The Two Kingdoms. On the Relationship between Fashion and Art


  • Giuppy d'Aura Istituto Marangoni School of Fashion, London



History of Fashion, Fashion Theory, History of Art, Sociology, Ontology


Is fashion history a branch of art history? Is the nature of the two ontologically different? Moreover, can the concept of fashion be extended to include other practices, such as more traditional forms of clothing? In our contemporary academic panorama where “including” has superseded the concept of “defining”, these questions are often only tangentially considered by fashion scholars but hardly faced directly. This essay aims to bring attention to the very definition of fashion and its differences with art. Drawing from the study of aesthetics and the theory of fashion, the paper will try to go beyond the material qualities that art and fashion sometimes share and look at the social, historical, and symbolic processes underpinning each of the two fields. The essay attempts to create an overarching theory that explains the intrinsic qualities of fashion and art from an ontological standpoint.  To achieve this goal, the essay will analyse some specific cases and show how fashion and art look similar only when observed from a distance. Ultimately, it will be suggested that the difference between the two is not found in their material qualities but in how they are consumed and how they signify. 


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How to Cite

d’Aura, G. (2023). The Two Kingdoms. On the Relationship between Fashion and Art. ZoneModa Journal, 13(2), 107–117.