Written By Lizzie Sharp
Fashion has brought together beauty, creativity, collaboration and purpose for centuries. From the earliest examples of clothing to the most recent runway show, fashion has remained as an upheld part of society and more than likely will for the rest of time.
The versatility of fashion means that inspiration can come from anywhere- two of its main muses, however , are nature and art. The variety and beauty of nature can be taken and translated into the fashion world in many ways, from a simple floral print to a more realistic take.
Seen recently at Paris Fashion Week, the Loewe ‘Natural Fake’ show took the realism of nature to another level. Designer Jonathan Anderson took inspiration from the anthurium, a bright red tropical flower, and designed several pieces with this flower as the main focal point. The flower was not printed onto fabric, but actually made up the body of the dress, with a large-scale realistic model of the flower that acted as the bodice, giving a unique, almost tropical, silhouette.
*Image taken from Vogue Magazine, picture by Daniele Oberrauch
*Image taken from Fashionista.com
Art as direct inspiration has also been seen, for example with the Valentino collection inspired by the painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Hieronymous Bosch. Designers Pierpaolo Piccioli and Zandra Rhoades collaborated to produce a collection of delicate and detailed dresses, with features of the artwork subtly included and the colour palette of pale blues, greens and pinks matching the original painting.
*Image from fashionbombdaily.com
Fashion has also been known to transcend time, with looks that were once perceived as iconic remaining iconic for time after that; the resurgence of 90s and y2k era fashion is a huge example of this. That kinda tacky, OTT vibe; think velour tracksuits, denim and rhinestones of past decades making a comeback in the past year, some 30 years after their debut.
In particular, the well-known full-denim fit seen on Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards has one that has been renowned as an iconic moment of the noughties and seen replicated by other celebrities. Britney’s full denim dress, bag, and over the top jewellery, paired with Justin’s full denim suit and matching denim hat are the pinnacle of y2k fashion; bold, blingy, and slightly trashy.
Performance art and fashion are two things which go hand-in-hand; the creativity of the outfits is enhanced by the visuals of the performance and this is why designers choose to incorporate it into their shows. Notably, the visual effects of creating or destroying an outfit to reveal something more is one that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.
*image taken from vogue.co.uk, taken by Pierre Suu
The SS16 show by Hussein Chalayan closed with two of the models standing under showers, where their water-soluble jackets dissolved off of them and revealed two different dresses underneath. In a different yet similar style, Coperni created a dress in front of a live audience, by spraying a type of spray-on fabric directly onto the body of Bella Hadid, before shortening it, adding a slit and draping the straps over shoulders. She was then able to model the dress that had just been applied to her.
Fashion is an art and its contribution to society is one of beauty and also fun- the ability to create something from anything is why it is so treasured. It can make a statement, political or otherwise, and withstand the test of time. And this is why it will remain so important within society, continuing to shape the world we live in, without us even realising… how ‘the devil wears prada’ after all!
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