The Significance Of Fashion
Why Include Fashion in Art?
Fashion in visual art illustrates the idea of rebellion and transgression. Transgression is probably a major key to understanding art history, at least of the modern era. Its always about one idea supplanting another idea, reacting to a set of ideas or philosophies and doing something against those rules or customs, in the process it opens up the art world in ways it wasn't before. For the last 150 years, the most admired and historically significant artists have tended to be the most transgressive. Manet, Picasso, Warhol, Pollock, the impressionists, the list is very long....
One of the few transgressive things you can do today in art (and still feel transgressive) is include fashion. The reason why fashion is still a bit suspect is probably due to the way the art market works. The art market is looking for timeless works of art, much more so than the markets for music, film and literature. Visual art is traditionally very expensive to produce (and still is) so its natural that people prefer something that they can resell should the need or desire arise. So the best art should stand the test of time. It should still feel important and relevant in decades to come. The risk of this not being the case increases the more that fashion is incorporated into the work. Fashion, by design, tends to age badly or at least have periods of very diminished desirability before it comes back in style. Fashion is a very risky idea to include in art if you are at all conscious of resale value.
In comparison it costs little (now) to publish a book or make a song and the cost can be shared by many customers. It is therefore not as necessary that your iTunes purchase still be enjoyable in five years so that you can somehow re-sell it. One can limit oneself to only great, timeless music of course, but the option is there for the guilty pleasure, the summer anthem, the fashionable but short lived hit. Having this kind of choice in art seems desirable and more advanced. Its basically the luxury the top collectors enjoy: the ability to purchase art without concern about the cost. When a famous European collector chose some of our work at a New York show recently he did not ask for the price. And this is similar to the privilege much of our world enjoys for music, books and film, and most recently, fashion. Sort of like how many people don't really care or notice if their iTunes song is $0.99 or 1.29. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way for the art world to advance closer to the ideals demonstrated by these other markets? Wouldn't it be nice if there were ways that our planet's best artists (as endorsed by museums, academics and the market) could somehow be mass produced like music or film or books while still feeling like fine art?
So, for us, the idea of fashion in visual art represents transgression and the ideal of accessibility.
And besides, its a lot of fun. :o)
About clothing fashion, which we've documented in years past (lately our focus is art world fashions):
Clothing fashion is like a laboratory of colour, especially with the advent of the global chains like H&M. Industrial manufacturing trends often follow closely on fashion trends. Interior design tends to be a year or so behind fashion. It makes sense because its a bigger deal to paint a room than to buy an article of clothing. If certain colours are popular and well received in the fashion world, it makes sense that they will be desired in interiors too. In this sense clothing fashion can have years of influence on society. And colour affects mood which affects society so it probably loops on itself.
fashion is something worth documenting in our opinion. it won't get documented outside of photography because of the resale thing. The market structure of the art world discourages portraying fashion because fashion becomes dated (often) and may feel unappealing later.
With LUx the portrayal of fashion is quite abstract and definitely conceptual. Its there if you know what to look for (we choose colours from the season's palettes of the most influential designers and use as the Lux palette that season) Some artists document and interpret nature's seasons, we document and interpret fashion's seasons. A landscape is a particular take on a view. Ours are a particular take on fashion, sort of like a cultural landscape.