Wearable Art: Alice + Olivia Remembers Basquiat With New Collection

Scratches and scribbles. Splatters of bright paint. A gold, three-point crown. Staples in Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s work. Except this time, instead of on a canvas, these tell-tale artist signatures cover jeans, skirts, tops, and dresses.  For her Resort 2017 collection designer Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia teamed up with the Basquiat estate to create pieces inspired by his work that are best described as wearable art.


The Radiant Child

While I know a lot of art history, I’m not heavily informed on the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, when I saw these pieces, something about them instantly stopped me. That’s the beauty of Basquiat’s work. You don’t need to know his story. You don’t need to know the meaning. But you see his work and it stops you. You can’t help but look.

While doing this post, I felt inspired to get to know the man behind the artwork a little more. I read about his early life and how he got into painting at a young age, dubbed “The Radiant Child” by an art critic. I read about his success and how he and others of the time became the zeitgeist of 1980’s New York City culture.  One article cited how he used his three-point crown symbol in ’81 and ’82 as a way to show homage to people and things he admired and respected while also using it as a way to elevate himself. His short life came to an end in 1988 earning him a spot in the infamous 27 Club with the likes of Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Jimi Hendrix.

Art Meets Fashion

I love when fashion crosses over into other worlds. Instead of just selling a product, it can also pay homage to something in society and do charitable deeds. This collection does all those things. If nothing else, this collection inspired me to do some research and learn new things about an iconic cultural figure I admittedly didn’t know much about. To see more of this collection, check out Vogue’s coverage here and be sure to visit Alice and Olivia’s web site to see more of Bendet’s work.



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