This is a urinal. It is on display in the Tate Modern and “is widely seen as an icon of twentieth-century art” (Tate Modern). Why? Because Duchamp said so—more or less, anyway. He presented ‘Fountain’ as a challenge to the traditional idea of what makes something art. Is this urinal beautiful? Not really. Does it follow laws of composition? Eh. Is it in an art gallery? Yes. Does it become art because it has been put in a gallery?
It seems so. Think about it.
To me it seems that ‘Fountain’ and // fashun are alike in some ways. Both challenge a traditional notion of an art form. What makes something fashionable? This is what we’re trying to explore here, and that is why I’ve based today’s outfit around this piece.
To begin with, I opted for the obvious inspiration of color. I paired a white sleeveless dress with a pleated peplum button up to mimic the shock of porcelain that ‘Fountain’ presents. The peplum also mimics the shape of the piece, which is inverted and not the standard shape of a urinal.
But then I thought to myself—what’s to stop this from settling as an average, albeit fabulous, white ensemble? How will I make it stand out? How do I scream Duchamp? Easy. I add a beret. The beret immediately attracts attention. The cogs of onlookers’ minds immediately start churning. Who is that? Is she French? Is she a jazz musician? Is she an artist? The connection between French artists and berets is undeniable, so this accessory was an obvious choice. The beret transports this ensemble into the realm of art, which evokes the sense of ‘museum gallery’ necessary to contextualize this ensemble and indeed ‘Fountain’ itself. Plus, the black adds that splash of contrast seen in the signature on the piece.
Finally, I added flip-flops (aka my shower shoes) and wet hair to give the outfit that bathroom feel needed to complete the look. White. Bathroom. Art. Obviously Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’. If you are planning to recreate this outfit for your next artsy gathering, or even to Modernize every day life, I would recommend stopping periodically in restrooms to re-wet your hair, or else you’ll risk losing a necessary component of the ensemble—the entire ‘Fountain’ reference might slip through your fingers! Disaster!
I had a lot of fun with this outfit, and I really encourage you guys to try this with a different art piece of your own choosing. Creating an ensemble inspired by a work of art can help you delve more deeply into the meaning and the composition of the piece and lead to a deeper understand of it—which is something we’re all about here at // fashun.
See you next week! Best wishes x