Fashion Brands Get on the Basel Bandwagon

December 02, 2013 | by lauren finney | Style & Beauty

ARt basel fashion The Dior Homme Spring collection is a nod to Art Basel.

The relati onshi p between art and fashion has been a long and symbiotic one (remember Yves Saint Laurent and his famous interpretation of a Mondrian?). This resort season, Sportmax was influenced by Ron Jude’s Executive Model, focusing on the details of ’90s Wall Streeters, with the collection including a palette of black, white, gray, and Financial Times pink for an effective nod to business. Reed Krakoff drew from the landscapes of Robert Motherwell’s Open series for his asymmetrical draped dresses, while Lisa Perry used the saturated tones of Pop artist Tom Wesselmann to punctuate her resort collection.

ARt basel fashion Sportmax heel inspired by Ron Jude’s Executive Model.

Lately, however, designers have been inspired particularly by the excitement of Art Basel Miami Beach, invigorating Miami once again this December. For Kris Van Assche, creative director of Dior Homme (161 NE 40th St., Miami), the energy of the city informed his men’s ready-to-wear Spring 2014 collection. Building on the classic slim-fit black Dior Homme suit, the collection gets an infusion of Miami-minded fun, color, and energy. “Art Basel is such a huge contradiction between the art scene and the general scene in Miami,” Van Assche says. “You couldn’t have a bigger one—the contrast of having a formal exhibition on the beach, of having to wear a tuxedo on the beach. But there was also such a sense of fun to all of this in Miami.” Sport shirts and pullovers get art-inspired collars and cuffs, while cobalt blue adds a shock of saturated color throughout the collection.

Womenswear designer Michelle Smith, who designs the Milly line (Bloomingdale’s, Aventura Mall, 19555 Biscayne Blvd., 305-792-1000), wanted to make “look-at-me party dresses” for the show: Neoprene skirts and cropped tops in saturated water-color prints accomplish that goal. Pops of neon pink and yellow electrify the collection, while black and white geometric prints and graphic color-blocking lend an architectural—and very Miami—bent. Smith named her resort collection Art Basel or Bust. “Art Basel Miami has become a major highlight of the holiday/resort season,” she says. “It’s the place where every Milly It girl wants to see and be seen.”

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