11 Artful Fashion Shoots Inspired by Famous Paintings

Fashion month is in full swing! To capitalize on the runway spectacles that are happening in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, tons of museums — from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania — are opening exhibitions related to la mode. Art and fashion have had a long relationship, with major glossies inviting artists from Salvador Dalí to Barbara Kruger to direct or shoot their editorial content. But by far the most fun art-fashion fusions are the dozens of photo shoots replicating famous paintings by the likes of Klimt, Vermeer, and Lichtenstein. Here are 11 hilarious, odd, and sometimes even magical examples of fashion editorials inspired by art.


Nicki Minaj as Francois Boucher’s Bildnis der Marquise de Pompadour (1756)
W magazine, November 2011
Photo by Francesco Vezzoli

Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli has reimagined Eva Mendes as Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and transformed Lady Gaga into a member of the Ballets Russes. So it wasn’t much of a stretch when he photographed hip-hop star Nicki Minaj as various 18th-century French courtesans for W magazine’s 2011 art issue. The photos are based on actual portraits, including Francois Boucher’s painting of Madame de Pompadour, in which she’s wearing a big, green ruffled gown and holding a book.