Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Categorically Thinking

Fashion and art are normally thought of as separate categories of creation with separate objectives. There are certain aspects and practices that normally distinguish them.



Functional, useful in protection
Adaptable parts, accessories

Human scale

Runway unveiling

Limited lifespan with wear

Differentiates from “apparel”

Balenciaga, 2008



Negates function, limits use

Created as a whole, “finished”

Multi-media and immaterial

Unlimited scale

Gallery or site unveiling

Preserved to last

Differentiates from “kitsch”

Winged Victory of Samothrace, 200 BC

Fashion + Art = Aesthetics

Fashion and art are in some ways inseparable as creations

Appearances, Visions, Inspirations, Propositions, Design, Craftsmen, Forms, Original, Multiples, Identity, Brands, Display, Context, Performance, Documentation, Press, Museums, History, Memory, Commerce, Status

It is also important to consider that fashion and art can together advance the same values. Fashion and art are both mediums of communication and part of this blog is looking beyond the medium to the value asserted. There are general global values and any number of specific subculture values that emphasize morals, economics or other aspects. There are also conservative values and liberal values within subcultures.

Global Values

Protection of humanity

Procreation of humanity
Education for all
Care of the planet
Inclusive of all styles

Local Subculture Values

Protection of a small group

Continuation of particular families

Particular views on education

Care of territory

Particular styles

Conservative Values

Continuation of existing leaders and habits

Continuation of pricing

Limitations of action, rules that maintain

Continuation of existing style

Liberal Values

New ways of doing things

Adaptable pricing

Open to freedom of actions, changing rules

Open to change existing style

In fashion, this Ralph Lauren advertisement is an example of global values because it is reaching more than one type of culture. It is also an example of conservative values because it is continuing the tux and turban traditions.

By contrast, the art work of Shirin Neshat appears to focus on the local subculture of Iranian women whose clothing and decoration express their values. Neshat's work documents traditional conservative fashion but she gives a liberal perspective by showing the women challenging their submission through hand painting and creation. A creation can appear local and conservative but like the ad above, can reach a global audience and be liberal in its values. Watch the Shirin Neshat video and read an interview with Neshat and Arthur Danto.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture, 1999

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