2012

http://elpais.com, La importancia de llamarse Mondrian, 2011


The body as a canvas

Body art is an unconventional pictorial art in the history of art of the western continent; a form of expression not only artistic, but cultural. Basically it is about using, as the name implies, the body as a canvas on which to paint. This aesthetic tendency means the release of the body for some people.

This technique is not new to man, because dyes and paints were used to decorate the body in prehistory. Most tribal cultures practiced (and still practice) this art. In African tribes was used as a symbolic and/or decorative element for different events and activities, such as hunting, a funeral rite or worship a higher being. Of course, the materials they used were crude, as chalk, clay, ash, animal blood, and so on. It was also used as camouflage.


Other cultures have used body painting; the great Egyptian empire practiced it for different motives, and also the Eastern culture. In the lattest, especially in the area of India, the hand-painting is an ancient and common practice today, which consists of decorating hands with henna (temporary red natural dye made ​​from plants). It’s commonly used in Indian culture as symbolic decoration in wedding ceremonies.

Once clear background left, it should be explain that this practice reappeared in the West and began to spread towards the end of the second half of the twentieth century. The difference it had with the body painting of ancestors or other cultures is that it’s no longer a ceremonial act, it becomes a more aesthetic and artistic trends. The body art is a technique that requires a lot of skill to represent the appropriate stage in the body of the model. The subject varies a lot from landscapes -camouflage-, through pictures, even clothing; creating very believable optical effects.

The body art has become more popular in advertising from XXI century as has also been used in other fields such as tv shows, dramatic arts, costumes, dances… And the way of painting also varies, from brushes to airbrush.

Thus, various brands have used this type of art starring in their campaigns. One of these brands is Nokia, which launched an awareness campaign about car accidents with pedestrians. The ad say “Eyes on the road, not on your phone”. The body art that is used here has a clear role of camouflage.


Other campaigns, such as the investment firm Schroders or the telecommunications at&t, use body painting in order to simulate a different reality, whether an animal or a stage.



– Artículo escrito por Carolina Moya


http://edant.larazon.com; El “body painting” y el cuerpo como expresión artística y cultural, 2007

http://www.cuerpospintados.com; Orígenes, 2008


Mondrian’s Simple Lines

If you remember, we have seen different examples of artists who have influenced advertising. Mondrian is another example of this.

Mondrian (1872-1944) was a teacher ad a school but he also found time to paint landscapes and images of the Netherlands that belonged to his Impressionist or Naturalist period. After participating in different movements, Mondrian decided to found the Neoplasticism. This movement, also known as De Stijl, aimed for the restoration of art and wanted to give it new arguments that were universal and pure.  Around 1925 Mondrian decided to leave the group because he was looking for some universal artistic language and he wanted to strip the fleeting quality off the reality. This led him to reduce things to vertical and horizontal lines and the three primary colours together with black, grey and white. This thinking was influenced by the work of the Dutch mathematician M.H.J. Schoenmaekers. Mondrian’s best-known painting is Composition with large red plane, yellow, black, grey and blue.


If we pay attention, we discover that these works have greatly influenced commercial art and advertising. Some examples can be the packagings in L’Oreal Studio, where the use of lines and colours is very close to Mondrian’s paintings.


The French bicycle manufacturer LOOK is a fantastic example of Mondrian’s influence. Just take a look at the logo.


Continuing with the cycling industry, the cycling team la Vie Claire had its corporative colours added to the maillots following Mondrian’s style. This maillot, designed by Benetton, is a clear and colourful example of the fusion between art and sport.


Oreca racing team presented this car to the Le Mans 24 hour race in 2008, again a great example of Mondrian’s influence. The car was so popular that it even appeared in a McDonald’s spot.

Even if Mondrian has not directly influenced advertising as such, it surely has helped brands and their marketing departments create products and logos inspired by Mondrian. Products that will undoubtedly be remembered forever, such as Yves Saint-Laurent’s dress.


