THE ART OF GETTING DRESSED
December 10, 2021
"Good design is understood, and good art is interpreted," someone once said. Fashion is worn, and as a result, it becomes a part of daily life, a component of being. Although not one of the nine traditional arts, it perfectly combines creativity, communication, and utility. Creativity begins with those who create clothing items through the creative process and then moves on to those who interpret them with their clothing combinations, communicating with the surrounding. The main goal of dressing is, of course, utility or usability.
Fashion design should be compared to performance art. Every spectator, a listener and ultimately interpreter of art, who accepts a particular work in their own way, can be compared with clothing. Let's consider Marina Abramović and her performance The Artist is Present from 2010, in which the artist sat on the stage and invited the audience to join her. They came one by one, sitting at the table opposite her so that the artist and the spectator would look into each other's eyes, while Abramović did not break her piercing gaze towards them. They sat like that until the viewer lost patience, that is, if he or she wanted to watch and be watched. This work by Marina Abramović, presented in the famous MoMa, can be easily connected with fashion as art: the artist needed another person to be able to perform her work, just as designers need someone to wear their work and interpret it in that way.
When we wear a certain piece, we communicate with the designer and the audience. Clothes are, in fact, an unspoken language with which we eloquently show who we are, whom we want to be, where we are going and where we have already been. Clothing, therefore, becomes a medium of communication, and through it, we participate in everyday social interaction. We use it to present ourselves to others before we show them; we associate it with events we attended, people we were close to, and places that meant something to us. Fashion also conveys a message about our values, character, and attitudes.
On the other hand, by using clothing as a communicator, we can easily transform into someone else. In our clothes, we perform, build character, improve mood, dance, step... In his book What Artists Wear (2021), Charlie Porter, an English fashion critic, writer, and professor of fashion claims that we are probably so used to the roles we play in our clothes that we have forgotten that we are performing. Such daily and personal performances, according to Porter, have taken on a completely different form in the last fifty years, as dress codes have significantly changed, offering us more choices. The fashion industry sells us ideas about who we can be every day, and (sometimes) we naively fall into trendy traps and–of course–perform somebody other than ourselves.
The art of getting dressed comes when we know whom we are playing. Dressing becomes an art when a person develops his own style and recognizes what suits him or her and what makes him feel good. How we choose materials, connect patterns, colours, cuts, layers... How we think about style, not fashion. Style evolves, builds slowly, and helps us learn something about ourselves. Having your own style, authentic and constructed, means, above all, wearing the clothes, not letting the clothes wear us. "It's not about the dress you wear; it's about the life you lead in the dress," said Frenchwoman Diana Vreeland, former editor of Vogue and one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry during the twentieth century. Indeed, the art of dressing sums up our movements, looks and–perhaps most importantly–the attitude that comes from the power of our garments.
But it is still difficult for us to talk openly about clothes. We fear that it is something trivial, that we wear clothes only intuitively and, as a result, do not attach any special meanings to them. This online journal will demonstrate that it doesn't have to be like that. Here, therefore, you can read about the paths that lead from clothing to style, about people who think about style, places whose atmosphere we recognize in our combinations, and films whose aesthetics shape style... In short, about things that last and the art of getting dressed.