One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art. – Oscar Wilde
Was Oscar Wilde onto something? We’re no longer part of the 19th century’s Aesthetic Movement, but designers are obviously raiding the art history books, extrapolating a myriad of references to complement –and to drive– their collections.
Whenever fashion designers are lauded by some critics and hissed at by the larger public, when they show wardrobe line-ups seemingly suited more for an art gallery than for a civilian’s closet, most do take pause and ask themselves if the piece in question is indeed that over the top.
Fall-winter is indeed the fashionista’s favorite season cycle, because it introduces a larger dressing repertoire and brings out clever layering and wonderful outerwear. This season more than a few fashionable fur pieces seem to come out straight out of an art encyclopedia.
This fashion renaissance is tagging the actual Renaissance, or Northern Medieval period, as seen when you tap Flemish portraiture, with more than a few direct quotes from portraitures and period dress.
Of course, the 20th century is the “big one” when it comes to current art references. From the experimental modernist work of the 1910s and 1920s to the iconographic work of the century’s innovators, the selection is as clever in its appropriation as it is respectful.
Abstracting a style or movement’s language is much more conducive to true creative results than literal appropriation.
Can you identify your favorite art references in the Fall 2011 collections?