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The Fashion Boundaries of the Fine Arts


Boundaries of Light


The warm prescience of an afternoon light descends through a rectangle glass window. As light crosses the boundary between to inside of the room and the outside world it illuminates a room of paintings. Lights breaks through the glass boundary in the middle of the ceiling to help observe the details of fine art paintings inside the French Academy Salon Carré exhibition. While the light helps break boundaries it also supports the boundaries between fine arts and applied arts.

Photo of rectangle window in ceiling of Salon Carré
Photo of rectangle window in ceiling of Salon Carré

The Art of Fashion




In the beginning of this week me and my friend Kadeem met at a Starbucks in little 5 points. We sat near a large square window. Light broke through the boundary of a square window we sat next to and spread across the table we sat. The light helped illuminate a conversation about art and fashion. Together we discussed why people who had less interest in fashion, find it difficult to appreciate it as an art. We discussed several reasons but never came to any solid conclusions. In the back of my mind, I wonder if it had something to do with the separation of fine arts and applied arts.


The Academies of the Fine Arts


The difference between fine arts and applied arts can be difficult to explain. But what is interesting is that at the time of the French Academies of the arts, fashion was considered an applied art. This is significant because during the 17th century and early 19th century applied arts were considered by some as lesser forms of the fine arts. A very basic argument would be that the applied art relationship with commercial practices made it less of artistic value than fine arts. Commercials practices are those actions related the visual design used for product development. An incomplete list of some applied arts is industrial design, interior design, fashion design and graphic design. The definitions of both applied arts and fine arts are purposely being condensed to keep this blog short.


The Academies of the Salon


Some examples of fine arts as described by the French Academies of the Arts were literature, painting, and sculpture. The fine arts were associated with greater beauty than the applied arts. This is likely because of their support from monarchs. The power to make a clear separation of the fine arts and applied arts was exercised by the French Academies of the arts. They executed the separation of fine arts and applied by hosting art exhibitions called “Salons”. The Salons would celebrate the fine arts and ignore any applied arts. Both the Academies and their Salon exhibitions were supported by the Monarchy.


Photo of floor space of Salon Carré
Photo of floor space of Salon Carré

The Monarchy supports the Fine Arts and Fashion?


The monarchies involvement in the boundary between the fine arts and applied arts is difficult to imagine. Because while fashion may have been considered an applied art, it had an important role Frances reputation with luxury. King Louis XIV would be responsible for the foundation that sustains the continuation of French luxury fashion today. I write about King Louis XIV accomplishments in fashion in the blog “The Power of Fashion Wielded by A King”. It would hard for some to considered that some of the clothes produce by French Luxury fashion houses is not fine art. Still there are those who find that high cost of luxury identifies it well with the features of an applied art. What are your boundaries for fine arts and Applied arts and what do they consider fashion.

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