Our world’s history has been dictated by several movements. Art movements including those that are pronounced by way of a manifesto and a proposed purpose and the other few that are made retrospectively regardless of individual inspirations or intentions had been catalytic in influencing our society. Pop art was a movement that had no central manifesto but even in its infancy, it was acutely self-aware, born of a post-war media culture. Pop artists revamped old strategies with new subjects and techniques, quickly eliminating the trace of the artist’s hand in the artwork in favour of the look of a mass-produced object such as soup cans, washing powder, comic strips and soda pop bottles, the movement turned the commonplace into icons. The world had become a comic strip. As it grew outwards, it entered the lanes of fashion influencing designers who had found abundant ways of experimenting and reinventing art’s most accessible genre into their own imaginative interpretation.
“The pop art movement emerged after the end of World War II in mid-1950s in the United Kingdom and the late 1950s in the United States. From Andy Warhol’s soup cans and signature silver hair to Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! and Peter Blake’s badges, fashion designers have always gotten inspirations from pop artists and loved telling the tales on the runway,” says designer Sneha Mehta of Kukoon, adding, “Pop split in different directions including psychedelic and conceptual art before mutating into what is loosely called postmodernism. So vast and influential was pop that a merge between the worlds of art with fashion was inevitable.”
Since designers have always been on a lookout for exclusively individualistic pieces, this trend helps in seamlessly breaking the outline of homogeneity, avers designer Gautam Gupta. “Trends in fashion keep evolving with the creators constantly looking forward to innovate the existing and giving a fresh take to the ordinary. The trend is gaining great popularity lately essentially because it takes a simple doodle, tattoo graphic, etc. to put together a new level of sophistication while lending a whole new creative vision,” he adds.
Pop art prints look beautiful in gowns, A-line dresses, shift dresses, trousers, jackets, shirts, etc. About incorporating it in our everyday wardrobe, designer Sakshi Relan shares, “These prints can be worn as really big and casual motifs on shirt dresses and gowns with a lot of experimentation with their placements. And when it comes to formal wear we can take fashion a notch higher by donning these prints as smaller motifs. If you are afraid to experiment then either use them as an accent (say in a scarf or a bag) or go for strong pieces paired with solids and neutrals.”
On the fabric front, designer Sunieta Narayana points out, “Gabardine, satin, georgette, linen and even leather work really well. However, don’t make the look cluttered, don’t let print overwhelm you, let the silhouette and cut do justice to the print, have fun and express yourself.”...