Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fashion as art

The idea of fashion-related artwork is nothing new, and neither is the idea that fashion and other art forms are related to each other and have followed somewhat parallel lines throughout the years. Many museum and gallery exhibitions have explored the links between fashion, art, architecture and design, so the concept is not particularly new. What has changed is the idea that fashion is art by itself- it's a medium for an artists' ideas and it happens to also be something people can wear as opposed to hang on a wall or put on a pedestal. Once you look at fashion from the perspective of the artwork that it is, you'll be open to a whole new world of possibilities. Think of yourself as the blank canvas and the clothing you wear is the artwork of the designer who created it. Visual art comes in all sorts of forms- paint on canvas, charcoal on paper, stone, wood or metal sculpture, and pretty much anything else an artist can think of to use. Why shouldn't fashion designers be viewed as artists whose medium is primarily fabric?

I was in a high end department store yesterday and that is what got me thinking about fashion as art. I am a budget diva, but I do appreciate the quality of high end clothing. The materials, the craftsmanship- it's all out of this world. There are subtle and not-so-subtle details that separate the high-end from the bargain basement, but sometimes I have to see the high-end pieces in person to truly appreciate their worth. It's like looking at a picture of a Picasso versus seeing it in person. There was one item in particular that made me feel like I was looking at a beautiful piece of artwork, so I pulled my camera out and decided to sneak a picture of it:

Ansel Adams I am not- this photo really doesn't do the bag justice. This Valentino has gorgeous silk rosettes in an aqua ombre pattern with patent leather handles and a gold logo plate and hardware. It's so feminine and beautiful, isn't it? What do you think? Is it art?

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