A debatable issue between many, the topic of fashion as art has sparked controversy between the art and Fashion world for decades. But can the two really coincide with one another?
Although to some it may seem as if Art and Fashion come from two completely different realms of creative thinking, there are in fact striking resemblances between the groups. Fashion is like Art, have a look at the work of Jeffrey Wang and his Levi Sculptures for example. Although, yes it is a conceptual fashion garment it is also a sculptural ‘wearable art’ piece. Its unpractical encasing of the body in some of his works makes the garment impossible to wear in a functional sense. It does however have sculptural interest and engages the viewer with its creative use of well-known, refashioned materials into these obscure sculptural forms.
Fashion gives the artist the ability to provoke its audience. With fashion becoming so readily available to the masses it also allows the artist to extend its audience to a vaster array of viewers, being one of societies many cultural manifestations. Not just confining the work to the detaining walls of the gallery space, to one specific niche market. Fashion brings art to the streets, in a playful and whimsical sense never once anticipated before.
If we think about it, great Couture requires innovative and resourceful creative concept (think Valentino or Alexander McQueen for example). Each individual piece takes skilled craftsmanship, ingenious use of material (not always seen as conventional) that follows the latest artistic trends and make a statement about the world we live in, which is exactly what thousands of artists do with their artistic practices daily. So how can fashion been seen as any different to the art world we already know and relate with? We have already accepted and embraced the studio area of Photography as an Art form, as we have digital and new media. Fashion is but only another form of artistic expression we can not ignore from the art world. Wether it be for functional, practical ready-to-wear garments in department stores or conceptual inspired garments on the catwalk.
Fashion holds a valid claim to status as an art, continuing to challenge art and fashion critics for full acceptance and appreciation as a recognised art form. Wether we chose to believe it or not, that fashion and art interchangeably influence one other and will continue doing so, like it has been for centuries to come.
Art and Design, viewed 24 August 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/australia-culture-blog/2013/jun/26/high-fashion-art-feel-think/>.
Is Fashion Art, E, Jechow 2012, viewed 24 August 2014, < http://musedialogue.org/articles-by-genre/visual-arts/costume-design/is-fashion-art/>.
Is Fashion Art, viewed 24 August 2014, <http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/805583/is-fashion-art-karl-lagerfeld-puts-the-debate-back-into-the/>.
Jeffrey Wang Wearable Levi’s Sculptures, viewed 26 August 2014, <http://stylepantry.com/2011/08/10/jeffrey-wang-wearable-levi%E2%80%99s-scultpures/ >.