Is Fashion Really a Form of Art?
Fashion Article Posted August 13, 2012

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The development of the civilized world has made dressing more of a hobby than a necessity. In ancient times, humans wore clothing for protection from the elements, animals, and as armor. The more civilized the world became, however, the more people started dressing for recreation. Today, there are some crazy style options that many people baulk at wearing, because they do not want to look silly. However, what those people fail to realize is that these styles are not meant to be practical, but rather a form of art.

Elements of Fashion

Fashion is more than just throwing on something to wear. Most fashion designers spend months out of the year trying to find out what styles are most aesthetically pleasing and stand out from the crowd. Part of the reason why so many fashion show styles are so strange to the everyday wearer is because many of the styles are not just there as clothing pieces. The designers truly use the clothing as an expression of art. Just like in painting or sculpture, some art is more "normal" than others.

When Fashion is Just Clothes

Most people do not really think about the artistic side of dressing. These individuals have regular jobs and perform everyday activities, like going to work, shopping, and taking children to school. Fashion is just a way to protect themselves from the elements. Even if the people follow style trends, it is not to stand out or look artistic, but rather to fit in with the crowd and avoid looking out of place. For this reason, many people have trouble with dressing and finding clothing that is actually flattering on their bodies. They choose styles based on what is popular or convenient to wear rather than choosing them by the overall artistic appearance.

Fashion as Art

To clothing designers and individuals interested in high fashion, and even a few bloggers and everyday people, the clothing choices they make are a statement about who they are. The clothing is chosen and designed based on the overall artistic effect. Many designers take extreme risks that look interesting, but do not always translate into practical outfits. However, the extreme, artistic designs that high-end designers make are often toned-down and translated into wearable fashions by lower-end designers. So even though few people wear the fashion "art" that is seen on the runways, nearly everyone eventually wears some interpretation of the original idea. This actually makes fashion art one of the most widely used and accessible forms of art in the world.

Fashion Photography is a Respected Form of Art

While many people do not see actual dressing as an art form, it is an undisputed fact that fashion photography is an art form. Famous fashion photographers like Ronald James and others help set up extreme and artistic settings and poses for the clothing pieces. Often the photos show the clothing in motion, or in other settings, just as posed against a stark background or even under water. Showcasing the fashions in this way helps them to stand out from the hundreds of other styles to choose from, and really shows the artistic side of high fashion.

In the end, fashion is what you make of it. If you see fashion as just clothing pieces to throw on, then your outfits will usually look like the other popular outfits of the day. You will be fine with this, because you express yourself artistically in other ways. On the other hand, individuals who see fashion as a way to express their inner being and artistic feelings will always have a different take on fashion and dressing than the majority. These people will often find their way into the fashion world, whether as a fashion designer, fashion photographer, stylist, or any other of the numerous jobs associated with the world of fashion. For these people, fashion has, and always will be, a form of art.

This is a guest post by Liz Conaty.  Liz is a lover of all things art related, but recently has been intrigued by acrylic art, and its many applications.

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