Is Fashion Art?

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine posed this question to me. In view of the fact that I actually hang some of my most treasured and beautiful dresses on my walls (therefore making them art?) I instinctively answered yes. But then I went away and thought about it. Yes, Fashion Design is taught as a fine art, but how can it be an art if does not inspire, and create strong emotions.You may like a dress and consider this an emotion, but it is far from what you might experience by staring at your favorite painting.

I thought back to Matthew Williamson's debut collection, Electric Angels in September 1997. Despite having some of the most high profile models for a debut show and receiving enormous press coverage as a result, there were those who feted Matthew as a charlatan. Many were of the opinion that his designs simply weren't conceptual enough for him to be considered a designer. It was as though he was just reinventing, rather than designing through his choice of fabric and colour. Though is all fashion not derivative and therefore a reinvention of a piece from the past?

Kate Moss and Biance Jagger for Electric Angels (September 1997) 
 TIs fashion, considered art because it went through a design process and if so how much design process is required before a piece of clothing is deemed art?

 If fashion were less practical, would that make it more artistic?
Could this same argument be applied to paintings? If paintings were applied directly to walls (making them frescoes) and thus providing a practical wall covering would they then lose their artistic gravitas? Some artists will argue that the role of an artist is to create beauty, others just experience it as a by product of the design process.

 Naturally my mind wanders to Haute Couture when I think of a complex design process. In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris based in Paris, France. Should the term Art be protected by law so as to avoid it's misuse?

Givenchy Haute Couture Winter 2010

Just as there are movements and genres in the art world , so too there are in the fashion world. People relate ripped jeans and flannel to the grunge movement. The same with Hip-hop. Hip-hop is an art form, and people relate large chains and huge shirts (stereotype) to it, making that a part of the art. It could be argued that fashin is an industry and therefore not an art but music is an art and is most definitely an industry.

Caravaggio's Taking of Christ...My Favourite Painting.

To me, Art is something that involved thought and/or design and evokes a strong emotion.

 It is subjective!

 Art to me is music, paintings, sculptures, fashion, writing and sometimes even food!  They are the passions in my life and so they evoke strong emotions to me. My perfect day would include a day in the National Gallery gazing at The Taking of Christ for as long as I liked, listening to jazz, eating beautiful food and wearing clothes that made me both feel and look beautiful! :-)

Blog Soon,
S x.

P.s. This was not meant to be a debate, just my thoughts on a topic very close to my heart!