The Art of Fashion: Evolution and Continuity
The Art Institute of Chicago is today considered one of the finest museums in the world. I visit often, and when I wander through the halls I always encounter the many artistic and aesthetic styles that have evolved over hundreds of years. I can bear witness to all the new visions, changes in beliefs, inventions, and experimentation in the arts as an unbroken process in the Art Institute’s galleries.Art teaches us lessons that are expressed in our fashion of clothing, fashion of architecture, fashion of music, fashion of travel, and fashion of hotels we stay at.
Art tells a story, a continuous representation of shapes, color hues, and symbols that evolve over time to evoke different meanings. In Renaissance painting water serves as a symbol of life, the color red symbolizes love, and blue is the color of the Heavens. Baroque art makes frequent use of pearls as symbols of women’s virtue.
“Portrait of a Young Woman”, painted by Aert de Gelder around 1690, aptly demonstrates the repetition and reinvention of trends through time. One of Rembrandt’s last pupils, de Gelder portrays his subject with a lady’s dress slipping over shoulder and a winking expression on her face. Her shoulder is adorned with lace and billowing folds detail the sleeves. She is further accessorized with drop earrings and a fedora not unlike those seen on the fashion runways today.As I stand before a contemporary abstract sculpture in the new Modern Wing, I can observe the backdrop encompassing a magnificent view of the contemporary architecture of the city.
I’m wearing a Wes Gordan sheer blouse. Wes is a fairly new designer with a tremendous vision for the contemporary woman. I also have on a Stella McCartney high-waisted wide-leg trouser, which is a wink of respect to the 1940s, and Celine pumps so cutting edge and architectural.