Art in the shape of fashion

July 04, 2007



A lecturer from the department of Drawing of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada) has carried out the first exhaustive research project in Spain that analyses fashion as an artistic discipline, in relation to painting, sculpture or architecture. The thesis written by Luis Casablanca Migueles studies fashion as "a plural phenomenon, one of the most important contemporary artistic disciplines". He has focused particularly on the work of the Spanish designer Jesús del Pozo and the "Generation of New Designers", which includes Toni Miró, Adolfo Domínguez or Francis Montesinos.

This research is based on the following idea: fashion is a reflection of transformations in culture, thinking and behaviour throughout history. Casablanca Migueles explained: "Fashion is outside, on the streets. The catwalk is a reflection of what we see outside. For example, take punk, hippie or underground trends. They were born outside, and then they moved to the catwalk".

This study considers that Jesús del Pozo is the only heir to the work of Fortuny and Balenciaga, who turned fashion into an art. Casablanca Migueles states that the work of Jesús del Pozo is also art because "his creations are close to sculpture". This designer is considered to be 'the architect of volume'. "Del Pozo is the creator of 'habitable sculptures'. He approaches fabric in the same way as a sculptor approaches marble or stone". A woman dressed by him becomes something "evanescent", thanks to the use of luxurious fabric such as linen or silk.

The close link between fashion and art

Casablanca Migueles has analyzed each of Jesús del Pozo's collections -both spring/summer collections and autumn/winter collections- from the year 1974 onwards. During the 1980s, the researcher worked as an illustrator for his atelier. This close relationship is one of the factors that explains the quality of the study.

This study is the first of this kind ever conducted in Spain. The researcher states: "Fashion is so important today. It's a socio-cultural phenomenon which individualizes the human body. To dress means both to be interpreted, and to interpret others". He also declares that fashion reflects every change in our social values. "Nowadays, we live our sexuality in a much freer way. That is why we show our bodies and our underwear more frequently".

If we want to understand the close relationship between fashion and art, we have to look back at ancient societies. In Egypt, Greece or Rome "sculptures and paintings reflected what people used to wear". Another example is Gustav Klimt, leader of the Vienna Secession Group. His work reflects the way upper-class women used to dress during the 19th century.
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Reference: Prof. Luis Casablanca Migueles. Department of Drawing of the University of Granada.

Tel.: +34 958 24 29 53 / +34 958 50 32 63. Email: lapisada14@hotmail.com.

University of Granada
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