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Fashion and Art Essay

Coco Chanel drawn by Jean Cocteau © Mary Evans Picture Library/ National Magazine Company

In his essay, Iain R. Webb introduces Britain Creates and the relationship between fashion and art. A professor of fashion at the RCA and Central St. Martins, Webb has been part of the London art and fashion world for thirty years and is a renowned stylist, author and curator.

"At London Fashion Week you are just as likely to find Tracey Emin, the poster girl of Brit Art, or Peter Blake, the Godfather of Pop Art, sitting front row as you are a buyer from Browns or a twittering fashion blogger. The worlds of fashion and art have long been blurred along their borders. Their mutual fascination has ensured a fertile relationship of inspiration, collaboration and dialogue. The latest chapter in that long and rich history is the series of collaborations fostered by Britain Creates 2012. 

In the year in which Britain hosts the Olympics, the pinnacle of sporting achievement, the London 2012 Festival celebrates the finest in British cultural excellence, as well as the city’s importance as a place in which creative people of all kinds congregate and collaborate. Britain Creates invites a roll call of leading British fashion designers to work in pairs with some of our foremost visual artists, allowing that creative dialogue to lead to an artwork that may take any form, in any medium – free of the commercial constraints the designers have to consider, and free too, perhaps, of the expectations established by the artists’ usual practice. For the first time, artists and designers are invited to work in tandem, as co-authors of a work of art. 

The results promise to be inspiring and surprising: a true celebration of British creativity at its best."

Read the full essay in the book that accompanies the Britain Creates exhibition.