Altered Inspiration: All-Over Print

I want to highlight a specific part of fashion that isn’t particularly regarded as a staple, the all-over print.  Generally, all-over prints are ugly at times.  You think of maybe, dads wearing Hawaiian shirts that first come to mind.  Throughout the years, industry leaders have tackled this particular design with various degrees of success.  At times, the creative process takes inspiration to follow up with something a designer can call their own

One piece, in particular, expresses this notion in 2013, featuring a painting by Brain Calvin. 


Raf Simons Raf Simons X Brian Calvin SS13 Tee | Grailed


 Raf Simons S/S 13 T-shirt featuring a painting by Brian Calvin


This piece was part of RAF Simmons’ SS 13 collection.  In an interview with ‘’, Raf Simmons stated that he took a step back and pondered on what he wanted that collection at the time to represent.

‘References to music and youth, of course, the way that I grew up, the way I used to live my life, and how I started the brand.’

Simmons goes on to further address the LA scene he was influenced by as a designer at the time, saying the LA band scene had a relaxed, carefree feel. 

That is where Brain Calvin’s work came in, he paints people that don’t really care, they are happy with their environment.  Comfortable. 

Since Brain Calvin was putting these murals of young women all around LA, this seemed like a perfect piece to encapsulate Simmons’ vision of the LA scene at that time. 

Now, another example.

UNDERCOVER Parka "A Clockwork Orange" | Hypebeast

UNDERCOVER “A Clockwork Orange” Nylon Parka FW 19

This was a piece released by head designer, Jun Takahashi.  In an interview with ‘’, Takahashi explains that ‘I have always been fascinated by movies that express humanity’s duality, or make me feel anxious. 

  Unlike Simons, Takahashi does not have this profound story about his entire fashion discography leading up to this collection.  As far as it seems, this is just merely an ode to Kubrick’s themes that encompasses the movie and how he sees those themes within himself. 

Now here are these two creatives.  Both are treated with high regard in their field.  They have been creating for years, harboring their names in their own designs.  But with these two pieces in particular; if it wasn’t for the original artists, where would these themes have taken them from a more creative standpoint?

Simons expresses themes of his younger days as a designer and wants to juxtapose his future and past with this collection.  Seeing that Simons had a seventeen-year career to ponder over, why not be more creative?

Or in Takahashi’s case, why show appreciation for ‘movies that make him anxious’ with just all-over prints of movie scenes? More could be done than this.  Not simply using other artists’ pieces to express one’s own vision. 

This same message has been reflected as of late with now AI art.  Simons and Takahashi are using art to articulate their emotions because that’s how they feel.  But it does not change the fact that you are reusing someone else’s art for your own benefit. 

Even when Simons was talking to DAZED magazine, he would express references to music, youth, and the way he grew up.  Also mentioning the relaxed and carefree feel of the LA scene at that time.  It’s almost as if his interpretation mimicked the prompt someone would put into MIDJourney and Brain Calvin’s paintings are the result of it. 

I think what makes these two art mediums so attractive is the appeal to a vast audience off of just visuals.  The all-over print encompasses the entire garment making it eye-catching from the start.  It is especially more attractive if it is something well-known or common.   

AI art in this moment in time is the epitome of taking something that is pre-existing and modifying it to one’s personal taste.  I feel fashion is not far from this.  It is something that has been happening for quite some time.  Every piece now is a callback to one era or one niche.  The' trend' seems to make this cycle so prevalent.  But even the industry foregoers of the fashion world fall victim to this cycle.  Fashion does not need to fall under this monotony. Other forms of art such as movies or music do not to that extent.  Hopefully, the art in fashion design can come from a more original perspective than what it's summed up to be as of now.