Art and Fashion: Are they the same?

John Galliano SS11Is fashion perceived as art these days? In today’s culture obsessed society, art can be seen everywhere and is meant to capture the imagination of its audience … on street walls, in bus shelters, even on the side of public transport, art plays an active role in our modern world. We cannot deny that there is a constant desire for visuals and how they impact on us in the world of fashion is what I wanted to write about in this article.


Designers are always on the lookout for fresh takes and innovative ideas, so it’s no surprise that the demand for concept fashion is on the increase and people are now viewing fashion exhibitions the same way they would an art exhibition.


The fashion rule is that designers create interesting concepts which inevitably get filtered down through the high streets and bought by fashion-conscious consumers. But we have to wonder where the designs in our high street clothes come from and how the creative thought process requires a lot of skill and imagination on the designer’s part.


For me concept designers such as Viktor and Rolf, Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh and John Galliano are to be admired as they are innovators and will always be one step ahead at changing the world of concept fashion. Although many of their clothes aren’t immediately wearable, they can be viewed as inspirational. After all, designers draw their inspiration from movies, street style, Vivienne Westwood SS12historical references, technology and the lifestyle changes which factor in our everyday world. Designers view their mannequins as a blank canvas which ultimately feeds their creativity and their need to produce collections that are one of a kind just like an artist creating a one-off piece of artwork.


For example Gareth Pugh’s latest Spring/Summer collection for 2012 is complex and directional. As with all of his designs, we can expect heads to be turned as his pieces concentrate on structure and silhouette rather than masses of colour. With monochrome latticed cages and alien inspired characters, it’s difficult to predict what Pugh will come up with next!


And hot on the heels of Shanghai Fashion week, Vivienne Westwood dressed models in all kinds of crazy pieces including voluminous tulle skirts which looked as though a stiff wind had glued the layers in place, chunky oriental platforms elegantly tied with ribbon and handbag slogans which stated ‘I love crap’, proving that she has not lost her unique and highly controversial artistic flair.


So yes, I certainly believe that art can be translated into fashion to reflect emotions, ideas and beauty in a way that can be described as decorative and thought provoking: the same can be said of say a fine art painting or a piece of pottery, it’s just up to us how we choose to interpret fashion and art either as a blend of two worlds or as two separate entities… .