Fashion has followed art for centuries. Sometimes fashion even becomes art, as when a couturier such as Elsa Schiaparelli or Yves Saint Laurent takes the form to new heights. Artists have influenced fashion by creating color palettes and patterns that designers have incorporated into their work, but artists have not been known for actually creating fashion collections… until now.
Andrea Zittel, one of America’s leading contemporary artists, has created “a – z smockshop”, a store dedicated to selling “smocks” designed by local artists. Located in Chinatown in Los Angeles a – z smockshop is a store, a gallery, an art installation and a social movement all at once.
Talk about wearable art! a – z smockshop is filled with dresses on mannequins. These versatile dresses are both attractive and utilitarian, and each garment is one of a kind. A smock is a simple double wraparound garment whose archetype was designed by Andrea Zittel. However, each garment on display is sewn by an artist who reinterprets the original design based on his or her individual skill set, taste and interest. Artists are paid for their work so the concept generates income for artists whose work often is either non-commercial or not yet self-sustaining.
Zittel’s artwork focuses on daily rituals and the grey zone between freedom and confinement, performance and ritual. Many of her pieces are political, social and personal statements, always focusing on the power or story of the individual.
To own some of your own wearable art visit www.smockshop.org.
To learn more about Andrea Zittel visit www.zittel.org.