Fashion during the expressionism


Vivienne Westwood AW12/13

Expressionism was a powerful and broad range of art which focused on the expression of emotion and feeling. Officially beginning at the start of the twentieth century from 1905 in Germany, the movement was previously inspired by the work of Edvard Munch in 1893 The Scream, and spread quickly across the globe. The portrait is still regarded as one of the most iconic paintings of art history, and has inspired many artists. Munch’s use of distortion, intense colour and broad undefined brush stokes enables the audience to view the extreme emotions being displayed. There are many similarities to Impressionism; however with Expressionism the artist is expressing their individual emotions about particular objects or actions, unlike the Impressionist view of expressing emotions from surrounding topics. The ultimate goal of Expressionists is to express themselves in all mediums, including dance, painting, literature and photography.

The way in which art was judged was changed by Expressionism, no longer was a piece judged by the composition, but by the artists emotions from within themselves. Designers soon were inspired by the impact of Expressionism. As fashion grew more and more experimental in the early twentieth century with Poiret challenging the silhouette and hair growing ever bigger, designers were itching to express emotion into clothes. Fabrics were becoming more patterned and colourful, and the drop waist dress became covered in patterns following Orientalism. Designers of the modern day still experiment with highly expressive clothing, Vivienne Westwood is iconic for her loud and bright wacky clothing, along with designers such as Dries Van Noten, Christopher Kane and Harvey Nichols all experimenting with the freedom of expression.

Fashion during the expressionism

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Written by Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones, studying Literature at Portsmouth University, with a passion for all things art and fashion, writer/reader/ editor/ artist/ dedicated shopper. Felicity looks after the Catwalk Yourself Art Dictionary.

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