earlier today i had made an enormous post, within it, i discussed traditional art in relation to fashion. sadly, as fate would have it, that post got eaten by wordpress, because it’s a
piece of shit platform complicated domain.
consequently, i’m very sad! with that said, i tried again to deliver my thoughts on the aforementioned…
without further ado, here is my discussion, which i will begin by standing high upon my soapbox…
referencing the image above, a paramount factor for why i value/love fashion is directly correlated with art that i either make or view. speaking more broadly, these outlets fall in line with my creative identity. by this, i mean that for me, art is intrinsic within my world view. i often associate many daily nuances and emotional outlets with being linked to art. this has always stood as an unspoken source of joy and selfhood for me. looking at my life, it’s reasonable why i care about art, i come from a family of artists and i’ve dated artists; most of my life has been centered around various forms of art.
anyway, as i mentioned previously, my fashion taste has also seemingly followed this artistic progression. of course, just like most other people, my style has evolved over time. it took a while to wiggle through cyclical trends to figure out what really spoke to me on a meaningful level. a few years ago i began to associate my style very heavily with my artistic mood. rather than dress like the caricature of an artist’s uniform, i started to place value on: textures, fibers, patterns, and other subtle details to a much greater extent. now, i won’t deny that this progression didn’t generate ridicule by my peers, (it did). but, not that much more than i had already received for being so enthusiastic about the arts. throughout my nascence, art had been pegged as an eccentric nerdy hobby, so it comes as a surprise to me that there has been a widespread shift in the recognition of art and the mentality of people who used to pay no mind to the arts,
(aka probably the same crowd who used to make fun of avid readers).
this trendy evolution that i’ve noticed with people, ((by “people”, i am referencing instagram-fashion-bruh’s)), who have seemingly taken up a great interest and concern with the state of traditional modern art. for me, this isn’t necessarily upsetting, because i’m totally supportive of art being appreciated by a wider audience. however, what is really jarring about this, is how this trend is being heavily conducted by popular culture and fashion. my postulation is that the impact of instagram on fashion has served as the catalyst for this change in attitude. ironically, people who might have once ridiculed someone for their interests and fashion-taste are now becoming very invested as well.
what’s even more interesting is that large fashion houses and designers have seemingly acknowledged this cultural mentality shift. i posit this, because if you were to look at the progression of art and artists and their impact on runway fashion, it almost seems ubiquitous at this point in time. of course, nearly every designer would obligatorily cite some traditional artist(s) as their muse or inspiration. but the act of actually imbuing art into one’s designs is a different type of admiration. starting somewhat chronologically, you could probably accredit Raf Simons and the 2012-present reinvigoration of his ‘archival’ works to a large degree for this recent communal art/fashion shift. especially when recognizing how many of instagram’s users revere Raf as a ‘design genius‘. focusing on Raf’s relationship with art is pretty straight forward, circa 2008, Raf had showcased his Mark Rothko inspired knitwear for his fall/winter collection. this serves as a great testament to the how artist’s work(s) have already made their impact and appearances on the runway. however, obviously Raf did not personally have a relationship with Rothko, (unless he was a time-traveler), but rather an appreciation for his contributions to the art-world. what’s really intriguing about this admiration is that, because of Simon’s proclaimed archival revitalization, many people who might not have been exposed to Rothko, now are; (possibly as a result of Simon’s homaged designs). what’s even more alarming is that even years after his collection, other brands and designers are still copying this fashion tribute; even as recently as in 2017. this has certainly created more awareness to fashion audiences. but, what i’m more interested in are the growing relationships of (living) artists and fashion labels.
moving onto a more relevant example, (and the meat of my discussion): the modern relationships being formed with artists and labels/designers.
as i prefaced earlier, there is no mistaking that fashion houses are keen and understand appealing to their audiences. take Prada, for example, which presents itself to me as an intriguing fashion house that is currently spearheading this trend. Prada has undoubtedly recognized this artistic-appreciation proliferation. i assert this, because if you were to look at their relationship with artist: Christophe Chemin, you might be inclined to agree that they have begun elevating traditional art and their respective artist(s) onto a more tangible and profitable platform. while i am a big fan of Chemin and his work, i won’t pretend that his adapted designs for Prada are my favorites. and even though they’re not the most subversive pieces of art, they are very marketable productions. nonetheless, it is undeniably exciting to see his success and ongoing affiliation with the house. in fact, i’m pretty sure their relationship may continue into 2018, as he seemed to benefit from the exchange.
