Spotlight On: Alia Penner

January 10, 2014

What better way to celebrate an icon than by splashing it with the creations of the man who created icons? Andy Warhol that is. And so on the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress, we combined our signature prints with Warhol’s dollar signs and flowers to create the ultimate Limited Edition Collection: PopWrap (a collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation). And what better way to celebrate PopWrap, than with a video created by our favorite pop artist of today? Enter Alia Penner. The artist who created this fun video…So we caught up with Alia about her art, her style, and that all important question, What would Andy do?


How do you describe your aesthetic as an artist? Who/what inspires you?

I live for color. Bright, beautiful & bold hues. I want everything to really POP!

How does your style as an artist translate into your own personal style from a fashion perspective? 

My art has literally become my style this year. My rainbow portal paintings have been made into prints for an Australian label called Romance Was Born—coming out in February.  I love the idea of being a walking painting. What better way to show everyone what you’re all about then wearing it head to toe?

As a female artist, do you feel a sense of community or loyalty to other female artists?

I have a lovely group of amazingly talented female artist friends. We collaborate and support each other’s work. I really feel lucky to have a lady artist crew to bounce ideas off of or show new work too. There is also competition and motivation to produce, experiment & just go for it, it’s inspiring.

What led you to become an artist?

I always wanted to be an artist in some way, shape or form. There has never been any other option. In High School, I would convince my teachers to let me make an oil painting instead of writing an essay or skip math to go watch a Kubrick film. When I got to Art School my teacher made us all write down the top 5 most important things in our lives. Everyone wrote down things like family, love, money. My number one was ART, there isn’t any other answer to that question for me.

You work in so many different media…art, illustration, photography, fashion design, video, etc. is there one you are more drawn to? Or how do they work together?

There is no limit to Pop Art, Andy Warhol made movies, paintings, pictures, album covers, magazines, everything. I love doing it all! But paint may be my favorite ingredient in my work. I’ve painted on people, horses, buses, buildings, a piano, you name it. I would love to keep adding to my list.

Tell us about the inspiration and the process for the making of the Warhol video. Were there any unexpected moments along the way? How did you go about choosing the music?

I was inspired by Peggy Moffit’s eyes & Edie Segwick’s pirouettes. What would Andy do? was a question that would pop into my head a lot during the making of this video. It was fun to go there, to ask yourself, “Well… Do think Andy would like it more if we did it this way?”  The song for POP WRAP is by legendary composer Jean-Claude Vannier, it’s so playful and perfect. To have a collaboration between two greats like DVF & Warhol, it was a great opportunity to add Vannier to the story.

Diane loves mantras. Do you have any words that you live by?


Did you have a favorite piece from the Warhol collection?

The short full-skirt poppy dress. It was my favorite dress to shoot, the skirt was so playful and girly, perfect for spinning around a room.


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