Contemporary fashion designer Jonathan Anderson explores the human form in art and fashion.
There is a long thread binding high fashion and visual art. Coco Chanel and Picasso were friends and confidants. In 2008 photographer Peter Lindbergh cast Julianne Moore in famous works of art – including Modigliani’s Woman With a Fan, Sargent’s Madame X, and Schiele’s Seated Woman with Bent Knee – in an editorial for Harper’s Bazaar. Nan Goldin photographed Matsuda’s Fall/Winter 1996 collection.
More recently, fashion houses have established cultural centres of their own: Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris and Fondazione Prada in Milan.
Despite this history, the 18th-century separation of fine art from crafts, which considered fashion firmly in the latter category, still holds sway. Art inspires fashion and fashion frequently funds art, but it is a rare occasion when fashion is itself considered art. Because of this, it is uncommon to see sculpture, gowns, painting, jumpers, drawings, and footwear alongside each other in the context of the gallery.
Designer Jonathan Anderson sets to bridge this gap with Disobedient Bodies, an exhibition he has curated which shows sculpture alongside fashion pieces, exploring ambiguities of gender, style, and the body itself. Figurative work by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Lynn Chadwick, and Sarah Lucas, are displayed alongside pieces by Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Issey Miyake.