Natalia Barcelona


(2010). Available on 28.04.2013


(2010). Available on 28.04.2013


Available on 28.04.2013


Available on 28.04.2013


(2008). Available on 28.04.2013




In the 60s society has been related to pop culture. Its first appearance dates back to 1947 in a collage of Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) but it would be in the 50s when his masterpiece become an icon of the era. World War II consequences were overcome and Europe and America had a fruitful economical evolution. That’s the reason of the idea that it was a consumer society and this movement will be reflect into a new consumption art. In its apparent frivolity and lightness, a new trend encompasses other vanguard’s contributions.

Pop-art refers Dadaism in the art’s nature and artistic object reflection but there is a new aesthetic that it’s the only way to understand pop-art like Campbell’s soap, Marilyn’s portrait.

Aesthetic has become a very important factor, the return to realistic figuration and the reject of others vanguard’s intellectual synthesizing. The most important movement’s authors are Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, George Segal and Andy Warhol.

Advertising analysis of a work seen from pop-art’s synthesizing


When we are watching a piece of advertising like these suddenly we can observe that they are absolutely influenced by pop-art. This trend was a life style’s result. It’s a plastic manifestation of a culture characterized by technology, fashion and consumption. Objects leave the idea of special and unique and they become churned. Mass consumption culture had reflected into an intelligent and aesthetic reality.

Their themes are expected from the urban environment, they were submerged in social and cultured aspects like comics, photography, television, radio, and advertising. They didn’t want to represent the violence of a lack of critic aspects; they wanted to have some superfluous reasons.

There is an inexpressive mood, repetitive. There is a reference of a status, fame, violence, and disasters attached with industrial technology and consumption society.

Advertisement and pop-art use a pure, brilliant and fluorescent colour.  That’s the reason of the society’s impact; their masterpieces are so impressing and very relaxing. That’s a good art to reflect the people’s mindset’s change.



Ignacio Vela


Buenaga, I. M. (2003). Historia del Arte. España: ECIR.

Designmodo. (12 de Noviembre de 2012). The bricks give. Recuperado el 25 de Abril de 2013, de designyoutrust: http://designyoutrust.com/2009/07/limited-edition-pop-art-for-dkny-be-delicious-fragrance/

Digiarte. (s.f.). Digiarte. Recuperado el 25 de Abril de 2013, de WordPress.com: http://digiarte.wordpress.com/about

Foiret, C. (12 de Noviembre de 2009). F Fashion. Recuperado el 27 de Abril de 2013, de Trendland.com: http://trendland.com/ray-ban-colorize-campaign/

Story, T. a. (s.f.). The art story. Recuperado el 25 de Abril de 2013, de Your guide to Modern art: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-pop-art.htm


Pop Art´s circles

50´s saw bright light a new world. A world destroyed by the II World War and it was divided in two big poles, two ways to look life: USA vs. U.R.S.S. The Cold War started in a world which needed peace like never before. People hadn’t expectation in the future; they just wanted to erase atrocious moments that II World War did.

Young girl protests against Vietnam War.

Young girl protests against Vietnam War.

Lot of artistic movements appeared to show dehumanization of mankind. Art reflected a coldness and cruel humanity. This view was caused by the last years: Nazi´s abuses; catastrophic war and the misery of countries. Artists found express the crap of this world.

In USA young artists declared that Abstract expressionism, which had prevailed over art outlook, it had come so academic and it wasn’t emotionally honest.  At the same time, the spectators were sick of abstract. That was why Pop Art rose up independently in USA and UK.

Pop mind

 Quickly, the majority of young people fell of Pop Art.  In USA this movement came a regarding of new American culture: Purchase and capitalism devotion. Pop had own culture, mind and view of world.   Happiness was Pop Art´s motto. That was able to see in this lithographs, drawings and paintings. Obviously this movement was inspired by its reality; new purchases society. The Pop Art´s artists were advertising agent,  designers, cartoonist, etc. That means: they were people who kept on about daily contact with the new capitalistic ideology. They created works to people like them. Pop Art got to democratize art. Artist thought art was a kind of consumer good. Everybody had the right to have an art work.

