When Art and Fashion Collide

Jim Wills

When Art and Fashion Collide

One of my favorite avant garde designers, the Japanese powerhouse Rei Kawakubo said, "Fashion is not art. The aims of fashion and art are different and there is no need to compare them."

I must humbly disagree. I'd amend her quote with, "Fashion, once famous, now becomes art."

One only has to look at the performance fashion of Elton John or Lady Gaga. Whether performing as Captain Fantastic, or a dressed in a suit of meat, both have blended fashion with art on the red carpet and on stage. Gaga even created a Haus of Gaga fashion collection of her most iconic pieces which she exhibited in 2019.

"Yes, but those are costumes." you might say.

And I ask, "But are they not still art?"

We pay money to see clothing that has notoriety attached to it. Fashion becomes art when we revere it as such. When museums showcase fashion in a collection, is that not art?

During my time living in Denver, Colorado the Denver Art Museum exhibited many fashion/art events. In fact, currently in 2021 they are showcasing, Paris to Hollywood: The Fashion and Influence of Véronique and Gregory Peck, with 100 works on display from the wardrobe of one of the original fashion influencers, Véronique Peck.

The past exhibition Star Wars and the Power of the Costume showcased a collection of clothing and fashion worn by actors in the Star Wars franchise. From the gowns of Queen Amidala to Darth Vader himself the costumes were displayed as works of art.

The museum has also shown the elegance of Christian Dior, breathtaking jewels from Cartier, and as only one of four museums in the world, the most iconic clothing of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent.

It was YSL himself who designed the art of Piet Mondrian into clothing. Mondrian's Composition with Red Blue and Yellow, became a cocktail dress and was instantly crowned haute couture royalty.

We think YSL was onto something by infusing art directly into clothes. Here at Art Unknown Store we decided to do the same. We've added great artwork to made-to-order athletic wear and accessories, creating wearable works of art.

Fashion and art are a natural match in clothing. So feel free to love both equally. They are not mutually exclusive.

We also love introducing new artists to the world and we feel clothing is a great way to share their works while also giving back to the art community. To that end, every artist receives a percentage of the sales.

So here's to those who've pushed and blurred and blended what is considered fashion and art. For without them, the Art Unknown Store might not be here today!