Is Fashion a Form of Art? the Influence of Artistic Expression in the Fashion Industry

Fashion is an ever-evolving industry that continues to fascinate the world. From minimal elegant dresses to modern tech-wearable, this field is constantly expanding its horizons. But, where does all this inspiration come from? Many people consider that art and fashion are different concepts. The truth is far from that. In fact, there is a close interconnection between these two. Over the years, fashion has always aligned with the artistic expression of the time, and even in present times, the surge of abstract artwork is inspiring fashion designers to create relatable clothing pieces. Furthermore, starting from the core concept of colour and composition, art and fashion share the same values and visions, work on the same patterns, follow the same rules, and, hence, share the same intention of fostering feelings and creating a harmonious balance of colour. So, can fashion be considered a form of art? In this article, we will delve into the influence of artistic expression in the fashion industry.

people fashion show on stage
Photo by Michael Lee on Unsplash

Artistic Influences in Fashion

Fashion designers have drawn inspiration from popular art movements over the years to add a glimpse of history in their clothing lines, or from contemporary art for an innovative approach and a futuristic vision. Designers learned to admire art and see beyond the visual creation, understanding the emotions that stand at its core. If you're a fashion creator looking for emotional inspiration, you can find original drawings for sale that can help you expand your mental horizons. For example, these are some artistic currents that inspired designers to create timeless clothing pieces:

Colours And Composition

Fashion and art share a love for colours and composition. These concepts started with the invention of the colour wheel by Isaac Newton, which immediately became a fundamental tool for artists. It relies on the primary colours, blue, yellow and red, and, with their combination, the secondary colours are created, orange, purple and green, which can be mixed as well to obtain tertiary colours. This circle represents the chromatic relationship between the hues, and it's a reference for artists to work on composition for temperature, saturation, value and hue. In fashion design, the primary colours are essential to express specific emotions. For example, red inspires vitality, passion and elegance, yellow recalls the sun's radiant energy, and it suggests optimism and brightness. Lastly, blue is a versatile colour associated with feelings of tranquillity, and it reminds of the serenity of the clear sky. Furthermore, since the possibilities to create various tones and shades are endless, artists and designers can create harmonious pieces playing with cooler or warmer tones and lighter pastel shades and use them to communicate feelings that recall seasons. For example, fashion designers take inspiration from nature similarly to art creators, so for autumn-winter collections, they often use earthy tones like shades of brown (for the fall season) and cooler-icy ones (to recall winter colours).

A Close Collaboration

Modern artistic freedom demolished the boundaries of the fashion industry and the artistic world, creating a field of innovation that led to sensational collaborations between fashion designers and traditional artists. For example, for the spring/summer 2008 collection, Louis Vuitton decided to bring to life the artwork of Richard Prince of the famous Nurse painting, showcasing on the runway nurse outfits. Also, to celebrate the iconic Skull representing Alexander McQueen, the designer collaborated with the controversial artist Damien Hirst, and created a scarf collection with butterfly and insect motifs. The two worlds continue to collide as the fashion industry targets art collectors; Gucci is showing its latest Cruise 2025 collection at the Tate Modern in London, encouraging other luxury brands like Burberry to adopt this initiative as well. The British designer Rejina Pyo considers the relationship between art and fashion as long-standing but especially post-pandemic. Both worlds have shifted how they communicate their vision to get closer to art enthusiasts who would be more likely to see a runway show in art galleries and museums.

Digital Art And Fashion

We can say that the lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring, and the perfect example to prove this is the integration of technology into the fashion industry. With the surge of digital art, fashion designers took the opportunity to create digital fashion, a means of innovation through which customers can try virtual dresses as a regular "try-on" adapted to their bodies. Digital clothes are an emerging trend that could reshape the fashion industry significantly, attracting tech-savvy people who are also passionate about fashion to collect virtual fits, embracing this innovative concept to break traditional barriers between real life and the digital world.

The Bottom Line

So, is fashion art? Yes, fashion is a form of art. The coalition of the traditional artistic world and the fashion industry is here to stay and develop continuously, finding new ways to highlight the importance of freedom and expression.