In this era advertising started to an esthetic developing. It wasn’t so important “what it says” like “how it says”. People found in advertising other art expression.  So that´s difficult to know which was inspire first. Probably they were inspired by each other.

Discovering Lichtenstein´s world

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

Pop Art showed goods and consumers. Lichtenstein´s works reproduced Medias and social speech. He drew American consumers doing daily actions, he knew catch young American attitude. We see girls talking by the phone, using goods or they bursting into tears.  Lichtenstein became a comic sign. Since 21st February 2013, until 27th May 2013, Tate Moderns of London compiles Lichtenstein´s works in an exhibition. Iria Candela, Tate Modern’s Lichtenstein exhibition curator, analyzes works of this Pop artist. She states that Lichtenstein was interested how Media’s images affected us perception of reality (El ‘pop art’ de Lichtenstein, en 125 obras”, El mundo.es). The Artist used to draw comic technique because he wanted to evaluate how influence esthetic on people mind.  We travel to Tate to look over Lichtenstein´s exhibition with Iria Candela.  

We can see clearly Lischtenstein´s feature in a DKNY´s advertising campaign in August 2009:  “DKNY Be Delicious Art Series”. It was a limited edition. DKNY chose Pop Art because it is energetic and youthful. The packaging and poster of this collection could save like art work.  Here we make aware Pop Art is a young movement because it can catch their spirit.

DKNY´s Packaging of Lichtenstein´s art

DKNY´s Packaging of Lichtenstein´s art


“DKNY Be Delicious Art Series” inspired by Lichtenstein

Pop Art´s look

Pop Art stood for fluorescents colors, fame, popular culture and hedonism. Pop claimed attention on concepts which had been ignoring before like: advertising, comic, hot dogs, consumer goods, etc. Pop Art had a lot of artist with a personal expression who they tried to get the beauty of this new superficial society. They used to escape of nature. Pop artists loved urban lights, crowd and big towns. But , sometimes, they saw these elements with an ironical view. Artists wanted to use esthetics in style to show pleasure of society.

One of advertising´s characteristics is to utilize varied techniques. It can be inspired by art, reality, philosophy… everything which is around advertising affects it. Advertising uses the best means for communicate a message. Depend on public it needs one way or another.

Surely Pop Art will go on inspiring advertising because it´s a fun esthetic way to face life. It´s something that work. Everybody must be looking the world with Pop Art´s filter, at least once.

Warhol´s look : Pop Art´s look

Warhol´s look : Pop Art´s look

Referencias citas en el artículo:

EFE (martes 19 de abril de 2013). El ‘pop art’ de Lichtenstein, en 125 obras”, El mundo.es. Consultado el 28 de abril de 2013

Roy Lichtenstein, Tate.org. Consultado el 28 de abril de 2013


http://www.tate.org.uk, Roy Lichtenstein, 2013

http://www.tate.org.uk, “Lichtenstein: A restrospective” , 2013

http://www.elmundo.es, “El pop art de Lichtenstein, en 125 obras” , 2013

pinceladasdearte2b.blogspot.com.es, “arte y publicidad y viceversa”, 2012

blogsociales4luciaruiz.blogspot.com.es, “contexto artistico: el pop art” , 2009

popart22.blogspot.com.es, “contexto histrico pop” , 2005

http://www.historiadelarte.u, Las vanguardias: pop-art, 2010

Celia Fumanal


Dalí´s brand : lots-faces 

Who are you Salvador?

     Dalí personifies Surrealism for a lot of people. We know that Surrealism is not just an art movement; also it’s a way of life, it´s an attitude too. But, Dalí created Surrealism or Surrealism built Dali? It´s difficult separate both concepts.

One of Dalí´s moustaches

One of Dalí´s moustaches

We can see different characters on long Dalí´s life. But sometimes it is impossible to distinguish between each.

Dalí was a surrealist artist but wasn´t a common surrealist. The divergence between surrealist group and Dalí it was a fact. Dalí´s attitude was the reason why French Surrealism throughout Dalí from these French group.

