Movement that Matter    Fashion and Fine Art


Clothes are worn, and only through their connection with the body and its movement do they unfold their full characteristics as functional objects whose primary function is to protect the body. The garment simultaneously defines the body and itself through this connection, because the material always follows the body movement in some way. Whether the garment is cut to the body, as in the work of Coco Chanel, or set to the body like architecture, as in Cristóbal Balenciaga, the substance always remains part of the unity of body and matter and functional object.

Only with the transposition of the garment into an object of art does fashion manage to transform itself into an art form. This succeeds through the process of being thrown back on oneself-similar to looking at architecture, which is a functional object akin to fashion design, but if you look at architecture in its dysfunctionality, the artistic aspect comes out. Caroline Broadhead succeeds this in her approach to fabric and fashion design. Her Wobbly Dress II (1992) becomes dysfunctional in his disembodied stance, appears artificially opaque, yet the viewer knows, due to his visual experience, that it is a piece of clothing. Both the form of the dress and the disembodied presentation raises questions about the object itself and its possible relationships. It opens up levels of reflection, beyond the pure functionality, which are inherent to art.

Cristóbal Balenciaga, Gazar Four-Cone-Dress, 1967

Coco Chanel in her workshop

Caroline Broadhead, Wobbly Dress II, 1992