FASHION INVASION: THE EXPANDING ROLE OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN CONTEMPORARY VISUAL CULTURE
How has the impact of fashion on our visual culture grown in the past century? With the increasing number of fashion-focused exhibitions in museums, what is the relationship between fashion imagery and ‘High Art’? How has this relationship allowed fashion to invade our cultural landscape? How has fashion depiction evolved with the digital revolution and what consequence does this have for museums?
The first two sections of this thesis focus on the evolution of fashion photography in the first half of the twentieth century and the increase in museum exhibitions of designer apparel starting in more recent years as a framework for understanding the emergence of the ‘fashion film’ form. The final section explores aesthetic and economic aspects of fashion film and sets out the parameters of its relationship with museums, as well as the associated risks. By examining the origins of fashion photography and the expansion of fashion filmmaking, the complex symbiotic relationship between fashion and art reveals itself. Furthermore, this link complicates curatorial choices due to the financial gains—but also cultural risks—of fashion-focused exhibits. This topic testifies to the expanding role of the fashion industry in contemporary visual culture.
Sector B: Art and Culture of Seeing
ADVISERS: Michael Leja (ARTH) | Tony Ward (FNAR)