Is Fashion Art?

First and foremost, before we get too engrossed in the topic, a big thanks goes out to Alex Acid for gracing my pictures with his own art. His blog is a must see, check it out here. 

The question has been up for debate since the beginnings of couture, and yet we’re no nearer to an answer than we were in 1960’s with the advent of designer-artist collaborations like those between Mondrian and Saint Laurent. Can fashion be art? And if so, what is the line between fashion as a widely consumable product and an art form? Industry giants like Lagerfeld are adamant in proclaiming fashion is not an art, while those like Schiaparelli were passionate about being considered nothing less than artists. In my opinion, fashion is as much of an art as is any other form. Yes, a Louis Vuitton bag, produced in the exact same way with the exact same print for decades may not be art (as much as it is a classic piece), but then again neither is the clay from which a sculpture is made. Only when the clay is molded by the hands of an artist does it become art, not much unlike how Louis Vuitton has been molded many times by artists such as Takashi Murakami with his smiling flowers and cherry blossoms. 

In fact, I don’t think there really can be any discussion as to whether the collaborations between artists and designers are art. One look at the works of Dali and Schiaparelli can tell you that. The real question is whether fashion in its primary (unmolded?) form can be art. The main argument for fashion not being an art form is that it is mass produced and follows the trends of its customer. But nobody claims that type of fashion IS art, just like nobody claims the mass produced print of a generic painting is art. It is when designers like McQueen, Mugler or Valentino create that fashion becomes an art. That is something indisputable, and whoever disagrees should take a good hard look at the clothing before making judgment. The detail, story, construction and vision of an Iris Van Herpen dress can rival any sculpture in its ability to evoke emotion in a third party. Isn’t that exactly what art is “supposed” to be?

Going even further than that, the art of clothing yourself can be an art. With the rise of performance art, and manipulation of the thoughts of others so they perceive you in a different way, the door has been opened for the way you style yourself to become your own artistic impression. The power is in your hands to distort the opinions and thoughts of those around you with what you wear. Your influence in the emotions of others is directly correlated with whatever you decided to put on that day. Even more so, you impact your own state of mind with clothing, and create an image of yourself by picking and choosing your outfit. So, in essence, what you wear is art as long as you think it’s art. 

The main reason most can’t say for certain whether fashion is art is because we don’t know what art is, it is an indefinable concept. The simple fact is that everything and nothing is art. In the eyes of one person, a Damien Hirst shark is fancy taxidermy, while another (The NY Times to be specific) sees it as a statement of life and death incarnate.   Art is what people think art is, and if you ask anybody who’s waited 2 hours for a shaky live stream of a fashion week show, purely for the emotional experience and wonder, Fashion will always be art. 

Photo edit by: Alex Acid of alexacidillustrations.blogspot.co.uk
Top from Romwe
Navy Trousers from Topman
Platform Sneakers from Asos
Jewelry from Topman

1 comment :

  1. Some real food for thought right here! Odlicni postovi, retko komentarisem ali pratim. //blog.moiminnie.com