When I first sat down to write this blog, I planned on a quick google search or two about the art-referenced fashion collections of Spring 2017 alongside some pictures of our own attempts to meld art and fashion through our experimentation with combining Amanda's beautiful fabric patterns with our workroom's tailoring expertise. And I found several ... but kept clicking, and wound up with a much bigger "post" than I started with.
Is fashion art? I think so. I've always been taken with the beautiful couture creations in magazines. There is no question that the level of craftsmanship it takes to create couture is elevated to an art form, and the technique needed to create patterns that both fit and perform as the designer imagines also dovetails with art. My opinion aside, I did some research on the subject in an effort to get some expert perspective.
While zipping around the inter webs, I found this short "documentary" via the New York Times, which I absolutely loved. It quotes a bunch of industry heavy-hitters like Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley, but also follows a walking tour through the fashion archives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I highly recommend watching -- it's a treat for the fashion-savvy, and also those who are fans of art.
Using cultural references through the ages, like John Singer Sargent's "Portrait of Madame X" and Rihanna's 2015 custom couture for the Met Ball, the documentary shows how closely fashion choices are interwoven into culture, and how art both records and influences fashion. Here is a link to an article about Madame X in relation to both art and fashion (and scandal!) I also found some detailed information about Rihanna's ensemble in a Vanity Fair article. (Photos below)
The Wall Street Journal does a good job defining art and fashion independently, and then as a collaborative medium. The more I read, the further down the rabbit hole I've gone, and in the interest of brevity, I'm going to save my thoughts on the art-influenced Spring 2017 collections for another day (though I'm not alone in these thoughts -- check out this article in Vogue )
Before I wrap this up, I do want to honor my original intention, which is to touch on the intersection of art and fashion here at Amanda Talley. We spent several months this past fall picking apart and reconstructing the bomber jacket craze. Everyone here at the studio has their own ideas about why the bomber jacket was back, and so does Vogue. Admittedly, my interest is based in my childhood Grease obsession. I've always wanted a Pink Lady jacket, and never really knew what context it would have in an adult's wardrobe. I am not a hipster, and I also don't have $3600.00 for a Givenchy bomber jacket; and I wanted to find a way to keep the custom and individual artistry aspect alive in what we were offering at the studio. So we sat down with our tailors and pictures and fabric and zippers in our workroom. We pulled apart an inexpensive, trendy bomber jacket and rebuilt it to include a 100% silk lining in Amanda Talley fabric, a satin charmeuse one-of-a-kind artwork whipstitched onto the back of the jacket, and several antique custom patches we found in the vault at Promenade Fine Fabrics. I'm not sure if the Wall Street Journal or Vogue would agree, but I am pretty sure this project sewed art and fashion together in undeniable synchronicity.