Is Fashion Art? (Information and Interpretation)

1651 Words Mar 14th, 2008 7 Pages
Is Fashion Art?

Everybody questions art. You would think art is merely created for admiration, but its not. The average person would describe art as a drawing on a piece of paper, and this quote by Clement Greenberg (1909-1991) suggests why:

"The task of self-criticism became to eliminate from the effects of each art, any and every effect that might conceivably be borrowed from or by the medium of any other art. Thereby, each art would be rendered ‘pure'…"

"Painting is not sculpture – it is two-dimensional;
Painting is not photography – it should not reproduce appearance;
Painting is not literature – it should not tell stories;
Painting is not music – it is silent."
But if we did believe that art was purely a drawing created by the
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But then again, is that Monet poster on your wall not art? It may be a reproduction of the painting, but it is still art, isn't it? And what about your Topshop dress. Is that art? Well, perhaps a reproduction of it. After all, clothes are designed, created, and displayed on the catwalk in a series of stages comparable to that of the production of a work of art.

What about Tracy Emin's ‘My Bed', is it art? Is Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (a urinal which he signed with a pseudonym) art? Well if you disagree then you may have to reconsider your decision as it was voted the most influential 20th century artwork in 2004. These works are both acclaimed and slated, and yet there is probably less actual artistic work in them than in a Stella McCartney outfit. Perhaps fashion is just craftsmanship? But then, surely so is painting, sculpture and architecture, requiring specific skills to produce, and yet few people would argue that they do not constitute an artistic endeavour.

Fortuny's tiny pleats of the 1920s (practically unwearable but certainly beautiful) were like Grecian sculptures: detailed, handmade pieces that represented a life's work. In the 1970s, Jean Muir's flowing silk jersey dresses gave women the chance to look like Pre-Raphaelite heroines. The eclecticism of Biba's lifestyle/fashion emporium gave the women of the 60s and 70s the
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