Writer, editor, and critic Ingrid Sischy passed away on July 24, 2015 at the age of 63. Although not as recognizable as the likes of Anna Wintour or Miroslava Duma, the black-specked Sischy was known for not only her outgoing personality but her contribution in bridging the fields of art and fashion.
A South African by birth, Sischy’s family was forced to move to Scotland after a threat to her mother’s safety. Sischy’s career took off when she became the editor of the fine art magazine, Artforum in 1979. There she explored the relationship between fashion and art, broadening the magazine’s content into the world of style.
The best example of Sischy’s influence can be seen on the cover of a February 1982 issue. Featured is a model with a hand cocked on her hip and red makeup smeared above the cheekbones. She is wearing a structural black rattan gown by Japanese designer Issey Miyake, which was due to the designer’s own interest in wearable 3-D structures.
In 1990, Sischy became the editor of Interview Magazine. The covers under her direction were creative and thought-provoking by way of blending the worlds of celebrity-obsessed pop culture with the kitschy touches of fashion and art. A Sischy cover that made waves was one of rapper Lil’ Kim naked and covered in body paint that mimicked Louis Vuitton logos.
Sischy also wrote for the New Yorker on fashion and art, and as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, which her article about the then-dethroned John Galliano become one of her most iconic works.
When not writing, Sischy’s life was filled with many friends. Since her death, designers spoke about the great personality that was Sischy, with Donna Karan noting in WWD, “I’ve never met anybody more dedicated and more passionate. She understood fashion from the inside out. She was beyond fashion.”
Although the fashion world has become highly commercialized, the talent of Ingrid Sischy blended art with fashion through a creative lens. As fashionistas flock to the nearest art museum for a fashion-bespeckled show, they have Sischy to thank.