Page Turners: Klimt Meets Couture

Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s Expectation (1909).

Upon seeing this 1965 Vogue Italia editorial (the likes of which are cousin to our Fashion from the ‘Art’ stylebook), I couldn’t help but utter a litany of ooh’s and aah‘s, the kind generally reserved for a raging fireworks display. Photographed by Norman Parkinson and inspired by the works of symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, this series of photographs had what it took to make my aesthetic A-list: whimsical vintage clothing, backdrop images from my favorite artist, and intriguing elements to examine.


Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s Hygeia (1907).


Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s Death and Life (1916).

Radiating honeyed light in the images that include Klimt’s Gold Phase work and dream-state fuzziness of his landscapes, this editorial’s ambiance is carefully and aptly chosen. It mimics the paintings by enfolding each model into the canvas she accompanies. You can almost picture these models curved around the interior of Klimt’s studio, holding impossibly still as he sketched them for his paintings.


Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s The Kiss (1908).


Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s Country Garden with Sunflowers (1906).

Even the clothes solidify this fashion-art fluidity, acting as an extension of the paintings they’re placed before–a delicate, romantic gown floating before The Kiss (two above), or the apple red mackintosh blooming out from Country Garden with Sunflowers (directly above).


Image via Ciao Vogue. Inspired by Klimt’s Poppy Field (1907).

Image via They Roared Vintage. Inspired by Klimt’s The Girlfriends (1916).

What do you think about this editorial? Does it do Klimt’s work justice?

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4 Responses to Page Turners: Klimt Meets Couture

  1. Victoria / Justice Pirate 08/29/2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Pretty good. A little weird. Klimt has been my favorite artist for half of my life, so I don’t know. . . .I feel like it is kinda like bad graffiti on my favorite artwork. >.<

    • adair 08/30/2012 at 3:00 pm #

      ditto to your last sentence.

      As an art historian and specifically a scholar of Klimt I feel like you totally missed the mark with that one.

  2. Eliza 08/30/2012 at 7:51 am #

    I think I need that sparkly dress! <3 this!

  3. Alexandra 08/31/2012 at 11:20 pm #

    The models here are in wonderful clothing, but it isn’t being utilized the right way. If they were imitating the artwork and becoming a part of each painting, instead of plastered over famous pieces/vague recreations of famous pieces, it may have worked better. The way it is, both are distracting from each other.

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