Is fashion an art form?

It’s a good question. And remember, the question is ‘Is fashion an art form?’ Not ‘Is fashion good art?’. Which means that examples of particularly awful fashion…

… are not arguments against fashions status as an art. Because as we all know, having no sense of aesthetic beauty or cultural interest is no barrier to being art…


…oh no. If anything it often seems like a requisite. So is fashion art? Well, yes. Clearly. Kind off, in a way. Art is just creative expression intended to be appreciated as expression. This is how I interpret and define it and I’m sure that is misguided in many ways and that there are many things which fall outside of that definition. Some things defy definition, they are left to the instinct of the observer to define and it comes down not to any perfect formulas or truths, but too arguments and ideas, intellect and experience. Sometimes, with such things, you just know it when you see it.

It is possible to read the Court’s opinion in Roth v. United States and Alberts v. California, 354 U.S. 476, in a variety of ways. In saying this, I imply no criticism of the Court, which in those cases was faced with the task of trying to define what may be indefinable. I have reached the conclusion, which I think is confirmed at least by negative implication in the Court’s decisions since Roth and Alberts, that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”


Justice Potter Stewart

Sometimes I just know it when I see it. And I see it in things like this:


[Sienna by Siobhan Molloy]

What is especially fascinating in fashion as an art form to be studied is that it is an art form that everyone participates in, in an era where art is more and more trapped behind gallery doors and owned and produced by a self sustaining sycophantic elite.


But everyone wears clothes, some do so creatively, some do so with little thought, but all engage in some way in an act of material self expression, and that basically is what all art art is! Material self expression. So yeah, fashion is art.