The great fashion designers gain notoriety and prestige in different circles than those who that traditionally were considered specifically their own. There are many exhibitions dedicated to contemporary clothing, and fashion seems to be abandoning the catwalks of the grand shows and elitist and exquisite exhibition halls to conquer a new space, a new territory: the museums, where what is sold is design, image, reputation, and in a certain measure, art.
This process, although experiencing a surge in the last few years, is not new, but first took off in 1973, the year that the Metropolitan Museum of New York dedicated an exhibition to Cristóbal Balenciaga. A decade later, a living designer, Yves Saint Laurent, had his exhibition, and from that moment, museums began to create specific collections. The Metropolitan has more than 30,000 pieces. Specialized museums sprung up, and many other museums created sections dedicated to textile and fashion.
In general, it deals with exhibitions in which the leading role essentially corresponds to fashion and the fashion designer, to creative capacity and the conversion of the designers design work into the fate of artistic discipline. Perhaps it explores the relationship of the designer with classic and modern art, the veneration of one or more representative artists whose works they try to reinterpret in their own creations. Art is the inspiration and the genius as each designer reinterprets it, with great or little fortune, with more or less precision, to create his own work, which is a dress with the intention of being something else.
Fashion Art was born in the previously described environment, but has nothing to do with those past creations, nor by their content or pretensions. It has to do with a new proposal that doesnt try to exploit or project the image and reputation of the dressmaker or designer, but analyzes the cultural interaction, the junction of aesthetic references between plastic arts and fashion design.
Fashion Art proposes a work together between artists and fashion designers, in which the respective languages articulate and join together to create a dress that is in, itself, an authentic work of art.
The Spanish designer Manuel Fernández, with a brilliant professional path, had in 1998, the initiative to try to fuse art and fashion, pooling into one piece the work of well-known artists and of design, coming up with an exceptional richness of art and opening new fields of investigation into his fashion collections.
For this, he solicited artists from Spain and Latin America who created their works using the designs created by Manuel as a canvas for each one of them.
The Fashion Art presentation has become a real event, accompanied by a resounding success with the public and by critics with exceptional media coverage.
In its Latin American journey, Fashion Art achieved a million visits with an impact on 35 million people. The press wrote:
The proposal is unbiased but not irreverent as Manuel Fernández renews an old alliance between the permanent values of art and the temporal seduction of fashion design. El Litoral, Colombia.
Whether its in the coloring or the theme, in that double and simultaneous lecture, the permanence of painting and the ephemeral of the dress, the perceptual act is reinforced, the drowsiness of one-dimensional vision is shaken off, the past and present are related , a dynamic view is established. La República, Argentina.
In Fashion Art, the concept, the volume, the form, and the color express the aspiration of getting closer to the playful spirit of creativity and it is achieved. El Universal, Chile.
All a manifestation of creative liberty in which the color and texture become a fundamental part of the proposal. Cartagena de Indias News, Colombia.
The spectacular nature of the catwalks is no longer exclusively sought; with Manuel Fernández the full incorporation of pure artistic expression has been achieved in textile designs. The result is worrying artists who have painted their works on the designers white models, by converting what would be a flat canvas into a three-dimensional sculpture that lives, moves, flexes, and even smiles. It is also eye-opening for the public to know a new form of popularizing works of art, becoming accustomed to appreciating the styles and expressions of the artists that are hung on inaccessible walls of museums. Agencia Efe, España.
Fashion Art is part of a new idea and of a new language with regards to fashion. Were used to the elegant catwalks of Milan and New York, the opulence, inaccessible for some people, some sellable dresses, others not for sale. This new designer-created language proposes that a dress can be a work of art in itself. El Universal, México
A concept in continuous process:
Another peculiarity of Fashion Art is in its living, continuously developing character. Its not a traditional exposition, but one of an investigatory work of the interaction of art and design.
So, its not a static, closed exposition, but as it travels to cities and countries, it grows with the incorporation of relevant new local artists who lend their participation to the experiment. The result is an exposition that is always new and therefore offers the possibility of creating different views. In that sense, we can talk about an exposition that is in continuous progress.
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