There is a strong parallel between the fashion industry and the art world. Emerging fashion designers and up and coming artists are mixing up the game and clearing the way for a new set of standards, aesthetics, and innovation. They are as significant as their established counterparts in making an impact to culture and history as those who trail blazed before them. The power and scope of their work has the edge and pushes the boundaries.
What they are up against in today’s world is the hyper branding, marketing, and spinning, with consumers and collectors responding to what or who is “hot”. Retailers and gallerist shy away from unknowns because they believe they have to protect their bottom line with established names. Fashion shows and art fairs have become a media spectator sport at a high cost for entry. Retailers and, to some degree, the art world gravitate to what’s familiar, what’s known, and end up with the same kind of look with no differentiation. Everyone wants to sell a variation of the same thing. Why, I ask.
What happened to discovery of new talent? Both fashion designers and artists have historically been acknowledged for their authentication, experimentation, risk-taking, and what cultural impact or influence they make. In today’s world, the discovery of unknown talent and under-represented artists is not on the radar screen, and it should be.
A recent trip to Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica, California was that of discovery. Another parallel of fashion and art – with both visual art and fashion, you have to experience it up close and personal. With art, you have to go see it; you have to stand in front of it. With fashion you have to touch, feel, and see the construction, fabric, and detail of the garment. The digital environment does not replace the real thing. All art forms, including fashion design, should be about discovery, the element of surprise, and the unexpected experience.
The creation of fashion and art is an expression of the designer and artist. To consume a fashion or art piece is a consumer or collector’s form of style and expression. The true bridge or collaboration of these two creative mediums enhances the strengths of both.
The most powerful parallel – Fashion and Art are instant language!