Icons / August 2018

Style Heroes: Andy Warhol

In what would’ve been the year of Andy Warhol’s 90th birthday, we look to the iconic artist for a lesson in balancing understated elegance with avant-garde cool.

The ever-eccentric Andy Warhol poses by a mirror next to a skull.

Artist, ad man, icon: the inimitable Andy Warhol was a key cultural figure of the 20th century whose name became synonymous with a whole movement. His bold contributions to pop art had, and continue to have, enormous influence in the creative industries, not least the world of fashion – think Versace’s 1991 dress emblazoned with those iconic screen prints of Monroe and Dean, Diane Von Furstenberg’s 2014 ‘Pop Wrap’ anniversary collection, or pretty much anything Jeremy Scott designs for Moschino. Over thirty years since his passing, it’s not uncommon to encounter whole fashion editorials dedicated to the artist, brimming with graphic prints, bold primary colours and consumerist logos. The Warholian aesthetic is embedded in our understanding and appreciation of style, where it will presumably remain for decades to come.

As influential as his art is in shaping fashion trends, it is Warhol’s own style that we aspire to emulate, a style that – like many celebrated creators – came to represent a distinct aspect of his personal brand. Ironically though, his dress sense was defined by a vastly different aesthetic to that of his idiosyncratically garish prints. Whilst his work was hallmarked by colour, he was all leather jackets and dark sunglasses, adopting a largely achromatic uniform that he rarely strayed from. With his signature silver wig, pale skin and gaunt features, he appeared otherworldly, a conspicuous deviation from the glamorous glitterati of Studio 54, with whom he spent much of his time socialising.

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Aobh O'Brien-Moody

Editorial Assistant at The Rake