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Fashion As A Form Of Art The synthesis of beauty and ugliness

FashionAs A Form Of Art: The synthesis of beauty and ugliness

Artrefers to applied or expressed human inventive imagination and skill,especially in a visual approach such as sculpture or painting. Theobjective of art is designing work that humankind will appreciatebecause of its emotional appeal and beauty. Similarly, fashion is artsince it aims at attracting the attention of people through emotionalpower and beauty. It is a vehicle for communication and expression ofideas and emotions, a strategy for appreciating and exploring formalelements for their appeal (Amaden-Crawford, 107). The fashionindustry helps people to communicate their ideas in a unique way.Fashion is a form of art since designers use creativity tocommunicate personal ideas. It is possible to tell the year or theperiod a photograph was taken depending on the design of clothespeople are wearing (Küchler and Were, 113). On the same note,fashion is subject to copyright and branding rights among, as well asother protection regulations used to protect fine art products likemusic and gallery. The fashion aficionados assert that fashion relateto art in that it is expressive and communicative through appealingdesigns (Amaden-Crawford, 16).

Thework of an artist is designing products that will create visual oremotional appeal to targeted persons. Just as the art communicatescultural and aesthetic preferences of specific persons, fashiondesigners portray communicate their creativity are using complex andhighly volatile designs (McRobbie, 86). Some designers create clothesfrom styles that are not commonly considered beautiful. The aim ofadopting designs that have not been considered fashionabletraditionally comes from the fact that they aim at maximizing onuniqueness. The ugly designs have even become the buzzword in somefashion industries (Amaden-Crawford, 107). The designers choose artsthat people have traditionally shunned and refrained from the styles.Some designers have gone to the extent of declaring ugly thingsbeautiful, despite that fact that many people consider as a form offlow. The aim of adopting this new trend is creating visual andemotional appeal. An art cannot become fashionable unless it hasunique characteristics to differentiate it from the regular designs(Küchler and Were, 113).

Thefashion industry presently depends on attaining mass-market sales forthe products within a short period. The market serves diverse clientsthrough supplying ready-to-wear clothes designed using styles laiddown by popular individuals in the fashion industry. The fashionmoguls invest huge sums of capital to invent a new design, andadditional resources to make it popular in the market. When a designimpresses the market, and the demand increases, the investorsnormally license other designers to produce similar clothes andsupply it to the mass market where they are already in high demand(Geczy and Vicki, 66). In return, the pacesetters in the industryreceive royalties paid to them by small industry distributors. Ittakes about an entire season (six months) to determine whether agiven fashion is going to become a hit. In case the results arepositive, distributors across the world will start producing versionsthat are similar to the latest trend. Sometimes, various distributorsmay require using cheaper fabrics and uncomplicated productiontechniques, which can be conveniently accomplished using machines.This implies that the final product can retail at a lower cost(McRobbie, 86).

Recently,the “kutch” design has also become popular in the market. Theword kutch is derived from the German term &quotkitschig,&quotwhich refers to things that are “not visually appealing” or theyare just “ugly.&quot In the fashion industry, the term ugly mayalso refer to designs that are no longer fashionable. For example,the high-waist trousers were popular back in 1980s (Barnard, 54).However, some fashion designers often modify such designs usingthrough inclusion of unique features. The slight uniquenessintegrated into the outfit may help to make the design popular oncemore. Many designers in the fashion industry are using this techniqueof recreating “ugly” fashions through redoing minor details(Geczy and Vicki, 66).

Oneof the famous designers who have adopted “ugly” fashion includesthe Meadham Kirchhoff label. This is a fashion and design industryestablished by Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff, who are bothdesigners. During the spring/summer catwalk in 2012, they displayedsky blue and Pepto-Bismol pink emblazoned with rainbows, hearts, andCare Bear-like animals. Many viewers in the event considered thegarments as kitsch or ugly (Hollander, 47). For example, Prada’swindow exhibition had Hot Rod Shoes that gave a simulated arcaneAmericana image that had last been displayed in Grease. Inadditional, Dolce &amp Gabanna designed a series of beautifullyprinted dresses, and the slit enclosed by giant red chillis, clientscould not fail to classify the label as kitsch (Barnard, 54).

Consideringthat this seemingly unimpressive art has been making a gradualcomeback, an individual may wonder the reasons that are helping uglydesigns to return to the top of the fashion industry, despite thefact that it is facing extreme disapproval. However, the ‘ugly’designs are assumed poor art or badly produced copies of high qualityart. Many fashion designers agree that ‘ugly’ art encompassesfashion designs with a cartoonish impression or sentimentalinclination (Rhodes and Rawsthorn, 54). One of the historicallypopular ugly fashions that became popular in the past includes the“Tina” print by the JH Lynch that turned into the hallmark ofworking interiors back in the 1960s. In addition, Pierre et Gilles’(a French artist) work and kitsch master Jeff Koons’ sequel of the1980s photographs that featured his pornography artist wife (LaCicciolina) are other ugly arts that have historically becomepopular. On the same note, modern musicians such as Nicki Minaj andLady Gaga also uphold the ugly fashion. Minaj often dresses ongarments that make her resemble a supercharged Barbie. On the otherhand, Lady Gaga’s conceptual ruses, such as wearing a lobster crownover her head can be described as “cartoonishpastiche of Elsa Schiaparelli (Cole,1).”

Formany fashion designers, the “ugly” labels include fashions thatare quite incompetent and amateurish for the top design position, butare slightly above the tasteless art (Meadham and Kirchhoff, 1).According to Mackrell, “Uglyfashion incorporates strange elements, as well as signifies fun,brilliant and humorous art (P.14).”

TheTatty Devine, a jewelry collection label, features an assortment ofearrings such as the watermelon earrings (£30), maracas ` brooches(£28), and comb pendants (£120). Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine(The Tatty Devine designers) argue “Uglyfashion include the regular iconography, but with its volume enhanced(Cole 1).” The designers claim that their designs aim atrepackaging the familiar items, but with a slight tweak to make themunique from the regular labels. In addition, the designers insistthat they produce designs with high pop and nostalgia, which arecritical components of the “ugly” labels (Andrews, 17).


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Cole,Betham. “Kitsch pickings,” TheFinancial Times.2012. Print.

Rhodes,Zandra, and Rawsthorn, Alice. “Is fashion a true art form?” TheGuardian. 2003. Print.

Andrews,N. Katelyn. “The Most Fascinating Kind Of Art: Fashion DesignProtection as A Moral Right,” NYUJournal Of Intell. Prop. &amp Ent. Law.2012. 2(188).

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Küchler,Susanne and Were, Graeme. The Art of Clothing: A Pacific Experience.Psychology Press, 2005. Print.

Hollander,Anne. SeeingThrough Clothes.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. Print.

Amaden-Crawford,Connie. TheArt of Fashion Draping.New York: Fairchild Books, 2012. Print.