Fashion folk and artists despise each other, right? Wrong. One gallery is trying to prove it. By Tamsin Blanchard

When is a size 18 tent dress a work of art? When it is the creation of artist Beverly Semmes and hangs on the walls of an art gallery.

Bond Street is the place where the worlds of high fashion and high art regard each other, usually with disdain. But it is rare for the two to meet within the confines of the same room. "Fashion Moda", which takes a critical look at fashion and its impact on contemporary culture, is showing at Entwistle, perhaps the only gallery on Bond Street where you will hear the words "fashion is not frivolous. It is so powerful - an important forum." According to Helen St Cyr, director of contemporary art at Entwistle, the notion of snobbery between fine artists and fashion designers is dated.

Entwistle is just a few doors up from the rarefied boutiques of Chanel, Valentino and Versace. And from the outside, passers-by would be forgiven for thinking this was just another pared down, avant-garde fashion shop- front. In the window are two piles of multi-coloured velvet that look as though they have slipped off their hangers. But they are not dresses. They are art: Two Part Puddle by Polly Apfelbaum.

Beverly Semmes also works with fabric to create huge, oversize dresses that comment on the fashion industry's obsession with skinny women. Her dresses can occupy a whole room, but Flowered Friend is a more manageable size 18 - three sizes above the average size 12. While women look at a size 8 that Kate Moss might wear and wish they could fit into it, they will look at this tent and fear the day that they might ever have to wear a dress that size. Just as a woman who starves herself to be thin becomes fragile, the dress is delicate, made of sheer chiffon with a fine print in palest buttermilk.

The other two artists featured in the exhibition are photographers, but their images veer away from the commercial world of most fashion photography. Zoe Leonard focuses on a brutal view of the New York catwalks. She calls her photographs looking up the skirts of models on the runway "crotch shots". For her, fashion shows are not about selling clothes, but are a celebration of sex and lust. In one shot, the light shines through the legs of a model in mid-stride down the catwalk. Another photograph is boldly cropped so as to decapitate the model, with obvious parallels to Venus de Milo. But the image is an old and cliched one; the model does have a head and uses it to her advantage. In these days of Cindy Inc (Cindy Crawford has become her own multi-million dollar business), the idea that models are brainless objects is as outdated as the idea that the worlds of art and fashion are irreconcilable.

The best known artist in the show is Cindy Sherman. Her work for Comme des Garcons has resulted in some unsettling and disturbing images. The work on show here, Untitled 117, is 12 years old and shows Sherman as a model emerging from the curtains to walk down a catwalk. With her ghostly white, theatrical make-up, it could have been taken at any deconstructivist designer's show of the past five years. Except that instead of the blank, smiling eyes we usually see on catwalk models, the eyes in this picture are sad and bleak.

"Fashion Moda" examines the dark side of fashion. It aims to encourage people to look with new insight at the windows of the Versace shop.

n At Entwistle, 37 Old Bond St, to 29 July

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

art
Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

music
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer is believed to be playing a zombie wife in Patient Zero

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch oozes sex appeal with his 'Byronic looks' and Sherlock coat
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Clothing items bearing the badge have become popular among music aficionados
musicAuthorities rule 'clenched fist' logo cannot be copyrighted
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson will star in Seth MacFarlane's highly-anticipated Ted 2

film
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 'Gone Girl'

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?