Alexander McQueen’s 2011 Savage Beauty show galvanized and highlighted the often forgotten conception of fashion as legitimate art. McQueen was an artist and an icon in every sense of the word. His works touched parts of the human soul only previously reached by master painters. He integrated spirit and energy in his creations in such a way that the persons wearing his pieces became living expressions of art.
Vogue editor in chief and fashion icon Anna Wintour has also blended art and fashion in recent years. She helped integrate costume design as part of the permanent art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through her involvement at the museum, Wintour is contributing to the legitimization of fashion as fine art—museum quality art.
Historically, fashion has rarely been elevated to the same stature as painting, music, sculpture or architecture. But fashion is one of the purest expressions of art because it is art lived on a daily basis. One needs only to think about pioneer performer Marina Abramović and the way in which she engages the viewer to become part of her work to realize the connection. In her 2010 The Artist is PresentMoMa exhibit, Abramović asked the viewer to sit silently across from her and stare at each other for as long as the viewer wanted to look and be looked at.