Coco Chanel has done it. So have Miuccia Prada, Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent.
Nick ideas from the art world, that is.
From bold blocks of primary colours lifted from the palettes of Piet Mondrian's abstract paintings to cutesy manga figures in the pop style of Takashi Murakami, fashion designers have often riffed on unique sensibilities from the world of art.
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|Brand-conscious aunties may stay away from Louis Vuitton this season, thanks to Richard Prince.
The French fashion house's collaboration with the American artist has seen its handbags dipped in acid shades of pink and green, its iconic monogram canvas motif smudged and its spring/summer collection turned into a motley crew of mismatched prints and deconstructed layers.
Meanwhile, other designer labels like Chloe, Malandrino and Prada took their cues from Modernist art and Cubist blocks of shapes and colour.
As these designers show, arty rags don't mean that you have to dress like a splotchy canvas. Think bold colour combinations and non-cookie cutter patterns.
And don't worry if you can't afford that coveted Monogram Joke Louis Vuitton bag designed by Prince.
Urban ropes in stylist Keith Sazali to show you how to cop those couture looks at high-street prices.
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One of the first such collaborations was the partnership between Spanish artist Salvador Dali and Italy-born, Paris-based fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s.
The result was two iconic dresses - an organza dress with a hand-painted lobster in 1937 and the infamous 'tear' dress a year later, which was printed with motifs of a torn dress.
Then in 1965, Yves Saint Laurent created a line of dresses inspired by the intersecting black lines and bright colours of Mondrian's abstract work, sparking off a craze for shift dresses with stark patterns.
Fast forward some 40 years and such creative tie-ups are making a comeback. More than 20 designer labels including Dolce & Gabbana, Marni and Miu Miu presented collections influenced by or in collaboration with artists for spring/summer 2008.
Take Louis Vuitton. The French fashion house roped in American artist Richard Prince, who is renowned for his over-the-top appropriations of popular culture, for its spring/summer 2008 collection.
He silkscreened cliched jokes lifted from magazines from the 1970s onto handbags and daubed them in electric shades of pink, yellow and blue.
Further blurring the art-fashion divide is Louis Vuitton's installation of a 1,000 sq ft store as part of the ongoing Takashi Murakami show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
In an interview with The New York Times last November, Yves Carcelle, the president of Louis Vuitton, said of the company's 2003 collaboration with the Japanese artist which saw Murakami creating the hugely popular Multicolore Monogram and Cherry Blossom series: 'For us, the payoff has been extraordinary.'
He declined to reveal sales figures but profits from the Murakami products are said to exceed the total profits of some competing brands.
Meanwhile, the design duo from Proenza Schouler crafted spunky streetwear inspired by Japanese kimonos and the stripey artwork of Paris-born Louise Bourgeois.
Even l'enfant terrible of British art Damien Hirst has jumped onto the bandwagon, designing a collection of jeans for Levi's which was unveiled at New York's Spring 2008 Fashion Week.
Such creative partnerships are often win-win ventures: The artist builds his name and reaches out to a bigger audience while the fashion house scores a marketing coup.
Then there are the consumers who can pick up unique pieces for a fraction of what some artists would normally charge for their artworks.
For example, while Murakami's paper prints cost ?650 (S$1,817) and upwards and a fibreglass sculpture of his depicting a waitress in a mini skirt sold for US$567,500 at Christie's in New York in 2003, his LV products were priced between US$110 (S$157) and US$5,000.
Anthony Tan, 36, senior lecturer at the Department of Fashion Studies at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, says: 'The artist's willingness to be part of the collaboration increases the integrity of the brand.
'If, say, British artist Tracey Emin were to inscribe the names of all the men that she has slept with on an H&M shirt, her fans, who are not of the fashion crowd, would grab it.'
The danger, of course, is that art becomes just another product in a saturated consumerist culture. Artists also risk compromising their independence and credibility.
But veteran fashion designer Thomas Wee, 59, says: 'The man on the street is not bothered if the designs were done by an artist.
'They don't walk around with an outfit on as if exhibiting a piece of art.'
In any case, Chang May Khuen, 33, curator of the Fashion Gallery at the National Museum of Singapore, argues that fashion should be seen as an art form in its own right.
'By casting aside the function of the dress, we can appreciate its beauty in terms of silhouette, fabric and design and see it as an aesthetic means in which a society expresses itself.'