What is the interaction between Art and Fashion?

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Commissioning Art has always been a way of reflecting wealth and showing status. Art and fashion are two very important forms of creativity that allow people to express themselves,

“ Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one, it shows the world who we are and who we’d want to be “

This quote was from a TV show called Gossip Girl and perfectly sums up my feelings as it is referring to how fashion is a form of Art and it is a vital part of everyday life.

Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power


Renaissance paintings not only depict people, it was a way of recording the details of lives back then especially clothing.The upper classes and royalty employed painters in their courts or households to paint them in their clothes and the pose shows off their wealth and status. This demonstrates the relationship between fashion and Art and how ,in the Renaissance period paintings showed people’s wealth. It was also a time when people became very aware of their clothes and their appearance including the pattern and texture on fabric.People were painted wearing clothes made of velvet, silk and fur indicating their extreme wealth .In this time period elongated, delicate, slim silhouettes are what men and women aspired to. The was the way in which artists showed off their talents the painter’s skill in portraying a material as well as the pattern and the texture of their costumes were highly regarded and impacted on the price of the painting and the fame of the artist.

From the 1920’s up to the present day Art inspires Fashion and popular culture.

Surrealism was an important focus during this time and was the movement that changed both art and fashion worlds to shape them to what they are today. Fashion designers have drawn from Art to create to catwalk fashions and haute couture. Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Channel were the two most influential designers in history that i have researched in detail

Coco Chanel & Elsa Schiaparelli

Coco Chanel & Elsa Schiaparelli

Fashion illustration is a very big part of fashion as it’s essentially the plan for the garment, in the 20’s Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel used an artist to draw their designs. Elsa Schiaparelli had a close relationship with the Parisian artistic community of the 1920's and 1930's. She also worked closely with Salvador Dali who became a close friend .they created many garments in the 30's such as the famous lobster dress. During the surrealist movement she worked with Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, and Alberto Giacometti, and doing so she transformed the concepts of the movement into imaginative designs.She translated many of Surrealism's iconic images into imaginative and often provocative designs.This was shockingly new and had not been done before

Elsa Schiperlli Lobster Dress

Looking at fashion and Art it is a very broad subject from artists using textiles in their work either a little or completely, like contemporary artist Nike Schroeder who uses just thread to draw pictures ,but I think the most interesting of her pieces are the hanging threads which are emulating dripping paint.

She hangs the threads and has them on different lengths to create these images.She was asked what initially captured her imagination about textile art to which she replied “the ability to make art without a pen.

This is very interesting as textiles is a less common medium but can equally create just as stunning pieces .Textiles features on some artist work in particular paintings and textile artists exclusively use this medium. Debbie Smyth works with thread to create pieces or scene; she even created a piece for a Hermes shop window.

Artists collaborate with fashion designers .Probably the most famous example of this area would be the Mondrian dress, it was designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1965

It alone is a fashion icon as Saint Laurent merged to create a dress that had the illusion of a canvas, being very clever with the pattern construction .Many artists have collaborated over the years with designers to promote or create masterpieces.These collaborations range from the designers advertising campaigns to the actual clothes with prints being used.

Many designers use art as inspiration,for example a few years ago on project runway they had to draw inspiration from the exhibit “The art of fashion” At the Guggenheim in 2013. Many designers use art as inspiration either modern Art paintings or maybe paintings from the Renaissance period.


Project Runway 2013 Challenge inspired by art at the Guggenheim

Art has inspired both textiles and garment design.In the past couple of years fashion designers have been very heavily influenced by upcoming interest in Art for instance,The Chanel catwalk show this year for the spring/summer collection at Paris fashion week was staged in an art gallery[Grand Palais [.Designers aspire to be artists with their prestige and fame.

Dolce and Gabbana’s mosaic collection for winter 2013 was stunning In the way that these designers brought Art and fashion together by creating these garments.Art leaps off the canvas into everyday life.

If self expression is a measure of Art than fashion designers also express themselves so can be considered as artists. In the spring of 2014 Prada commissioned six contemporary artists to create murals to decorate her catwalk for her Milan show,

this again is really showing the relationship between the two worlds as she was also inspired by the murals for her collection.

Back in the Renaissance period paintings were the modern day photos, capturing these nobles and royals, to document history.

Alice Gregory from the wall street journal said

“When an art-lover buys art, it's called "collecting." When a fashion enthusiast buys clothing, it's called "shopping." Art is supposed to be timeless and important, while fashion is understood to be ephemeral and frivolous”

I think that this is a good thing to remember about the two worlds, although some people would consider buying fashion as part of collecting with many items such as shoes .While others may refer to buying art as shopping as if it is normal for them.. Once again these two worlds continues to merge and complement each other as they have done throughout history.



Art and Fashion: the impact of fashion on art and art on fashion by Dr Alice Macrall

Fashion - The Ultimate Book of Costume and Style By Dorling Kindersley

Weblography: movement-design/

#Art #Fashion #classic #Chanel #Mondrian #YSL #ArtampFashion #project

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