Happy Bug Day, Warhol Print Skirt

When I spotted this super skirt on {the evil that is} Pinterest, I had a sinking feeling.  Sinking because I wanted this skirt, and it seems like 99.98 percent of the things I see on Pinterest that I want are sold.  I clicked through (thanks Karen, for making sure the links are always there) and there it was on Adored Vintage.  And yes, it had already sold.

So why did I want this particular skirt?  One of my smaller areas of collecting involves fabrics that were either influenced by art, or which were actually designed by artists.  In the case of this skirt, the fabric was designed by Andy Warhol in 1955.

I only know this because of my obsessive reading and rereading of Textile Design: Artists’ Textiles 1940-1976 by Geiff Rayner, Richard Chamberlain and Annamarie Phelps.  The book was published in 2012, and there is an exhibition currently at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London that is based in large part on the collections of the authors.

There is the bug print, in a different colorway, and a very similar print titled Happy Butterfly Day.  The bug print was based on a greeting card Warhol made in 1954.

Unfortunately, not a lot is known about the textiles Warhol designed in the 1950s.  For a man who was a collector of everything, he was a notoriously bad record-keeper when it came to business, not letting the people who worked with him even know for whom the designs were intended.

It was remembered by a Warhol associate that some of the fabrics were produced by Fuller Fabrics, who also did the Modern Masters line.  In 1955, Warhol was still a commercial artist, years away from being considered a “master.”

I hope the lucky buyer of this skirt loves it and treasures it.  I just wish it were me!

Thanks so much to Rodellee at Adored Vintage for the use of her photos.

20 Comments

Filed under Novelty Prints

20 responses to “Happy Bug Day, Warhol Print Skirt

  1. I have a copy of a clementina paddleford cook book from the early1950′s with all of the illustrations by “Andrew Warhol”. Very similar to his early shoe illustrations. Love the cross referencing. Love Warhol

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  2. Wow, I had no idea. I’m joining you in your Fuller Fabrics obsession.

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  3. wow, what a beautiful spring print!

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  4. So sorry you missed the “buggy” skirt…But thanks for mentioning “Adorned Vintage” as the vintage shop who sold it….I thought it sounded familiar so I looked it up. They have displayed their hats on a couple of my mannequin heads…Paula and Arlene. Both doing what they do best…quietly modeling hats.

    Back to fabric designers….I never dreamed there was so much to learn about textiles beyond the weaving and selling. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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  5. Oh I love this skirt, too. Andy Warhol is my idol!

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  6. I love seeing Andy Warhol’s earlier designs and illustrations for a glimpse of the man behind the myth

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  7. That print is just amazing. As is your eye, Lizzie! When I repinned it, I just thought “whoa that print!”….I didn’t even think Warhol. It’s fabulous in the blue and green colorway, too. (And this is reminding me of when I found my own Paul Klee print Fuller Fabrics skirt…I almost wish I’d kept it, but I think it’s much better it went to a wonderful repeat buyer who can wear it!)

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  8. I love this print! And as always, one can only hope that patterns such as these will be re-printed again some day (with the Warhol name, I am surprised they haven’t).

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    • I think that the foundation that runs the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh owns the rights to Warhol’s work, so it is possible that if a company was interested that they would allow it. The fall/winter 2012 Dior collection featured Warhol prints.

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  9. Thanks to Lizzie sharing her great fabric finds, that’s one of the categories I always look for when I go thrifting. I haven’t found anything exciting yet, but it could be me! I’ve come to love and appreciate textiles with interesting graphics great colors.

    Lizzie, if you hadn’t been familiar with the print from your book, would you still have been drawn to the fabric? Would you have recognized it as an early Warhol?

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  10. i recntly had seen a vintage swimsuit in the same print on ruby lane…i let the seller know, in case the sale (which was listed as pending) hadn’t gone through yet, but it had. a picture of it is on my pinterest….(edgertor)

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