Fashion hangs onto art’s coattails, by association trying to sneak into the fine arts balls. But this is not a fairy tale, and fashion’s foot does not fit this slipper.
Last night I read 2 magazines, both mentioned the trend toward art prints in fashion, where designers have produced a skirt that reminds one of Rothko or Pop art. Fashion creating pieces directly inspired by art is just a most blantant example of how they try to borrow some of art’s status. They use artists to create ad campaigns, their photographers often photograph art as well as fashion. But there is a line between the two. One magazine devoted pages to Richard Avedon, who has an exhibition
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition, however, singles out his portraits, rather than his fashion photographry. I enjoy his work, but that doesn’t make the clothes that he photographed art.
Much like the art world, the fashion world seems creative, navel-gazing, fun and self-aggrandizing. Yet despite the fact that designers use art as their inspiration for clothing and that people who photograph clothes may or may not be artists in their own right, and despite the cultural significance clothes might have, fashion is not art.
Why fashion is not art:
It is utilitarian.
It is common
It is commercial
It is not beautiful
It may be a beautiful skirt, with skirt as the qualifying noun that allows the adjective beautiful to be applied, but it is not beautiful. And while art may influence fashion, when does fashion influence art?