A Mystery of the Ages: Which Exerts the Most Influence on the Other-Society, Art, or Fashion?

Art, Society and Fashion

Art, Society and Fashion

Have you ever noticed the subtle interplay that occurs between society, art and fashion?  Pondering this observation long enough almost begs the question, “Whose influencing who-art, fashion, or society?”

Society, Art and Fashion in Ancient Times

Interestingly, this isn’t a new question.  In fact many ages ago ancient artists carved statuettes of prehistoric goddesses’ which conjure up the same questions.  Could these artists have been conscious of the connection between art, society and fashion?  One thing that’s certain is that ancient art remains our single most important physical link between the three universes of ancient fashion, art, and the society.

For instance, there are numerous examples of ancient Greek and Roman statues that were etched with really thin lines that are said to represent the clothes that were worn during that era.  These are first instances that paint a clear connection between art, fashion and society.

Throughout the ages art and society have continued to capture the hearts of fashion designers. For example paintings and sculptures from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome all display the fashion preferences of those times.  Likewise, even in more recent periods such as the Baroque era the same occurred.  For instance, if you were to visit some of Europe’s historic churches dating back to the Baroque era you’d find that the statues display a number of that era’s predominate “Cavalier” fashion elements.

Fashion, Art and Society Today

Today it’s not hard to find big name fashion designers who’ve been vaulted to the same social status as top art icons.  In fact, in some instances, such as t-shirt designers, the line between fashion designer and artist is completely blurred.

Now, as in the past, each new season inevitably brings about subtle changes in interests and attitudes towards colors, shapes, styles, etc.  This leads to a continuous cycle of minor and almost unnoticeable changes in fashion, art, and society that over time amount to major changes.  This is why even the newest fashion pieces are rarely new in their entirety.

Inspiration in Fashion and Art

You’ve no doubt heard stories of fashion designers becoming creatively inspired by something as simple as the color of leaves in the fall or various cloud shapes.  This serves to illustrate that a big quantity of designers view themselves as artists.  This helps explain why numerous pieces displayed by runway models can be described as too ”artsy” to be worn outside of the runways.

A Potential Clue

In a number of our posts on color and fashion trends we’ve hinted at the connection between societal moods and fashion.  Maybe this really is the connection between art and fashion.  The connection is that fashion and art each draw their inspiration from the prevailing societal moods, taboos, and norms of their time.  This dance between art, fashion, and society is very much like the chicken versus the egg analogy because it’s near impossible to say which influences the other-art, fashion, or society.

The only thing that we can say with near certainty is that art, fashion, and society each exert some degree of influence on the other.

Which do you see as the major driving force that pushes the other two-is it fashion, art, or society?  And does it matter? We’d like to hear your thoughts, so leave us a comment below and let us know.


Filed under Fashion, Style

4 responses to “A Mystery of the Ages: Which Exerts the Most Influence on the Other-Society, Art, or Fashion?

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