Is Fashion Art?

is-fashion-art

Exploring the world of artistic expression through fashion

As Warhol would say, “Fashion is more art than art is.”

Fashion is an aesthetic expression that is popular in a specific time and space. This typically refers to designer clothing and accessories but is not limited to mere apparel. In the contemporary art world, this definition extends its hands to popular forms of art (Think: avant-garde, pop art, surrealist art). When we think about the latest art trends or classic styles in history, it is no surprise that fine art interchanges easily with fashion.

Freedom in Cultural Expression

Today, the boundaries between both faculties are increasingly blurred by how art and fashion are used in our world. Prominent artists in the likes of Damien Hirst and fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld and Virgil Abloh question, provoke and excite our belief systems when they create works that are a mix of novelty and barbaric transgressions.

Whether it is animal skin thrown over the shoulders with sophisticated intricacies of handiwork, or “Romantic Primitivism” featuring natural materials and organic designs, these creations can liberate our unspoken emotions and ideas, reflecting the society and times we live in.

Cultural expression in fashion and art offers thoughtfulness to rightful concerns such as identity politics (race, social class, gender and nationality), consumerism and how we take pleasure in degraded vulgarity. As viewers, our fascination with taboo topics stem from the correlating freedom we get in the liberal play of ideas and language.

 Even Art Is Subject To Fashion

Luxury items often come with brand names. Likewise, today’s artists appear to us as names that are attached with brand value, traced by prices of their works and track records in auction houses. For example, Yayoi Kusama, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons are contemporary artists whose works are in trend for collection. Art as commodity is a key factor in the creation of their works.

As art fair lovers, you may also notice how art follows different styles from year to year. Closely linked to art is our idea of beauty and aesthetics. Have you considered how standards of beauty have gone from Venus of Willendorf featuring large hips and ample bosoms to Greek-born golden ratios and modern-day enhancements that are now largely in demand for the general market?

With these ideas in mind, trends in branding have led artists to collaborate with fashion designers to create limited edition works for collection. These can range from paintings and sculptures to toys, shoes, clothing, accessories and even designer furniture.

Art and Fashion: An Artistic Expression

Zandra Rhodes from the Zandra Rhodes Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London believes that fashion is indeed art, “you might call it decorative or applied art as opposed to fine art, but what’s the distinction? Because the same amount of artistic expression goes into clothes, a piece of pottery or a painting”.

Consider the impractical fashion items that have made their way down the catwalks of the world such as Adeline Andre Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017/2018 or Maison Margiela Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018 practical? No. Are they art? Maybe.

Whether fashion is art highly depends on an individual’s belief in the meaning behind both terms. If indeed art and fashion are interchangeable, one interesting takeaway would be the words of British designer John Galliano: “Fashion is above all an art of change.” If you are looking to acquire or invest in fine artworks in Asia or around the world, speak to the expert team at Art Works today on how that can assist you in portfolio diversification and acquisition of pieces from up and coming artists, established masters, and even generate passive income from your investments.

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