While wandering through the collections of 16th, 17th, and 18th century paintings, sculptures and art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was intrigued by how dramatic draping in art constituted their "de rigueur" habitat of dress. There is something grand, romantic, and glorious when taking voluminous swathes of fabric and allowing them life through sumptuous and spontaneous strokes. This appeals to my aesthetic as a fashion designer. When romance and art are combined it's remarkable that the end result, whether it is in fashion or art, that the similarities produced are uncanny. Why was it that artists in those centuries still favored the romance of illustrating glorious draping??? They appear, in all their glory as haphazard, rendering the image and feeling of freedom and carelessness and...with complete abandon. Au contraire! They are calculated and preceise. However, and this is their significance, there must be a certain amount of abandon to allow the freedom to visually present itself on canvas, in marble or in fabric. The freedom expressed in any medium can not be represented without having that inner experience of the same freedom. So, although it appears consise and exact, by nature, it is the opposite, free and vagrant. Only through precise technical application can this effect of effortlessness be achieved.
Are we, as designers, still allowed to enjoy that joy and spontaneity or have we been confined to limitations, stifling the freshness and exuberance of freedom?