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The Novel Way is POP! - 1st March 2013


It’s official! This season has seen the return of the futuristic Pop Art phenomenon of the 1960s and from catwalks to the high street, this is a trend not to be missed. Coinciding with Tate Modern’s first comprehensive Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective in over twenty years which opened on February 21, designers have paid homage to the American pop-artist, looking to him for inspiration for both Spring Summer and Autumn Winter 2013 with a prediction of more graphic prints and futuristic art influences for seasons to come.

Roy Lichtenstein’s inspirational Whaam!

Tom Fords Autumn Winter 2013 collection inspired by graphic prints

One of the most significant and influential advocates in the history of pop art, Roy Lichtenstein portrayed a contemporary outlook for the rise of printed mass media and consumer culture during the 1960s. With a directive towards the graphic simplicity, Roy Lichtenstein was renowned for his emphasis on comic strip illustration and advertising imagery with tongue in cheek Disney references. Designers have proved that oil on canvas can successfully be transmuted to fabric with Spring Summer 2013s graphic print, comic trend with an emphasis on marvel and prominent knitwear specialists Sister by Sibling who portrayed an inspiring Disney rebellion with pom pom hats and breath-taking colour arrangements.

Sister by Sibling’s Mickey inspired SS 2013 collection shown at London Fashion Week 

Evidently, this season has also seen the rise in collaborative efforts between designers and artists – think Gucci 2013 cruise collection which was then developed further using the colours and prints to create a comic book designed by a Japanese anime artist in continuing the comic book trend. It’s all about keeping the fashion elite interested and in September of last year during Fashion’s Night Out, Phillip Lim also released a personalised comic book adequately named “Kill the Night,” showcasing an artistic 3.1 Phillip Lim assortment.

Phillip Lim’s comic book, Kill the Night

In true fashion, some of the high streets top brands and retailers have cottoned on to such trend sensations, reproducing momentum from the catwalks at affordable prices. Noteworthy pieces resort to concept brand, The Ophan’s Arms, comic book t-shirt available from ASOS, inspired by maintaining “old world” views. We ourselves have paid homage, sourcing vintage Disney merchandise for our ASOS Marketplace. The most iconic would suggest being, Black Milk’s Campbell’s soup dress which has taken a visually interpreted pop artist Andy Warhol’s captivating Campbell’s Soup painting in the 1960s.


It’s not only the fashion forward to be truly inspired by the popular culture artists of the 1960s. Roy Lichtenstein shared his fascination for such art with the renowned public figure Andy Warhol, known not only for his art but for his intriguing lifestyle. Bringing fame to socialites such as fashion model Edie Sedgwick, she became the worlds “It Girl” of the 1960s which has influenced Pepsi in their most recent advertising campaign featuring the girl of the moment, Beyoncé.

Queen Beyoncé for Pepsi with orginal painting of Liza Minnelli by Andy Warhol

And to end on a positive note: the phenomenon of the trend was patently predicted by many – Marc Jacobs was immortalised and appeared as himself on an episode of South Park in early 2012 and in return created a capsule collection of t shirts featuring the naked characters with the slogan “Protect Your Largest Organ” for The Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group.

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is at Tate Modern from 21 February until 27 May.