When something has a dual purpose of practicality and artfulness, its meaning becomes blurred, especially when it's an umbrella term such as fashion that can be so common, yet also so elite. Fashion is a combination of clothing and art, of necessity and excess. In theory, clothes should ideally lie in the middle of the fashion spectrum, instead of pieces that fall more towards the clothing and necessity side than the art and excess side, or vice versa. But just because a piece of clothing isn't practical, or even wearable, doesn't mean it shouldn't be fashion. Fulfilling its role as a segment of art, fashion should evoke ideas, feelings, and images visually. The fact that those ideas need to be conveyed on fabric in some way remotely wearable is just part of the art of fashion. Fashion is personal because of its connection to the wearer, and therefore is a form of expression. And like any form of expression, there are the small opinions, and the big statements.
Sometimes, the statements mean more than the clothes. Sometimes, the purpose of a piece of clothing is not to be worn, but to evoke thought or even action. Sometimes, just sometimes, the purpose of fashion is to share ideas more meaningful than the superficial world that is fashion itself. The fashion industry is constantly building up its commercial empire while simultaneously pining for the return of aura, story, and idea promoting creations. What fashion needs to do is accept that not all clothes are for wearing, or, more importantly, buying.
Lots of Alexander McQueen's work wasn't for wearing, it was for producing an image or idea.
Comme des Garçons.
Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen.
John Galliano for Maison Margiela.