The Art of Fashion on Display at MCA Chicago
“Fashion does not only exist in dresses; fashion is in the air, it is brought in by the wind, one feels it coming, breathes it in, it is in the sky and on the pavement, it depends on ideas, customs and happenings.” – Coco ChanelAt the intersection of art and music lies fashion. Lines, designs, fabric, and contours all combine to develop an artistic statement. Fashion allows us the opportunity to create art through what we wear. A person’s wardrobe is a reflection of their lifestyle, philosophy, and even their personality: the individual may attempt to express their self, create a statement, or even demonstrate a point of view.
A remarkable exhibit entitled “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” currently showing at the MCA Chicago demonstrates how art and music can inspire everyday fashion. Of particular interest is the exhibit’s association of the historical significance of the 1960s African-American cutting-edge artwork with current art and culture. Traces of the ideals and concepts that inspired 1960s culture can be linked to artwork found not only in the galleries and museums of today, but also in the fashion choices of contemporary women.
During my visit to the MCA I was wearing a Stephen Jones (London) custom hat, my favorite high-waisted J Brand blue jeans paired with a vintage YSL corset top, a Chanel crop cashmere sweater, along with snake skin pumps from Celine. As I walked through the exhibit, I felt injected with inspiration to step into my wardrobe to create a fashion statement. It was a welcome reminder that there are no boundaries!
There is always a respect for the past, present, and future in the clothing, art, and furniture of a culture. It is critical that this link across times and tastes be understood for one to become a discerning student of fashion. The exhibit at the MCA certainly captures that sense well. I recommend highly taking the time to visit.