Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 66987
A Crossover between Avant-Garde Fashion and Contemporary Art: A Case Study of Alexander McQueen

Authors: Chi-Ying Yu

Abstract:

Fashion design is, in fact, an aesthetic inquiry of fabric, style and human body. In recent years, close cooperation between the artistic circles and the fashion world has even brought fashion into the arena of contemporary art. This study offers a case study on the avant-garde fashion designer Alexander McQueen, investigating how he and his brand translate fashion into contemporary art at various levels. Firstly, in terms of his designs themselves, McQueen demonstrates through fashions his declarations on political and gender issues, demonstrating his unique barbarian aesthetics and creating an enchanting sublimity. Secondly, McQueen extends his fashion aesthetics into a cross-disciplinary performing method, and raises catwalk shows to the level of complete artistic experience. Finally, and also most importantly, the brand has been producing fashion movies for its seasonal design series. By means of an abstract, non-narrative visual language, these films essentially transform people’s experience of clothing – from the senses to the pure visual. This is not simply a cross-media artistic practice, but much more fundamentally a discourse on contemporary perceptual experience. From the case of Alexander McQueen, it can be argued that avant-garde fashion has broken through the boundary between design and art, issuing its own art manifesto through the field of art or non-art.

Keywords: Alexander McQueen, avant-garde fashion, contemporary art, fashion film

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