In a chaotic world which was more and more interested in advertising and purchases, Salvador Dalí created a reputation. Dalí introduced himself like a brand. He loved that people talked about him but he didn´t care what people said. Dalí admired the exhibitionism character of advertising and he felt identify with it. He didn’t just want to become a milestone by his pictures, he wanted to find the eternity being an art of work himself. Like good advertising that it remains on costumer mind. To gain a foothold in Medias, Dalí used advertising and public relations strategies. He used to be a polemic person for public opinion. There were people who love him, and people who were sorry for his madness. Dalí built his brand over the eccentricity, the nuisance, and even, the madness. But this attitude didn´t please other surrealist. They didn’t understand Dalí. They refused his love of money. Even Bretón called him and Gala pejoratively: Avida dollars.

 Tzara, Eluard, Bretón, Hans Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst,  Crevel, Man Ray

French Surrealism -1930 : Tzara, Eluard, Bretón, Hans Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Crevel, Man Ray


Dalí in the focal point

     If we analyze Dalí when he lived in New York we find a celebrity. During this age Salvador approached to advertising and Medias. But contrary to people think Dalí wasn´t rich. Even sometimes, he didn´t have money for food. Salvador was so busy looking for his new personality. This character was developing at the same time as consume society. Dalí was interested in advertising and he knew how create an excellent publicity. Dalí was enough interesting for Medias. During 1940-1965 almost every day Medias talked about him. And he made an effort to be published in newspaper.


Dalí ´s interview. 1973

Dalí worked hard on his image. His public appearances were pretty deliberates. Dalí understood the importance of distinction from other artists, and he wanted to keep up loyal in his target. He took care of his look. Llongueras, a fashion stylist, designed for Salvador some moustaches and wigs. Dalí analyzed when he had to wear them. Dalí signed all he did, but not just with his signature, even with his styling too. The paranoia and irrationality were his motto.

Dalí ´s interview…again.

The artist had an advertising career. He participated in advertising campaigns in Spain and EEUU. Also Dalí stared in some ads and he posed like a model for few magazines and spots (Lanvin´s chocolates, Braniff´s airline, Datsun´s cars, etc.) Even he created a new logo for Chupa-Chups, a Spanish company.  He designed jar of perfumes and other objects.

Once Salvador Dalí declared that the best professional moment he lived, it was thanks for advertising but when advertising isn’t organized. He believed in the spontaneity.

Dalí-Gala: In love of Surrealism

Love of Gala-Dalí

Gala-Dalí. 1932

   If we talk about Dalí, it isn’t impossible not to name Gala; his muse, his confident. Gala was the woman who got to know the surrealist´s secrets, specifically Dalí ´s secrets. We can find all Gala´s memories in her personal journal that was published in 2011: Gala Dalí. La vida secreta. Diario íntimo (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2011) This diary was discovered at Gala and Dalí´s house: Púbol´s castell, after the death of Dalí. She was one of the reasons why Dalí was ejected by French surrealists.

“En el fondo, no sabes dónde acaba Gala y empieza Dalí”(Polo, Toni  “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí. Público.es)  said the philologist, Aguer, when she studied the Gala´s diary. Gala was affected by the artistic torment of Dalí. It wasn’t easy to live with an artist. A lot of historian or art history teachers, like Estrella de Diego, agree Gala played an important role in creation of Dalí. 


Dalí wants to be Dalí

        In spite of Dalí never showed himself without masks, behind all kind of Dalís they could exist, he always was aware that he had worked to find the real Salvador Dalí… his whole life. He declared: “I´m never by myself. I´m in the habit of being always with Salvador Dali. Believe me, it’s an unending party.” (” More Dalí quotes and phrases“,Spanish-Learning-Corner.com)

Behind the Dalí ´s brand always had been the genius: Salvador Dalí.


Referencias de las citas en el artículo :

Polo, Toni (08 de abril de 2011). “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí. Público.es. Consultado el 17 de abril de 2013.

