Fashion as Art


A painting of stylist Elizabeth Stewart by Kimberly Brooks. Stewart joined a roundtable discussion during Brooks' presentation, "Art, Fame, and Fashion." Image via The Los Angeles Times.

On Wednesday, April 21, LACMA’s Costume Council featured a brilliant presentation by artist Kimberly Brooks, “Art, Fame, and Fashion.”  Brooks recently completed the Los Angeles component of the The Stylist Project, a series of oil paintings that will eventually be turned into a book.  The Stylist Project hones in on today’s fashion influencers and explores the delicate question of whether fashion is art and whether stylists are artists.

Brooks is represented by Taylor de Cordoba Gallery and her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Art Ltd., The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Elle, C Magazine, as well as at juried shows at the Whitney and MoMA.  For The Stylist Project, Brooks researched who today’s top trendsetters are, and asked them to sit for her in her studio in their own clothes.  Her creative process includes taking hundreds of images of her subjects and then creating a maquette to work from.  She lists the work of Henri Matisse and David Hockney as inspiration, which is clear through the sun-drenched colors and formal composition of her gorgeous paintings.

Brooks’ subjects include bold-faced L.A. fashion luminary names including Elizabeth Stewart, Liz Goldywn, Katherine Ross, Jeremy Scott, Jeanne Yang, Andrea Lieberman, and Rachel Zoe, among others.  Part 2 of The Stylist Project is focused on New York’s haute fashionistas and will debut in Spring 2011.  During her presentation, Brooks challenged the hierarchy of fine art versus applied arts and asked why hanging something on your wall is different than hanging something in your closet. She concluded that paintings can last hundreds of years but fashion is ephemeral by nature, so stylists are “artists of the everyday.”

Brooks’ presentation concluded with a roundtable discussion with two fashion stylists who posed for her for The Stylist Project, Jeanne Yang and Elizabeth Stewart.  Here are a few of their fun gems of knowledge from the world of celebrity styling:

  • Stylists are like interior decorators:  they help you make well-edited choices and save time through their vast network of resources
  • With celebrity clients, stylists are adept at steering clear of fashion choices that get ridiculed on blogs
  • No one cares what is “in fashion” anymore, what matters is whether or not it is flattering on you
  • All men think they are a size 42 jacket, which is generally way too big for them
  • Wearing a dress is an easy way to appear stylish because it is all one piece and there is less coordinating to do
  • Prints don’t photograph well, instead wear solid colors and accessorize with daring shoes

2 Responses to “Fashion as Art”

  1. During her presentation, Brooks challenged the hierarchy of fine art versus applied arts and asked why hanging something on your wall is different than hanging something in your closet. She concluded that paintings can last hundreds of years but fashion is ephemeral by nature, so stylists are “artists of the everyday?

    • Natalie Brooks: Secrets of Treasure house is a casual game that csntioss of hidden object and logic puzzles. It has a few good points, but unfortunately, it contains mostly bad qualities. Story It’s a bit confusing at first, but you eventually realize that you have inherited your grandma’s house from her after she died, but the city wants to bulldoze the house and build a highway there. In order to stop them, you get a petition for the most respected people in town to sign, saying they don’t want the bulldoze to happen. Meanwhile, you come to find out that there is supposedly a treasure hidden in the house that someone else in the town is trying to find. Unfortunately, the game seemed more about getting the petition signed rather than solving any kind of mystery, and it was a little boring, to be honest. Gameplay The gameplay will usually consist of a scene in which you have to find items (by randomly rolling your cursor over them and having them light up) in order to interact with other items. For instance, you may need to find a key hidden in an office so that you can open a drawer and read a paper. However if you can’t figure out what to do next, you can use one of your hints, which you collect throughout the game. Occasionally, you will come across a logic puzzle that you need to solve. You are able to skip these, but you probably won’t need to, for they are very easy. The other part of the game would be search and find scenes which give you more hints. These basically scatter a bunch of items (everything from telephones and TVs to binoculars and gloves) in a scene, and you are given a list of items to find in a time limit. Depending on how many you find and how quickly you find them, you are given hints. The gameplay really was fun enough, but most of the time it was too simplistic! It was really easy to find the items, and the puzzles were usually easy too. Graphics The graphics were actually pretty good in the game. The cutscenes were much like comic book cartoons, and the scenes that you would play in the game were much like 3D cartoons. They were bright and colorful, and they were really well done as a whole. Sound First of all, there is no voice acting at all in this game; it relies only on text. Second, the music in this game was very slow, repetitious, soft, and boring. At first, it was OK, but it got old very quickly, and I was seriously hating it near the end of the game. Fun Factor The game is fun, but it is also extremely easy. There is really no challenge whatsoever. So, it would be great for people who want a game that they won’t have to think hard on AT ALL, b/c it doesn’t require much thought. It would probably also be good for kids to play, too, as it is really easy, but do be forewarned that it has one curse word in it. Length This was the biggest downfall of the game. The game was insanely short, and the ending was so quickly done, that I was literally shocked that the game was over. It had only lasted about 2 hours, and the real mystery in the story, it appeared, had only just started. It was really much TOO short of a game. Overall pros are that the game is fun to play and the graphics are good. However the cons are that the story wasn’t mysterious or very good at all, the music was boring and got old, the game was too easy and short, and there was something wrong with the cursor in this game. It would constantly flicker which was really annoying. So, if you want a fun, extremely easy, extremely short game, this is for you. But if you want some sort of a challenge or length to your game, look elsewhere.

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