Working in academia, I often get flack from some of my colleagues. How can you wear those shoes? Where do you shop? There goes our little fashionista.
I like fashion. And that’s never going to change. An article in the Guardian argues that fashion is history. It is art. Oscar Wilde had this to say about fashion: “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
What say you? What is your favorite bit of fashion? Is fashion another way to separate us, maybe even define classes, or is fashion a form of art that knows no class?
This is what Zandra Rhodes had to say in her article: Is Fashion a True Art Form? (Full article here) www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2003/jul/13/art.artsfeatures1
“Quibbling over whether fashion is more or less important than art is just as pointless as questioning whether or not it is art. Of course it's not, it's fashion. That is not to say that fashion, at its best, is not a suitable subject for museums or that it cannot share some of the attributes of art. On the contrary, an exquisite haute couture dress - like the ones that Cristóbal Balenciaga created in his 1950s heyday - can look as perfect as a beautiful painting or sculpture.
Yet only an old-fashioned aesthete would argue that the role of the artist is to create beauty. Sometimes artists do, but for most of them beauty tends to be a by-product of their quest to explore the complex, messy, ambiguities of modern life. Think of Wolfgang Tillmans's photographs of areroplane wings and window sills now on display at Tate Britain. Beautifully composed they may be, but with a forlorn beauty too subtle to be replicated in fashion.
Similarly, fashion is adept at fulfilling another traditional function of art by reflecting changes in contemporary culture, but only up to a point. Think of how the Ossie Clark dresses in the V&A's exhibition evoke the desire for escapism at the turn of the 1970s. Yet, unlike art, fashion rarely expresses more than the headlines of history.
And fashion has a practical purpose, whereas art does not. The result may be as gorgeous as a vintage Balenciaga ballgown or an eloquent political metaphor for its time, but it is still an item of clothing intended to be worn. Why pretend that it is anything else?”