This new book, Art/Fashion in the 21st Century, explains why we embrace fashion despite economic upheaval. As the author says, consumers turn to, “...luxury items for solace in a time of widespread austerity, and we might postulate that on a deeper level this is motivated by a desire for certainty in an era of upheaval.”
On the other hand, by being fashionable, we may want something that is designed by an artist, well-made, and something that makes us feel more comfortable and on trend. No matter. By collaborating with the art world, fashion gets a much-needed boost in an intellectual, critical framework. It’s true that fashion magazines will continue to invite artists as “guest editors”, and will also ask fine-art photographers to do fashion shoots that break with tradition.
‘one should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art’ –Oscar Wilde
Art/Fashion in the 21st Century celebrates mutual work projects between art and famous haute couture fashion designers. It highlights the features and background installations of such designers as: Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaïa, Cindy Sherman, Stella McCartney, and thirteen more up to Viktor + Rolf.
Each chapter builds on various treatises such as More than clothes: Fashion as art, Art meets fashion: Collaboration, Eye candy and ideas: Fashion as exhibition, and more.
This book represents those serious advocates of the art world, the artist of fashion installations, and those who do museum presentations using clothing. Editors who work in fashion, up-and-coming fashion designers, and students of the fashion world will find much in this book. It demonstrates how art and fashion collide to trick the eye, tempt the brain and experiment with the senses. It is not just a pretty book of supermodels in glamorous clothes, but an intense introspection of what creates art and pushes the border of experimentation in both manufacture of clothing and artifacts, and presentation with photography and fashion shows.
True to Thames and Hudson publishers, over 100 photographs are inside along with interviews with principals and descriptions of the avant-garde are featured.
Art/Fashion in the 21st Century by Mitchell Oakley Smith, Alison Kubler, Thames and Hudson. ISBN: 978-0-500-23909-4, $60 hardcover retail.