Friday, October 27, 2017

Who is not inspired by nature?


Nature is an endless source of inspiration

For hundreds, if not thousands of years, nature has been a source of inspiration for artists and designers. Leonardo da Vinci is to have said, “Those who are inspired by a model other than nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain.” 


Nature has always been a deep source of inspiration for me. Last week, I turned to scrapbook of images I've collected over the years for use in color and sensibility inspiration. Not all, but many, many are nature shots. Colors. Textures. Lines. It's all there.

L: Natural Dis-Tinction, Un-Natural Selection.
Spring 2009 collection. R. Plato's Atlantis dress, 2010. 
Alexander McQueen.
So when I saw "The Force of Nature" theme of the current exhibit at The Museum at FIT, I knew I had to get there. The exhibit encompasses a nature-inspired fashion from a wide range of sources--from the more usual plants and animals to ocean life, microorganisms and weather.

When I got home I found that I had three photos of fashion with feathers. All highly dramatic and certain to be the center of attention in any social setting. 

I love the colors and designs of feathers, but I don't need to use them other than as inspiration. I pick up interesting ones and pin them to my 'important' board above my desk. 
Cape and hat, pheasant feathers
Bill Cunningham. 1960s



The two dresses (at right) by Alexander McQueen, known for  his dramatic designs, can be best described in his own words: "I have always loved the mechanics of nature, and to a greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by that." 

The Museum at FIT is on Seventh Avenue at 27th Street in New York City and free to the public. This exhibit runs through Nov. 18, 2017. More information here.




Other quotes on nature's include on art and fashion

FIT's exhibit guide leads with da Vinci's quote, which is widely attributed to him and sounds like something he would have said. Although I have failed to find the source, I found other good quotes, which are highly appropriate and too good not to share.
"No form of Nature is inferior to Art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms." Marcus Aurelius 
"To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature." Auguste Rodin
And then there is this witty--and withering--assessment of fashion:
"Change in fashion is the tax which the industry of the poor levies on the vanity of the rich." Nicolas Chamfort

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