Fashion is Art

What is fashion? What is art? What makes one different from the other? By definition from fashion as a noun is a manner; way; mode; the make or form of anything. As a verb fashion means to accommodate, adjust, or adapt. Art on the other hand means the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles. Now I for one find it quite ridiculous that fashion would not have expression, production, or anything about aesthetic's mentioned in it's definition as to me these are all major components in fashion as an industry and as a personal outlet.

As I have been working on my school thesis work I am realizing that my photos keep being relayed to fashion and not to "art" and I can not express how much that frustrates me. The fact that someone can stand up and say that "This is fashion, this is not art" baffles me to the point that I want to scream. How can you possibly say that fashion is not art when in every major art school in the world there is a fashion department. How can you say that designers like Alexander McQueen or Christian Dior or Yves Saint Laurent are not artists? Or photographers like Tim Walker, Richard Avedon, Nick Knight, Helmut Newton are not artists? Or stylists and editors like Diane Vreeland, Grace Coddington, Isabella Blow, and Carine Roitfeld are not artists? What makes an artist? Creativity, a skill, a concept, a philosophy? What differentiates fashion from personal expression? Are they not one in the same, and yet somehow throughout time and advertising they have managed to become two very different things. The etic (viewership) and the emic (authorship) have become complete opposites of each other in their purpose and yet they use the same medium to get their ideas across. 

In the mind of someone who is not interested or apart of the fashion industry may think "fashion" and then have words like "materialism" and "shallow" be their first connotation. On the other hand there are people like me who think fashion and think exploration, discovery, reflection, fantasy, escape, and empowerment. We dress ourselves everyday and everyday we are making a decision about ourselves and how we want to appear to the world however that is not the whole story behind the clothing. There is an emotional context to the clothing we choose to wear; A story that may not necessarily be told through the visual layer alone. Through my collage photos I want to express that next layer to a person and their clothing choices. How they feel in them. Lately I've been focusing my work on simply having the overlaid photos reflect how our environment influences how we dress ourselves but I feel that there is more to the story that I want to tell. Not simply environmental influences but emotional influences and experiences. 

Fashion, to me, is the most obtainable art we can ever have in our day to day lives. It is a personal reflection of ourselves; we live our lives in it and through it we discover things about ourselves and our peers. All in all the next person I hear say "This is fashion, this is art" my answer to you sir is "Fashion is art."

These photos are up in honor of all of the photographers, designers, stylists, models, production members, hair stylists, mua's, and so on that put in their heart and soul into something that they believe is a work of art. I only have the photographers or stylists name and have listed them appropriately. Some artists are more well known than others, all are just inspirations currently influencing me the most on this subject. 

Nick Knight

Solve Sundsbo 

Tim Walker

Richard Avedon

Susie Bubble

Helmut Newton

Nadia Sarwar

Sorry if your eyes are blazing out of your head now because you've been staring at the screen to intensely for far to long; I figured it's only fair to have a lot of pictures for the large amount of words I made you read.