Friday, April 19, 2013

Is fashion art?

"Fashion is not art. Stores are not museums...You go to stores to buy clothes. You do no go to stores to look at clothes."
-Nina Garcia, judge on Project Runway

No offense, Nina, but I do think fashion is art.

But, we must make the distinction between fashion and clothes. There is a grey overlap, but there are some fashion pieces that are not clothes, and some clothes that cannot be considered fashion. A button-down shirt and a pair of slacks is not fashion; that is just fabric you wear to work because you cannot go to work naked. But there is nothing unique or fashionable about it. On the other hand, there are pieces of artwork that are made to frame a human body, but they are not really meant to be worn in day-to-day life. Take for example Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (click here for some images). These creations are beautiful pieces of art, but no one is actually going to buy one of them and wear it out and about.

And as for shopping, sometimes I do just go to stores to look. Since I'm living on a budget, I rarely go into a store like Escada or Gucci expecting to actually make a purchase. I just like looking at the gorgeous gowns and super-fancy handbags. I get pleasure out of looking at pretty things; I don't have to own them to enjoy them in some way.

I am very surprised that Nina, someone who is completely engulfed in the fashion world, would even think to say that fashion is not art. I believe any form of creativity can be described as art in some sense; when fashion designers create something new and different, whether it actually could be sold commercially or not, it is art.

1 comment:

  1. If you haven't read it, you should check out this Vanity Fair article about the history of haute couture. I agree, fashion is art.