A model walks the runway at the Moschino show during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 on September 19, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Collaborations drive collections — and creativity — when it comes to high-fashion designers. Whether brands are teaming up with each another (Versace and Fendi is just one example) or joining forces with famous faces serving as celebrity ambassadors, these unique unions always create a buzz. But Salvador Dalí, Piet Mondrian and other renowned artists were on the forefront of some of fashion’s earliest partnerships. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Art Basel Miami Beach, GRAZIA USA explores some of the most memorable ties between the art and style worlds.

In the 1930s and ’40s, Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli set a bold new precedent for artistic, fashionable duos. The pair produced numerous pieces of wearable art, such as Schiaparelli’s famed shoe hat homage to the artist. And their 1937 lobster-print gown, made famous by Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, has earned a place in fashion history. Shortly after King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to marry the divorcée American socialite Simpson, she was photographed in the garden of the Château de Candé by Cecil Beaton wearing a silk organza Schiaparelli dress featuring a lobster design by Dalí splashed across the skirt. The frock again made waves 80 years later, when the fashion house revisited the iconic image and featured crustacean motifs in its Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection. Another designer with a penchant for fine art was Yves Saint Laurent, who began collecting at a relatively young age with his partner Pierre Bergé. The two accumulated masterpieces in the early ’50s, including works by the Dutch abstract impressionist Piet Mondrian. Three years after opening his own atelier, Saint Laurent featured the artist’s famed geometric compositions in six different color block styles in the Fall/Winter 1965 Haute Couture Mondrian collection. As Saint Laurent’s impressive art collection grew, so did his ability to scatter nods to art throughout his assortments. A big fan of Pablo Picasso, the designer incorporated references to the Spanish artist’s paintings, sculptures, and collages (such as his Cubist depictions of stringed instruments or 1938’s A Rooster) into many of his collections in the 1980s.

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 04: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) A model walks the runway during the Loewe Womenswear Fall/Winter 2022-2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 04, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

Picasso paintings popped up again many years later when creative director Jeremy Scott transformed models to appear as if they stepped right out of an abstract piece by the artistic icon for Moschino’s Spring/ Summer 2020 collection.

Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh has also served as inspiration for designers from Yves Saint Laurent and Martin Margiela to Rodarte and Dior — well over a century after his death. Meanwhile, Halston, Gianni Versace and Raf Simons, have all sartorially expressed their admiration for pop art icon Andy Warhol, whose work most recently influenced a holiday campaign and collaboration with Tiffany & Co. for the 2022 season. In her most recent collections, Stella McCartney has worked with Yoshitomo Nara, while Dame Vivienne Westwood, for her iconic Witches collection, tapped none other than Keith Haring. Over the years, Coach has paid tribute to neo-expressionist Jean- Michel Basquiat, Dior has drawn significant influences from Georgia O’Keeffe, and Chanel and J.W. Anderson have been inspired by Jean Cocteau. Most notably however, Louis Vuitton’s continued collaborations with the art world have set a high bar. It began in 2001 when then creative director Marc Jacobs tapped graffiti artist Stephen Sprouse to create new house motifs — which are still reimagined to this day. From there Vuitton has solidified their ties with artists by working with Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kutsama.

Models walk the runway during the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2016-2017 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 4, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Over the decades, artwork has continuously sparked ingenuity on the runways, and the creative flames it fans don’t appear to be diminishing any time soon.

Read GRAZIA Gazette: Art Basel, Edition 2:

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