Wearable Art is a concept which has exploded into being in the millennial age. From small beginnings in the early part of the twentieth century to the exuberant burst of colour, style and form we see all around us today.
We are now able to accurately and vividly replicate the glorious colours and styles of art from ancient Greek mosaics to modern artistic giants like a Jackson Pollock scarf or tie to almost any medium.
We all enjoy being part of this phenomenon by wearing or using products which are embellished with it – either emblazoned across T-shirts or more subtly shown on a pendant.
Most of us regard it as the appreciation of art in a different way – we have a regular alternative to queuing at an art gallery or traveling to a farflung country to view a piece of art in its original form. We are now able to wear the art of many of the artists we admire - enjoy it, touch it and continue to see new and different layers within it.
We enjoy the art we recognise, sometimes it has been deliberately introduced to us at a young age, or we realise we really like the familiar William Morris patterns which were used to decorate our family sofas and walls. So to drape a William Morris Honeysuckle scarf around our necks or wear a William Morris Golden Lily tie is to link to pleasant moments in our personal history.
Different colours and styles appeal to us at different times of our lives and certainly connect with our emotions of the moment. So we choose a Monet Chrysanthemums Scarf to wear when we feel at peace with the world or want to feel that way! Other days, I might wear a Klimt Turquoise crepe de Chine scarf as I love the colour and all the vibrant colours which make up this design.
There is also something very pleasing (to me!) about the patterning. In fact, designs by Gustav Klimt are probably some of the most replicated in the world – appearing on everything from Venetian glass to T-shirts and from Bow Ties & Silk Ties to jewellery & ‘Poshminas’. His designs, like so many others, are immediately recognisable and he used many layers to create stunning visual effects.
On a realistic level, wearable art helps keep our museums, heritage centres and art galleries alive and well and serving the general public. Without the income from their shops and online stores, they would struggle to continue to offer their services.
They are uniquely placed to produce wearable art to coincide with their exhibitions and festivals and are able to use items they own incorporated into bestselling items.