If you want to understand the message of the designers, you have to master their language. Fashion as we see it today needs to be deciphered, like an obscure painting that a contemporary artist painted.
Fashion is the connecting road from the inner to the outer world, writes British theorist Elizabeth Wilson. He broke with the ideal world of fashion and gave the label a socially critical image. Fashion, regardless of how you see it, tells a story. So a mere work boot (https://mybestworkboots.com/men/) can mean a lot of things, but it is after all work boots intended for work as it’s brand implies. But there’s also the Comme des Garçons and Jean-Paul Gaultier’s blown-up sweaters, bloodstained shirts, burqas, and uniforms that were used to follow the wars of the 1990s and the terror of September 11, 2001 in anti-war fashion. Because not only fashion designers make art.
The Fashion Reformer
Van de Velde was thus a fashion reformer, and his artist clothes functionally ensured that women could finally breathe again. Fifteen years later, without a corset, Mariano Fortuny, the Leonardo da Vinci of applied arts, developed the famous Delphos robes from a simple, pleated silk tube. It is still unclear how Fortuny managed to make these extremely fine pleats. The Japanese Issey Miyake 70 years later created similar pleated fabrics made of high-tech fibers based on Fortuny’s clothing.
The artists also wanted to reform men’s clothing. In 1914 Giacomo Balla demanded that gloomy, sluggish men’s clothing should finally be abolished. Italian futurism called for progress at all costs in terms of technology and speed. The pop art has seen new versions of this factory style several times by fashion designers such as Roy Halston, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Gianni Versace.
Art has become part of Fashion
One of the most recent examples does not address a garment itself, but art has even become part of fashion PR. The British artist Vanessa Beecroft exhibits hundreds of naked women in museum rooms and creates shame for the viewer. For hip fashion label Louis Vuitton, declared the new darling of creative artists, last year she put naked women in decorative boxes between bags and shoes. Inventions like Picassian light painting are like transpositions of haute couture, clothes made of fabrics with needles for an evening to drape around the body instead of tailoring them in the traditional sense.
The painter, photographer and costume designer also shunned a comparison with Picasso Cecil Beaton did not when he called Cristobal Balenciaga Picasso of Haute Couture in the 1950s, and the 20th century alone tells of countless examples of fashion as an art form. The creative couple Salvador Dalí and Elsa Schiaparelli are still among the most productive symbioses of the art and fashion world. The Spanish artist and the Italian fashion designer brought surrealism into fashion in the 30s / 40s, with the drawer dress or the shoe hat as a fashion readymade. The French fashion king, out of service, used Piet Mondrian’s pictures as fabric samples for mini dresses or Vincent van Gogh’s sunflowers as sequin embroidery for haute couture.
The concept artist
Quite different, Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela, who finally brought deconstructivism into fashion. His spectacularly titled collection highland rape caused blood-smeared models in torn lace dresses to wobble along the catwalk. Karl Lagerfeld therefore called McQueen a soul mate of the shock artist Damien Hirst. Like a concept artist, he embeds his models in his clothes and then lets them dissolve on the catwalk stage.