20 August 2019

Summer holidays with the most fashionable accessories for day dreamers and lottery winners: Surrealistic dresses, game-changing caps and dog towels – all designed by artists.

By Antonia Lagemann

Still photo from the film Le P’tit Parigot & Model wearing swimsuit designed by Sonia Delaunay, 1928, Image via amazonaws.com

Sonia Delaunay, bathing suit and illustration, 1928, Image via blogspot.com

Extravagant: Knitted beach fashion 

For all those who like to stroll on their summer holidays and want to look fashionable while doing so, Sonia Delaunay has the answer: The Franco-Russian painter successfully collaborated with various fashion designers during the 1920s, transferring her geometrically-abstract chromatic forms to swimsuits, coats and driving caps. The swimsuit is actually more suitable for the promenade than for water: Drying could take forever.

Alex Israel, Vilebrequin Moorea trunks, Image via www.ft.com

The perfect wave

Funky times on the beach are guaranteed with the “Vilebrequin Moorea shorts”. Having grown up in Los Angeles, multimedia artist designer Alex Israel wanted to create a pair of shorts that paid homage to his teen surf movie “SPF-18”. Surfing aside: With these bright colors, you can distract from your beer belly and casually jump into the water regardless of whether you’re in the Baltic or on Venice Beach.  

Douglas Gordon, Non-Stop Cap, Image via https://www.gagosianshop.com/shop/douglas-gordon-non-stop-baseball-cap-pink-on-black
Monica Bonvicini, Guilt Cap, Image via https://www.koenig-souvenir.com/products/guilt-by-monica-bonvicini
 

 

Put-on nonchalance

When you don’t have coolness written on your face, just fake it. The “Non-Stop” cap by Douglas Gordon works just as well in the evenings at the beach party, and it basically says it all. “Guilt” by Monica Bonvicini follows the next morning. This goes hand in hand with the interest of both artists to question the conditions of human existence.

Sun-worshipping in style

A tanning session requires the right base. Barbara Kruger’s beach towel guarantees the attention of the Baywatch crew, while with Norbert Bisky’s “tribute to youth, freedom and sexuality” you are in at least as strong company as with Laurie Simmons’ tomato towel, which challenges female stereotypes. The perpetually humorous artist David Shrigley has even thought of our most loyal companions – and designed a dog towel.

Richard Prince, Moschino Limited Edition Red, White & Transparent Vinyl Tote Bag, 2000, Image via fineart.ha.com
It-bag

Basket-bag or jute satchel? Long since passé. Anyone who really wants to make a statement at the beach – and is happy to parade their extravagant bathing accessories around for all to see – can use this bag by Appropriation Artist Richard Prince. And if any kinds of disastrous misunderstandings mean you’re left without a roof over your head, then you can set up the bag as a rain shelter if necessary.

“Only art is king”

As a child, it was the annoying thing you had to wear to protect yourself from the sun on the beach – a nightmare if you then wanted to go swimming too. These days, a T-shirt is probably the easiest way to make a statement without having to open your mouth. But they’re often pretty embarrassing. An exception are the shirts by artists Richard Prince and Jonathan Meese, the latter known for his occasional transgressions: With them, you prove both style and eloquence.

David Hockney x The Ritva Man, Image via blogspot.com

For a fresh breeze

With this sweater, you can make as much of an impression in a fresh North Sea breeze as you can at the beach bar. It was designed by painter David Hockney – who is best known for his pool paintings – in cooperation with The Ritva Man, and dates back to 1971. Anyone who can find out whom the pullover was auctioned to a few years ago might still have a chance to grab this stylish unique piece.

Evening gown

With this dress, you never have to take sneaky glances at the dictionary in the restaurant again. Anyone who has any problems deciphering a menu in a foreign language can simply point to their “Lobster Dress”. It was designed in 1937 by Elsa Schiaparelli in cooperation with the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí – and then reissued around 80 years later. Anyone who finds the lobster dress too extravagant can simply opt for the snappier design featuring Campbell’s Soup. It’s not a good idea to wear the “Souper Dress” by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol in the rain, though – it’s made of paper.

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí, Le Roy Soleil, 1946, Image via fimgs.net

Sun king for a day

After the “Lobster Dress” came perfume “Le Roy Soleil” a few years later in 1946 by Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí. Here, Schiaparelli wanted to celebrate the end of the Second World War and worked with her friend Dalí again, who aimed to pay homage to the Sun King Louis XIV in his design. “Though too expensive and too sophisticated for the general public, it was a lovely object destined not to die,” was how Schiaparelli described it. We can’t imagine a more fitting description.

Miuccia Prada and Damien Hirst, Entomology collaboration © Prada and Damien Hirst/Science Ltd., Image via www.damienhirst.com

The bug bag

The icing on the cake of extravagance and decadence comes in the form of this little handbag. The insects enclosed in Plexiglas will no doubt serve as mosquito repellent as well as ample fodder for small talk, like so many works by Damien Hirst, known for his morbid art and most important representative of the Young British Artists Profits from the sale of the bag are donated to ROTA (Reach Out To Asia), a non-profit organization that helps to ensure access to education for children and young people worldwide.

Damien hirst + Alexander McQueen, Monos Scaef, Courtesy Alexander McQueen, Image via www.designboom.com

I wanna be like Grace Kelly!

In that case, Damien Hirst again would have something to offer. In cooperation with Alexander McQueen, he has designed a plethora of beautiful and indeed some less beautiful silk scarves. This way, you can dazzle in the convertible as magnificently as Grace Kelly. With this and the insect bag, your outfit for the evening is complete.

Alex Israel x Rimowa, Image via www.rimowa.com

How to shine at the airport

When the contents are so spectacular, you need the packaging to match. With this Rimowa suitcase designed by Alex Israel, you’ll be in no danger of missing your luggage on the conveyor belt. Just make sure that no one deliberately swipes it. And on that note: have a safe trip!