Wearable Art – Wearing Your Art on Your Sleeve
I was recently introduced to the world of wearable art which, as the name suggests, is a form of art where garments, textiles, jewelery and other fashion accessories are created as original, individually designed forms of artistic expression. The conventional criteria for creating clothing such as comfort, practicality and durability are thrown out the window with everything from rubber gloves to branches of trees being used in the creation of these wearable works of art. With seemingly no rules or limitations the wearable art movement has produced some amazing and spectacular pieces that look like they belong to an entirely different species from a land far away
I am most intrigued with the works where the artist has approached the design of their creations as wearable sculptures that can exist as works of art in their own right without the need to be worn by someone. There are some pieces that seem to exhibit a level of restraint and resemble normal articles of clothing which to be honest is rather boring and seems to defeat the purpose of creating such an artwork. If one is going to challenge people’s perception of the relationship between fashion and art then they may as well go all out and be imaginative otherwise the artist may as well just work as a normal fashion designer. I am still not quite sure exactly how one would display such a work of art but I could see them being exhibited on mannequins or on some sort of body shaped frame inside a glass case.
The craftmanship and skill that is required to produce such an artwork is extensive and varied which means that it takes a lot of time and effort to create each peace consequently there are a very limited number of works on the market. I can definately see the more creative sculptural works becoming very desirable and increasing in value as the popularity of wearable art continues to increase but I would stay away from the more mundane designs that resemble conventional garments.
********I do have an ulterior motive for writing about wearable art which is my own foray into the world of fashion design. As Christmas is just around the corner I thought that I would design a t-shirt for readers of the Art Market Blog which would make a great Christmas present. After many late nights and much deliberation I came up with a sort of slogan that I think is rather clever and will appeal to anyone who loves modern art and some people that don’t. To check out the t-shirt go to:
http://www.printfection.com/artmarketblog/Art-Market-Blog-T-Shirt/_p_1731814 (Design and image Copyright Nicholas Forrest 2007)
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.