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Article: Wearable art

Wearable art

History and Origins of Wearable Art

  • Wearable art emerged in the 1930s to 1960s as a wearable art movement, growing in importance in the 1970s.
  • It was primarily based in the United States but found echoes in fiber and feminist arts worldwide.
  • Wearable art inherits from the Arts and Crafts movement and artists used handmade clothing as a device for self-articulation.

Wearable Art in the United States

  • The Wearable Art movement can be traced to the American Craft Revival.
  • Wealthy patrons set up educational and museum institutions to support crafts education.
  • Art schools played a crucial role in the development of the Art to Wear movement.
  • The best-known galleries supporting Wearable Art were Obiko and Julie: Artisans Gallery.

Wearable Art Outside the United States

  • Wearable art is harder to identify as an independent artistic movement outside of the United States.
  • Renewed interest in traditional textile crafts sparked the interest of artists worldwide.

Contemporary Wearable Art

  • Wearable art declined as a distinct movement in the late 1990s.
  • Contemporary wearable art integrates technologies in garments and explores new manufacturing techniques.
  • Fashion-originating works question everyday wear with provocative pieces.
  • Trashion artists create art garments out of trash.

Major Exhibitions, Events, and Organizations

  • Museum of Arts and Design has hosted exhibitions on Wearable art since 1965.
  • Other notable exhibitions include Art for Wearing, Art to Wear, Artwear: Fashion and Anti-fashion, and Off the Wall: American Art to Wear.
  • Events like the World of Wearable Art Awards and Australian Wearable Art Festival celebrate wearable art.
  • Organizations like Fiberworks Art Center for Textile Arts, World Shibori Network, and World Textile Art are involved in wearable art.

See also: Fashion accessories, Steampunk, Wearable computing.


  • Leventon, Melissa (2005). Artwear: fashion and anti-fashion.
  • Schon, Marbeth (2004). Modernist jewelry 1930-1960: the wearable art movement.
  • Dilys Blum; Mary Schoeser, eds. (2019). Off the wall: American art to wear.
  • Ryan, Susan Elizabeth (2009). Social Fabrics: Wearable + Media + Interconnectivity.

Wearable art Data Sources

Reference URL
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