Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fashion Is Art

All the people who ooh and aah over great works of art in museums yet turn up their noses at fashion make me laugh. They are pretentious and supercilious and profoundly ignorant. 

I, too, love to look at paintings and sculpture and listen to music and read literature. I, too, swoon over da Vinci and Raffaello and Ghirlandaio and Caravaggio and Rodin and Turner and Vermeer and Manet and Goya and Mozart and Mahler and Beethoven and Verdi and Wagner and Strauss and Wharton and Fitzgerald and Whitman and Frost and Baudelaire and Lampedusa and on and on and on. 

And so, too, do I swoon over Dior and Balmain and Chanel and Balenciaga and Valentino and St. Laurent and Givenchy and Schiaparelli and McQueen and Galliano and de la Renta and Adrian and Herrera and Hermès and Cavalli and Prada and Armani and Gaultier and Lacroix and Lesage and on and on.

Those great designers are no less artists than painters, sculptors, composers, and writers. And it's only ignorance and snobbishness that would claim they're not. Take a look at some of this work and tell me the people who do it aren't artists. The talent it takes to create these pieces -- all by hand -- is gobsmacking. If you can't see that, either you're going blind or you delight in being perverse. (I realize the latter is a modern preoccupation.) 

Yes, fashion can be superficial, but then so can every other endeavor in life. The fact that you think ripped jeans and a ratty T-shirt are cool doesn't make you a rebel. Or an intellectual. Au contraire, it's about as bland and conformist as you can get.