Asking The Big Questions: Is Fashion Art?

Saying fashion isn’t art is like saying socks and sandals go together – it’s a huge no-no!

Fill in the blanks: “_______ is in the sky, in the street; ______ has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Technically, you would be correct if you had said fashion, but easily remove that and the word art is certainly interchangeable.

This quote by Coco Chanel, an iconic designer and pioneer in the fashion world, speaks many levels about the congruence and inherent intersection of fashion and art and why fashion is art.

If art is an expression of inner self and personality, then of course fashion plays a huge part in conveying this to the human eye, just as an artist paints to depict whatever they may be feeling as a response to the environment around them. Fashion designers don’t just design clothes they envision to be in keeping with the latest trends. Fashion is an art because it is a physical manifestation of a communal or individual’s feelings.

Fashion, not dissimilar to art, has always been a tool for empowerment. As a woman, I see art all around me and fashion is quite literally a fabrication (see what I did there!) of that art.

For women, it has in the past and to this day remains a source of liberation and societal upheaval. Once upon a time, miniskirts were frowned upon and now that’s all that most ladies would be caught wearing.

The way in which people choose fashion as a form of ‘wearable art’ says so much about our society and how it is easy to forget the role fashion plays in transmitting art and culture.

Fashion oozes art and it this is clearly seen through the fascination that people have with both. Whatever it is that draws viewers to an art gallery may also be the secret to the mass numbers of people attending high-end fashion shows.

Art is something to be viewed, admired, and something also to provoke questions. How many times have you seen a red carpet event on the television or an outfit posted online and not had something to say about it? I’m guessing never. And there’s nothing wrong in the judgment of fashion, as it is meant to be, just like art, thought-provoking and sense-stimulating, and often conveys a feeling in a way that nothing else can.

Congratulations to Katrina for winning this writing challenge, answering: Is Fashion Art? Katrina wins a $50 Westfield gift card for her submission. For your chance to win, check out our latest writing challenges in our Comps section. Also, be sure to follow this guide on how to win the writing challenge!

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