Fashion is not art and it’s for shallow/rich/spoiled/insecure/etc people. This is an idea I have had to battle out of people’s heads for years. It was most challenging with a nihilistic writer-type (let’s call him Carl).
Fashion is theater, product design, illustration, and more. It’s a production that interacts with mass amounts of people on a daily basis. Still not convinced?
As a painter or author you’re expressing a thought or idea into a medium. A dream you had, an experience, a thoughtful or not so thoughtful idea. You might write down a concept before you start a novel or painting. You may also do that with each collection in fashion design. A concept for a collection can be very in depth including:
- a color story.
- inspiration images (collected or created).
- sketches and complete illustrations.
- fabric swatches, thread, buttons, and other notions.
- fabric swatches with varies added treatments such as dyes, acid washes, embroidery, ruffles, etc that highlight uniqueness in the fabrication.
After the concept has been thought out a skeleton is formed from each idea. A pencil sketch or outline, and in fashion’s case a muslin. Professional fashion collections are a year in the making, and usually at least two collections are being worked on at once.
Another thing to remember is the time spend on perfecting the shape and fabrication. Clothing is a soft sculpture , and while sewing it may seem easy (it’s not always easy by the way) other aspects such as pattern drafting can be troublesome. Sometimes many ‘rough drafts’ are made for each garment until the fit and shape is ideal.
The fabric itself is also a medium. For instance, Mary Katrantzou uses beautiful and unique prints. If it was in a frame instead of on a garment it would be art, no?
Attention to detail and meaning varies from designer or designer, but isn’t that so in all accepted forms of art? If you’re still not convinced feel free to leave a comment. We can argue semantics and it will be fun.