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Object art in fashion design

The depiction of everyday objects as works of art has a long tradition in the fine arts. Everyday objects are also extremely popular for fashion designs. As part of a project at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, for example, fashion designs were created from window hangings such as pleated blinds and roller blinds.

Whether Andy Warhol’s tomato soup can picture series, Picasso’s bull’s skull or the fat corner exhibited by Joseph Beuys: object art that consciously stages found objects or everyday utensils has been an indispensable component of fine art for over 100 years. The original pioneer of this art form was Marcel Duchamp. As early as 1913, he introduced the concept of “ready-mades” and presented, for example, the bicycle of a bicycle as an art object, which was also on view at the MoMa exhibition in Berlin in 2004.

The Everyday Object in the Fashion World

In art-related disciplines such as fashion design, everyday objects can also often be found today – for example, in a joint project between the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin and the Livoneo company, in which fashion designs made of pleated blinds and roller blinds were presented, which are actually produced by the industry only for the furnishing of windows. The pleated blinds and roller blinds were combined with conventional clothing textiles such as bikini fabrics and jersey, as well as with other materials such as sofa upholstery fabrics or bookbinding gauze.

In contemporary fashion creations inspired by object art, not only classic fashion fabrics meet textiles from the home and handicraft industries. For a fashion show, old mobile phones, empty balloons or plastic cups were used to create costumes. In New York, on the other hand, a competition has been taking place for over ten years in which wedding dresses made of toilet paper are presented and awarded prizes.

Experiments with form and movement

Almost all fashion outfits from everyday objects are not suitable for wearing. However, they are not designed specifically for the consumer, but are aimed at the artistic-experimental handling of form, colour, surfaces and movement. And they are mostly produced for presentation purposes by art schools or international fashion houses, such as at a legendary fashion show in 2009 by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who sent his models across the catwalk with headgear made of garbage bags.