How Art Impacts Your Clothes

What you will never see in any fashion magazine is just an outfit, laid out as is, and photographed to do no more than show you what you can expect from the upcoming season. Why? Because that is boring and fashion is far from boring. It is one of the most high-energy, dramatic fields you can be part of. Behind the scenes, fashion is electric and it takes its cues from the art world.

Fashion photography is an art form unto itself, but how does art impact the clothes themselves? Designers from Gucci, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few, recently put their fall lines on artistic display and spoke about what inspired each piece.

“Clean lines” is a phrase that was heard a lot.

Clothing has to create a line that your eye can travel along while you’re wearing it. It’s what creates your silhouette. Your body has something to do with the figure you present, sure, but without the right cut, clothing can take an amazing body and diminish it. The same is true for a painting or a photograph. Lines and spatial reasoning have everything to do with whether or not you enjoy what you’re looking at. Designers take the same approach when they cut a gown or any piece of clothing.

Vivid color and texture.

Without these two elements, every painting would resemble an Ansel Adams. Art in any form relies on color and texture to tell its story. So it is with clothing. Color is an easy one. If you hate brown, you won’t buy a brown blouse. If you love red, you’re drawn immediately to the red dress on the rack. The same is true with color combinations and patterns. All your favorite shades of blue can be in an awful swirl up and down a pair of pants and, although they may fit like a glove, you’re not buying. The texture works the same way. You may love maroon, but you’re not buying a maroon piled angora sweater in the summer or a chunky knit sweater…ever again. Compare this to the art that hangs in your home. The color and lines may be the first thing that drew your attention, but put all that on velvet and you’re seeing a whole new painting.

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Expression is one of the final modes of appeal in fashion.

This is easily defined in the art world – simply think Van Gogh or Andy Warhol or look inside any indie art installation. You’ll see loads of expression. The expression is best seen in how designers put their outfits and accessories together. Admit it. When you see a well-crafted outfit complete with a hat, scarf, belt, earring, gloves, bag, boots, and makeup that no one would ever wear out of the house, you look twice. And how many times have you bought the manikin’s outfit because it was put together so perfectly? Ten designers can take the same top and it will look completely different on each of their models because of their expression.

So take a stroll through your closet and find the clothes that create a flattering line on your body. Pair them with colors and textures that let you express yourself. You’re a work of art. Your clothes are simply the frosting.