Collell Badia, Mercè (Martes, 15 de enero de 2008). ” Salvador Dalí, la creación de un personaje”. Diván el terrible.Psicoánlisis y sociedad. Consultado el 19 de abril de 2013

Webgrafa :

http://www.publico.es, “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí , 2013

http://www.spanish-learning-corner.com , More Dalí quotes and phrases“, 2012

divanelterrible.com, “Salvador Dalí, la creación de un personaje”, 2013

http://www.liceus.com, “Diario de un genio”: Salvador Dalí , 2013


Would Magritte approve?

Has art been an inspiration for advertisers? Has it somehow influenced publicity? Of course. We only have to look through a magazine or watch television to see this. Surrealism, with artists such as Renée Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Man Ray or Joan Miró, is a movement that has greatly influenced different types of art (cinema, painting or music). Some of the elements that characterise Surrealism are the interest in dreams, in dream-like atmospheres or in chance.

One of the artists who have the most influence on advertisers and publicity is Renée Magritte (1898-1967), who painted his way through Dadaism and evolved to Surrealism with influences of other movements such as Cubism, Orphism, Futurism or Impressionism.

In some of his paintings Magritte played with the realist images he painted and a series of words, which created a unusual association. Magritte’s paintings also have a touch of reverie, a daydream quality which define the Magic Realism movement. This type of realism has widely influenced other types of art, for instance advertising.

This is the case of the Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion and Allianz campaigns.

Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion advertising campaign


The agency DDB, which created this advertisement for Volkswagen, reinterpreted Magritte’s piece ‘The Son of Man’. This advertisement represents the “absurdly low” fuel consumption of the car. Magritte’s original painting shows a man in a bowler hat, who becomes a service station attendant with an hourglass instead of the apple as his face.

fils de l'homme

Next to the man in the advert there is a chess game going on where we can see two very different parts: trees on one side and the oil industry on the other. It looks like trees are defeating the industry, since there are many of its pieces out of the game and even falling off the board. There are other elements in the advert that show Magritte’s influence.


For example, the easel next to the chess game may represent another of his paintings, ‘Human Condition’. Through the Volvo shape we can see a blue sky, recurrent in other of Magritte’s paintings. Another element we could find interesting is the bottled oil tanker, which may be trying to convince the buyer that, since the car has a low consumption, it will pollute less.

Allianz advertising campaign

 allianz-magritte-banana-peel-small-96044 allianz-magritte-tile-small-61037

In this case the agency Atletico International Advertising reinterpreted one of Magritte’s most famous works ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ for their campaign for the insurance company Allianz. These images show daily elements that may turn into a threat or danger in our every day lives, such as a banana peel or a roof tile. The object of the campaign is that we need to contract an insurance with Allianz to protect ourselves from these threats. The advertisers are trying to make us see beyond what is in the advert.


The advertisements copy the same style of the original painting. Magritte presents a combination of an image and a sentence and tells us that what we see is not what we think it is: we see a pipe, therefore we think it is a pipe. However, it is not a pipe. It is the representation of a pipe.

It may seem curious that, while Magritte did not intend to sell his paintings using these characteristics, advertising agencies use Magritte’s resources to try and convince potential buyers to buy their products or services.

Natalia Barcelona


Fondation Magritte. Available on 19.04.2013:


Leon Barreto, L. (2012). El realismo mágico de Magritte. Available on 18.04.2013:


Pulido, N. (2009). El realismo mágico de Magritte. Available on 20.04.2013:


Roque, G. La estrategia de Magritte, translated by Guadalupe Nettel. Available on 20.04.2013: http://mexiqueculture.pagesperso-orange.fr/nouvelles4-roque.htm

San Gregorio, E. (2012). Renée Magritte y el realismo mágico. Available on 19.04.2013:


terrada. (2012). Esto no es un anuncio de Allianz Seguros. Avaliable on 18.04.2013:


terrada. (2012). Volkswagen, Magritte y Dalí. Available on 18.04.2013:


(2002, last modification 2003). Renée Magritte, 1898-1967. Available on 19.04.2013: