Fashion as an Art
beauty is in the eye of the “wearer”
On Tuesday of last week I began the first of my classes for this quarter. For freshman such as myself at my university, there is an immersion week of classes. My class for this quarter is all about “Living Chicago Literature”. We have spent the last three days discussing poetry, finding the text in everyday life, and what art is exactly. Today my professor asked the class to define what “art” is. This is one of those questions that comes at you and stuns you. Art is subjective, there is no saying what art is and isn’t. Art is in the eye of the viewer and it is defined by their personal context. What is art to one person may not be art to another person. Art has a tautological definition that never actually gives you any further clarity.
While I was sitting in class, listening to what people had to say about art and what they considered to be art, I thought about how I truly view fashion as an art. Arguably almost everyone who has ever had an interest in fashion has thought of fashion as an art form, but why? Whenever I try to describe the love I have for fashion as if it were an art piece, people look at me and assume I’m materialistic and completely insane. Some people buy clothes to put on their bodies for the pure necessity of the matter, but I view it through a completely different lens.
It’s not that I look at a white t-shirt and think “wow, that t-shirt emotionally moved me”, but I think that creativity within the field is an art of its own. I have a fascination with avant garde designers and even classic designers like Alexander McQueen who is known for more off-the-beaten-path designs. Many people see photos of clothes on the runway and think they are hideous, but that’s not the point. Clothes on runways aren’t necessarily meant to be worn straight off the runway. Clothes featured on runway shows are living pieces of art.
Even aside from couture and runway fashion, there is art in simple street style. The ability for a person to “throw together” an outfit in a creative and individual way is an art. Although for some people fashion can be boiled down to a formula, it is much more than that. To me, fashion is about trying new trends, putting pieces together in unique ways and exploring myself through visual representation.
I love “the arts”. I love to stare off at paintings, photographs, and I even have a very deep appreciation for graffiti art. Finding art and beauty in fashion comes easy to me because I’ve grown up with an amazing passion for it.
Whether or not you find that fashion is an art, you can’t discredit those who view it to be an art just because it doesn’t fit your personal context or definition.
Anyway… keep it real, kids.