This week’s “Art of Lingerie” post is all about Roy Lichtenstein, who made some incredible Pop Art paintings. I find that Lichtenstein’s art is definitely more cerebral than it appears on first glance; his usual style was to create works in the style of comic books painted on large canvases, which can seem simple, even juvenile, when you first look at it, but when the piece takes up the majority of a wall, its primary colors can make a much stronger impression. The snippets of dialogue that Lichtenstein includes take on an almost sinister meaning when they are displayed with only the context of the image around them. Another distinctive Lichtenstein trait was his use of “Benday dots,” the dots of color that were used as a cheap way to create shading in comic books at the time, but which took on a distinctive style when reproduced in Lichtenstein’s large paintings.
This painting is really quite disturbing– it shows a woman drowning because she refuses to ask for help from the man she has clearly had a spat with. It seems to me like a demonstration of the ideas of femininity that dictate many romantic comedy plots—that small romantic setbacks can actually end in disaster. This is a cartoon representation of a woman who is utterly unable to help herself or ask for help due to some unknown romantic entanglement. I loved the pairing of this Gilda & Pearl bra with the painting, both because of the blue color and the miniature prints of pin-ups on the fabric, which shares the cartoonish representation of femininity with Lichtenstein’s painting. The Ultimo set is so interesting because it looks almost like an illustration itself because all of the detailing is outlined in black, just like a comic book style. The black Fleur of England set is like a bra and panties made of the Benday dots that Lichtenstein uses in this painting to create the pale blue water.
When I saw this painting of Mickey Mouse, I knew exactly what lingerie to pair it with: Chromat. I love the way that the Chromat dress and ears use a kind of 3D graphic style that fits with Lichtenstein’s painting of the Disney characters. Truthfully, it was hard to choose exactly what Chromat piece to put with Lichtenstein because the entire collection is so Pop Art inspired and fits perfectly with Lichtenstein’s aesthetic. (NB: THIS is how you do cartoons + fashion. Not the bizarre Disney + Barney’s collaboration that is being ridiculous on Madison Avenue right now). I loved this Pleasure State set with this piece because of the sharp corners and outlines on the bra which with perfectly with the linear style and primary color palette. Lastly, the Marlies Dekkers bra is such a graphic shape that it fits perfectly with Liechtenstein’s bold fields of color.
The lovely Maz Spencer actually recommended I use this dress from Kaori’s Latex Dreams (aptly named the “Pop Art Dress”) and I think it’s a perfect match with Lichtenstein’s work. I like the pairing with this painting, “Go for Baroque”, because this painting is more of an abstract collection of items than the previous two works, which makes the general application of Benday dots to this latex dress so fitting. The briefs from Pull-In also worked well for this painting because of the way that it is influenced by the comic style and also uses images of women and lipstick in a way that reminds me of Lichtenstein. The Claudette set also goes with this painting because of the bold color and use of black as an outline and accent color.
So, what did you think? Is Lichtenstein a good artist to pair with lingerie?