C California Style

Inspired by a series of archival photos of LACMA in the 1960s. All items available at the LACMA store, thelacmastore.org and farfetch.com.
Inspired by The Fortune Teller or Allegory of the Five Senses, c. 1730.
NICK FOUQUET The Star hat, $1,475.
NEWBARK Madina Print pouch, $450.
JUAN CARLOS OBANDO Longline jacket, price upon request.
Inspired by tile from Iran or Central Asia, 15th century.

The Museum as Muse

by C California Style

In celebration of LACMA’s 50th, Farfetch helps foster the union of Art and Fashion.

Much of the city’s landscape has changed in the 50 years since the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was founded. Certainly, there are more juice bars and fewer mobsters, but there’s also the prolific output of the art world—high caliber, with more spaces to view it, and more artists making the metropolis their home. Similar qualities have marked fashion’s ongoing ascent in the city, with a solid group of designers proving you don’t have to live on the isle of Manhattan to be taken seriously.

To celebrate these interlocking narratives, Wear LACMA founder Katherine Ross (wife of LACMA Director Michael Govan) took 19 California designers through the museum’s collection—now the largest of its kind in the western United States—in search of works they felt resonated with their brand’s aesthetic. “I love walking through the galleries to see what inspires them,” Ross says of the process, which lays a foundation for each designer’s limited-edition pieces.

The range of the museum’s work becomes wearable: Jeweler Anita Ko drew inspiration from a wooden surfboard made by Samual Alapai Kahanamoku in the 1920s, while Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman saw a Granville Redmond painting from 1926, California Poppy Field, and ran with it. The result is a cashmere sweater, scarf and hat imbued with the colors, and a T-shirt woven with the painting’s name. “When Katherine and Michael Govan took us through the permanent collection, it gave us a new appreciation for those pieces that often get overlooked,” he said. “That’s what’s so genius about this initiative. It sheds new light on those masterpieces.” For shoemaker George Esquivel, an ankle boot in a soft lavender hue came about because he kept returning to Indian Woman With Marigold, a painting by Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez.

Proceeds from the pieces, which are available at the LACMA Store and on Farfetch.com, all go back to the museum. Besides walking the collection with the designers, Ross says her second-favorite thing about the initiative is that “we sell out of the product, every season.” Wear LACMA’s 50th Anniversary Edition will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 4; thelacmastore.org; farfetch.com.• MOLLY CREEDEN.

PHOTOS: © 2015 Museum Associates/LACMA.