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Volume 26, Number 6 — June 2019

A Passion for Fashion: Is Fashion Art?

Sarah Walls uses dots to punctuate this series of designs.
Sarah Walls uses dots to punctuate this series of designs.
Additional photos below »

Linda Stewart: 'Fabric is My Medium and My Client is the Canvas.'

By Angela Wampler | February 23, 2009

Is couture sewing "art"? Is fashion design "art"?

STEWART: Absolutely! Both are wonderful art forms. If you've ever seen a couture gown, there would be no question as to its artistic relevancy. The color, the form, the lines — yes, it is art. The only difference is that, for me, fabric is my medium and my client is the canvas.

WALLS: Couture sewing is sewing that is done by hand. There are many art forms done by hand — painting, sculpture, architectural drawings — so why wouldn't couture sewing be considered art? Couture is a blend of art and science to create a custom-tailored, made-to-measure piece of clothing. Couture is unique compared to some other forms of art in that it takes a two-dimensional pattern and piece of fabric and transforms those pieces onto a three-dimensional figure.

Fashion design is, in essence, the art of creating new and avant-garde looks. Any time you are creating, it is art. The art of fashion is captured the moment you put yourself out there. Everything we do to dress ourselves is an expression or an extension of who we are. From the jewelry and perfume we wear to the clothing we put on our backs, we are expressing ourselves. The art of fashion is the expression of our inner selves.

Describe your philosophy about the art of fashion.

STEWART: My job is to make my client feel and look beautiful. The dress/gown must never overpower her, always enhance her. Every bride wants to hear that collective intake of breath when she appears. It is her day and, for that one moment in time, she is the most beautiful person in the room. I love making that happen!

My goal as a fashion designer is to help women realize that they are special and beautiful just as they are. I want women to feel confident and to portray that confidence every day. For me, fashion is an outward expression of an inner beauty.

Personal Style & The Creative Process
Back to the Main Story

Stewart feels fashion design with "the color, the form, the lines" is definitely art.

Walls produced one collection inspired by menswear; somewhere on each garment there are neckties. For this dress, the ties came together to make the bodice. In other garments, the ties were the skirt or on the bottom.