thinking point(s): what i feel this means for other contemporary artists?
frankly, i think this is fantastic. now is arguably a better time than any to be an artist. between heightened credibility and exposure through various platforms, it’s becoming feasible to not be a starving artist. while this doesn’t necessarily mean that every artist will be lucky and have their work displayed as the focal point of a brand’s collection, it certainly has opened a new window of opportunity for potential success. these sort of successful partnerships could very easily bring more artists and diversity into fashion as time progresses. i believe that this normative deviation will give birth to new artists lending their works to brands; hopefully proving mutually beneficial, rather than a one-sided affair. of course, before other companies look at Prada and begin to emulate their type of artistic outreaching, they should probably aim to find an artist that will actually be cohesive to the respective designer/brand. i think a large reason for Chemin’s success at Prada is laden in the fact that their marriage is very in-character with Prada’s identity. i could easily see a collaborative venture go south, if it didn’t mesh well. for this reason, i think it is imperative that an artist and their work(s) should not be arbitrary in reference to their commissioner’s brand identity. they should ideally resemble or reflect the ethos and values of a designer/brand. i believe it is all too easy for a designer to find an artist/art they like and haphazardly apply it to their garments. (this isn’t to say that i am dragging Undercover for their Borremans prints, i simply feel that it would make more sense if there were a point to it, besides just spitting the imagery out onto apparel). the difference of actually commissioning an artist and allowing them some degree of autonomy in the selection of works and a hand in the design of garment(s) would create much more tasteful pairings, (pun intended).
moving forward, i’m interested to see what other brands will begin to try to mimic Prada’s success. especially seeing as the trend of funky and unique 80’s-90’s-esque prints, within both fashion houses, as well as more niche brands is still going strong. Prada seems to be cashing in on the art-prints trend even more so, as they move into 2018.
lastly, i find that it is also important to understand whether an organic relationship with an exterior artistic source is actually necessary to drive success within a brand. for example, take both brands: Ffixxed Studios and Pierre-Louis Mascia. Ffixxed is a small, multidiscipline label based in Shenzhen. They regularly produce artful and unique in-house textile designs which seem to be favorites amongst their fanbase. and for a good reason too, the brand has found a way to project their simple and elegant identity within these textile designs. And then the latter, Pierre-Louis Mascia, known for having a heavily art-focused perspective in relation to fashion; viewing most of their works, garments, and collections as extensions of their collages and artwork. Each season the brand finds/sources vintage fabrics, produces their own textile designs, etc. and then works to ‘collage’ them onto garments to imbue a distinct blend of antiquity, regality, and beauty into each piece. despite being small brands, i think each label offers a very different and distinct, but equally honest and artistic approach to fashion, as they are creating less from the scope of trend-culture, and more from the spirit of the creative process. in terms of success and brand value, i see this growing as consumers continue to gain appreciation for this artful integration and splicing occurring within contemporary fashion. these examples of brand success could elicit other bigger labels to begin to experiment with unique artistic prints too. either way, whether a brand or designer decides to partner with an outside artistic source, i’m really curious and excited to see some potential future pairings; or at least any past artwork that a designer might choose to dedicate a collection to. as far as i can tell, this trend is probably going to become a staple in fashion, as art’s DNA becomes increasingly intermixed within the prêt-à-porter framework.
getting off of my soapbox now:
i’d just like to say that as an onlooker, this is a thrilling thing to see transpire.
i’m excited to see more artist’s being appreciated and validated for their passion and creativity. it gives me hope for myself as a creative, but mostly for my well-deserving artistic peers. plus, my entire artistic statement practically revolves around the interconnectedness and influence of art and the echoes that it creates within the realm of fashion… so that’s pretty cool.
of course, the elephant in the room is that there will always be fast-fashion, which needs to keep up with their high-fashion competitors, by any means necessary. thus, resulting in the unfortunate reality of a lack of artist accreditation/approval and blatantly stolen artwork. this is incredibly frustrating, as lower-level fashion brands could be a more accessible entry point for an artist to form a lucrative relationship. but ultimately, this is an argument and rant for another day.
with that, i am done, i am tired, and i am going to sleep — (please note: it is only 6 pm as i am finishing this; but honestly, re-writing this entire thing was very emotionally taxing for me and
i’m still not super happy with the finished product, but whatever).
thanks for reading friend(s) ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ﾉ ! please let me know what you liked, disliked, disagreed with, and downright hated about this, i need that type of negative response stimulus to fuel my eternal slumber. (∪｡∪)｡｡｡zzZ