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 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.
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.