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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


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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.