As individuals quite conscious of appearances, artists are also prone to be quite conscious of their OWN appearance as well. Be honest, in getting ready to step out to a gallery opening of your work, or merely a reception for a traveling show, haven't you spent at least a few extra minutes perusing your wardrobe trying to find a combination to make just the "right" fashion statement to your art friends. Or maybe you've even gone out and actually BOUGHT an outfit to accomplish just the right "look" for such an occasion. And if your spouse is accompanying you to such an affair, you may have gone through the comic "You're gonna wear THAT?" routine. Even those who appear to have a certain nonchalance regarding what they wear have often gone to some effort to "cultivate" that image. Therefore, in a sense, quite a lot of us are, what we might term "fashion designers" whether we've ever actually set down at a drawing table and sketched a piece of apparel or not.

For years there has been an interrelationship between art and fashion, growing especially noticeable in the middle years of the twentieth century. It often resembles a circle in which it is impossible to tell which is chasing or following the other. On the one hand, many high fashion dress designs are so unique as to be legitimate sculptural (or sometimes painted) works of art in their own right. By the same token, fashion designers have very often drawn their inspiration from famous painters. Artists as diverse as Salvadore Dali, Sonia Delaunay, and Giacomo Balla have tried their hand as fashion designers (if for no other reason than the money). The Surrealist, Dali, once designed a series of hats shaped like shoes for designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Some looked a bit silly, but others were quite attractive in a daring sort of way.

By the same token, designers such as Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gianni Versace have drawn upon the work of artists of the Vienna Secession, Matisse, Picasso, and Mondrian. In the sixties, these efforts often became something akin the "art happenings" so popular at the time, as designers staged their shows before dramatic landmarks or immersed them in carefully contrived environments to heighten the artistic impact of their creations. Some chose to make their designs dominate the body while others chose to begin with the nude figure and adorn it in an artistic manner with respect to a favorite painter or painting style. Personally, as an artist, I speak from some experience in this endeavor. When my wife and I were first married, I found she and her mother were quite adept at sewing. I tested their ingenuity and skill on several occasions by designing a number of outfits for my new bride. Together we chose the material, the decorations, worked out practical design problems, tinkered with the "fit" and I'm proud to say she actually wore every one of my least ONCE.