“Can fashion be considered art?” This is a topic that is discussed almost all the time within the fashion community, which historically has rarely been elevated to the same status as painting, music, sculpture or architecture. Because its initial birth is related to class nature (for example, the original “fashion” is derived from French court culture). Accordingly, art, as an autonomous product of subjective expression, was not directly subject to church or monarchical decrees, but emerged from the foundations of bourgeois culture after the revolutions of 1848, when art education, independent display structures, and expanded commercial possibilities allowed art to be created and disseminated.
In 1960, when Yves Klein published a work called Anthropometries, based on his famous “Klein blue”, he put it this way: “When I realize that there are no longer enough hands for processing colour, the human body becomes my tool for displaying the canvas.” This series of most controversial creations, using models as living brushes, immersed in the immeasurable presence of a single color, opened a window to the freedom of art history. Reflection, if the human body is a white canvas, then the designer created clothing, can also be called art?
Fashion, of course, is more than clothes that cover our bodies. It is an extension of our bodies and a way of expressing ourselves. In any era, fashion is a mirror of society, a product of The Times, and we need to see fashion in a broader cultural context. The answers given in different eras are inseparable from the social environment at that time. More importantly, society is changing, technology is developing, knowledge structure is constantly reorganized, and people’s perspectives and ways of looking at things are also changing accordingly.
Art has always been the infinite source of inspiration for designers. From the spring, summer and autumn and winter shows of various brands in 2022, you can see designers’ artistic creations again and again, from artists’ famous paintings to sculptures, to classic fashion figures and craftsmanship cooperation, as well as the movie inspiration that never gets tired of playing… Perhaps: fashion can be anything, it can be fashion, it can also be art.
Raf Simons took Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s famous painting in 1559 Netherlandish Proverbs as his inspiration for the 2022 Autumn/Winter series. What appears to be a portrait of the Dutch countryside is actually a collection of more than 100 proverbs that reveal the nature of human nature.
It’s clear that many of the collection’s designs can be traced back to the costumes of the characters in the painting, such as the opening blue hooded cape, which was created in collaboration with hat master STEPHEN JONES. The inspiration can be found in the painting, which is almost exactly the same way of copying and placing it in the current context. So this season, you’ll find leather jumpsuits that look like ancient robes, fun hats that cover the face like masks, backpacks with drape satin bows and vintage low-heeled leather boots.
Also inspired by classic paintings is the Loewe 2022 Spring/Summer series. Jonathan Anderson finds ways to twist and transfer the extreme formalism of the Renaissance painter Pontormo to explore the vertical vertical pleated cutting, and then uses the connotation of sculpture and color. Trying to start another level of fashion culture Renaissance in the contemporary era.
Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, has teamed up with UK Turner Prize-shortlisted artist Anthea Hamilton, with whom he has designed exhibition clothes and limited-edition wallpapers. This time on the stretch, Hamilton can be seen designing her famous pumpkin artwork in Loewe leather.
And Matthieu Blazy, who took over Daniel Lee’s new Bottega Veneta, for the autumn/Winter 2022 collection, a gender-appropriate three-dimensional arch, Inspired by Italian sculptor Umberto Boccioni’s sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, the delicate tailoring perfectly interprets the residual shadows of human movements and dynamic forces that the sculpture aims to express.
When completing these works, they cannot be separated from the craftsman spirit behind the silent efforts. They are often the most easily ignored by people. Without them, the unrestrained and unrestrained designers may not be shown. To achieve the surrealism of the Loewe 2022 Spring/Summer collection, Jonathan Anderson found a metal sculptor in Paris to use his unique human hand hammer technique to create a rich layer by pressurizing the metal or breaking it into more than 30 pieces. Each piece takes 20 to 25 hours to create, upgrading the dress to a walking masterpiece of art.
Also committed to the artisan spirit, Tod’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection continues its reputation of working closely with artists over the years, with Carlota Guerrero to create a virtual experimental space through the tools artisans rely on to make a living, where seven women create sculptural imagery for each other, Re-create a symbolic art workshop.
From its origins in the late 19th century to today, more than 100 years ago, film as a moving image has had a huge impact on art, technology and politics, and is certainly a source of creative passion in the fashion world. Salvatore Ferragamo 2022 Spring/Summer collection takes Spanish national treasure director Luis Bunuel’s 1977 film That Obscure Object of Desire as its starting point, Two women playing the same role in the play is the benchmark that defines the multiple identities of the female world, breaking free from the shackles of elegant and generous senses through the collage of elements. This season, in collaboration with Parisian artist Julien Colombier, she overprints 1970s Ferragamo floral prints on a loose tiger-print fabric.
Max Mara’s spring/Summer 2022 collection takes Otto Preminger’s adaptation of Francoise Sagan’s “My Day Blues” to its full potential. Max Mara deconstructs the dress image of Cecile, the master of contemporary stories, creates the Bohemian style of a middle-class rebel and creates the image of a cool girl. Among them, Max Mara innovatively interprets the avant-garde and bold striped canvas, inspired by the patterns of summer garden appliances such as canvas folding chair, sunshade and windproof, which interprets the nostalgic feelings and creates the overall shape with the spirit of nature.
From the clothes to the back, art is indispensable. As a more direct show to the audience, the show becomes the artist’s show. Designers bring in artists to build the show into a free creative space. In search of an intensely physical approach to painting, filled with light, solar energy, Hermes womenswear artistic director Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski enlisted artist Flora Moscovici to actually paint large paintings based on the space in Le Bourget, where the show was held.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior women’s wear, also likes to show artists’ ideas on the show. Dior Autumn/Winter 2022 has collaborated with Italian artist Mariella Bettineschi to create an installation called The Next Era. Mariella Bettineschi took inspiration from the portraits of women from the 16th to 19th centuries and made large pieces that covered the walls like gallery installations.