This brings us to the next problem, what differentiates art from clothing? Is an especially avant guard designer more an artist than a clothing designer? Does fashion have to be wearable? Comme de Garcon regularly turns out highly avant guard pieces, which are often thought provoking, but perhaps not always terribly wearable. Is this witty fashion or is it limited edition art in the medium of textile? Most haute couture is worn a very limited number of times, and given the prices it would be difficult to justify if you did not think of it as art.
Witty fashion could also be fashion that manages to be both stunning and highly utilitarian. For example, exercise clothing that looked like street clothing, but could wick away your sweat, deodorize your sweat, resist stains and bacteria, while still remaining comfortable to work out in would certainly be "witty fashion." That designer would be a genius. I also find some of the challenges on the show Project Runway to produce “witty fashion.” During the first season designers were tasked with photographing the city and then using those photographs as inspiration for a piece of clothing. There was the challenge where Austen Scarlet made a stunning dress out of corn husks, it took a highly creative individual to conceptualize and execute such a piece.
The sad thing is, despite the continual overuse of the term “witty fashion,” I see remarkably little that I would truly consider witty walking down designer runways or hanging on department store racks. Hopefully with the new movement towards green technology and sustainability, designer will start to turn out more thoughtful and though provoking pieces.
Image from Bravo