Fashion as Art
Art is an important part of my life. Dance, music, design, paintings - particularly any impressionist work - writing and any sort of communications, they are the beat of my heart and a passion that excites me. I danced ballet and jazz when I was young, and still feel the groove in the privacy of my living room. I’m not a musician, although I attempted it a few times in my youth, and my iTunes account is filled with classical, country, hard rock, pop, musical theater and opera. And I’ve been known to perform in my car but be thankful you’re not there with me. My son and niece have actually asked me to stop in the past, which only really, of course, makes me sing louder. I love interior design and the moods, expressions, and aesthetics you can achieve by changing the smallest of details.
While I’m obsessed with the art masters but since my stick people are crooked, I was not blessed with that talent, but I do make it a point to visit the fine art museum in any city I visit. Being from Southern California, I actually have some amazing resources nearby. No, we’re not New York City or London or Washington DC, but we’re stronger in culture than many realize. We have multiple theaters, or performing arts centers, and I have held a season seat to my closest one for years now. I also have a season seat at the LA Opera, memberships with the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art, and at our local Orange County museum, the Bowers. Other museums in LA include the Natural Science Museum and the California Science Center, which houses the Space Shuttle Endeavor. The Reagan Presidential Library boasts an Air Force One plane, the Dolby Theater in Hollywood hosts the Academy Awards and other productions, and the Walt Disney Theater and Hollywood Bowl take turns hosting the LA Philharmonic and other absolutely mind-blowing concerts. And then, of course, Hollywood. I don’t think that requires any additional explanation.
Another form of art you can probably guess I’m obsessed with is fashion. One thing I can do, and not everyone knows, is that I am an amazing seamstress. I don’t indulge in it like I used to, but I know it’s like riding a bike. The smell of the fabric store is addictive, and I lose myself in the aisles of beading, sequins, lace and satin. And holiday fabric. And flannel. Draping the fabric over the form, cutting the pattern and putting the pieces together like a puzzle to create an original piece - let’s face it, what are the chances that someone else selected that exact pattern and that exact fabric. It’s all mine.
I imagine that I experience a small glimpse into the world of the fashion designer every time I create something. And what is that? That is art.
Art is defined as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” And I would most definitely say that high fashion fits this description.
This time of year we witness the Big 4 of fashion weeks for the reveal of Spring/Summer fashions from New York, London, Milan, Paris - and we see them again in February for Fall/Winter reveals - as well as local shows in Los Angeles, Miami and other cities. These fashion weeks are important to the industry as effective and exciting communications between fashion’s top and emerging designers and the rest of the fashion world.
As a little side-bar…when I was a little girl, before I understood how the world worked, let alone the fashion world, I was confused why we’d see fashion shows and photos of clothing from next season. Of course, being from California it never surprised me having bathing suits available year-round, but who wants to think about winter coats when the temperature was getting warmer, or about spring dresses when Halloween was just around the corner. Combined with my childish ignorance of the outlandish designs that were shown, shared with the adults in my household, I was actually mesmerized. I thought that world was something magical, some place that you only dared to enter and maybe even had to wait to be invited. I grew up with limited means, and while I never went hungry or wondered where I would sleep, my fashion sense was not only non-existent but discouraged to keep my visions within our budget. Creativity was encouraged, but interests were mocked when misunderstood or different.
Now, as we are coming into fall, we are presented with fashions for next spring, with exciting colors, vibrant prints and flowing fabrics. The shows and photos from New York and London were exciting to watch as are the ones coming in from Milan, and I honestly can’t get enough of the looks and can only assume that Paris will be an amazing culmination of everyone’s efforts.
Here is where it gets interesting. I’m going to ask you to open your minds and take a little chance with your own imaginations and creativity.