Artists always had been expired to paint, draw, and sculpt beautiful people in the clothes they wore. Many times, fashion designers got inspired by artist's work or artistic movement and incorporated their ideas or their artwork into their designs.
There are a few very interesting stories about a few of the first American female fashion designers.
Ethel Traphagen got into traditionally "men" profession in the beginning of the 20th - century. Ethel Traphagen, the 1911 New York Times first-prize evening dress winner, got inspired from an American painter, James Whistler. Whistler originally was trained in Paris and then lived in London He was influenced by the work of the French Impressionists and by Japanese woodblock prints. He used smoky colors in nighttime scenes to create the mysterious effects in his "nocturne" paintings. Ethel Traphagen had been motivated and stimulated by one one of these scenes and used the image to design a dress of blue chiffon layered over putty-colored silk.
Elizabeth Hawes was another well-known figure in the fashion industry in the 30s. She traveled to Paris and lived above the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, a place where many talented people such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin borrowed books and met. She wanted her clothes to move as three-dimensional mobiles that her friend and artist Alexander Calder created. Later on, Elizabeth Hawes incorporated the abstract elements that Spanish artist Joan Miro used in his paintings in her capes and vests.