Michelle Carchi

When architecture and fashion come to mind, their interrelation is often overlooked because of their differences in scale, proportion, and materials. However, beyond these differences exists two industries taking influence from similar concepts based on art, aesthetic, form, and structure. Over the course of time, designers and architects have responded to each others trends, creating inventive and original designs influenced by theory, philosophy, and cultural identity.
The relationship between fashion and architecture begins with their design process consisting of extensive research, analysis, and decision making. They both work as systems to satisfy the needs of people of society: creating sheltered environments on large and small scales. Each industry requires spatial awareness, allowing the creation of structures based on volume, function, proportion, and material.
As both industries innovate and new eras begin, concepts associated with the two have begun to overlap in more ways than ever. Fashion now looks to architectural processes to assist in the creating of garments and vice versa.


Art Movements
Yves Saint Laurent Autumn 1965
Yves Saint Laurent Autumn 1965

Schroder House
Schroder House

Art movements have played a major part in the aesthetic inspiration of fashion designers and architects. While these movements and the works they have
inspired are endless, the art movement most prominently inspired throughout two works is Mondrian Art.
Both the Schroder House by architect, Gerrit Rietveld and the “Mondrian” Day Dress from the Yves Saint Laurent Autumn 1965 collection take inspiration from the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. In Rietveld’s adaptation of Modrian Art, he reduces his house design to contain flat, rectangular planes and straight lines. Throughout the interior of the home, red, blue, and yellow, as well as black and white are the chief colors used for the decor. Rietvield not only followed Mondrian’s principles, but he was still able to adapt to the needs and lifestyle of the home’s inhabitants. More clearly presented as a tribute to Mondrian Art, the YSL dress brilliantly utilizes the notorious colorblocking of the primary colors, releasing a whole collection of dresses that quickly became known as “the dress of tomorrow”.


Materials
Paco Rabanne
Paco Rabanne
Guggenheim
Guggenheim

Through the boldness of innovation, architecture and fashion have been able to adapt to more eccentric materials. Metals have been more commonly used in architecture, in building such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, while fashion has been relatively unable to apply this material due to the contours of the body.
Architect, Frank Gehry made a striking move by using titanium panels, a lightweight metal known for its strength, to represent fish scales to symbolize Bilbao’s economic staple, fishing. Reactions to the Guggenheim were mixed, some thankful for the eyecatching building that brought attention to the city, while nearby residents to the building complained about the way it reflected light.
The fashion industry has had a relatively low reputation for using metals until designer Paco Rabanne utilized his architectural background to create disks cut from metal, linking them with wire. The collection of dresses also received mixed reactions due to their impracticality and difficulty to shape in response to the human body-Rabanne’s technique requiring him to place the metal disks directly on the body of a woman.


Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.30.33 AM.png
Shelley Fox 2011
Exposure of the Interior

Pompidou National Centre
Pompidou National Centre

The acclaimed Pompidou National Centre in Paris, created in the 1970s by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, was considered a radical departure. The president of France at the time wanted a cultural building that would attract visitors and create a monument within the city. To choose the architects for the building, Pompidou held a competition that attracted some of the most famous architects in France, astonishingly, Piano and Rogers, who were not famous at the time, won the competition. Their entry pitched a concept that was unlike anything seen before its time, bringing the interior to the facade of the building. Its supporting steel frame was
placed on the exterior along with service functions such as the elevator, air conditioning ducts, water pipes, and electrical units. Shelley Fox’s 2011 collection later took inspiration from this by exploring the interiority of garments, turning them inside out to create a new exterior form.


Technique
Isabel Toledo Fall/Winter 1998
Isabel Toledo Fall/Winter 1998
Lou Ruvo Center
Lou Ruvo Center


New windows of opportunity were created for fashion when the architectural technique of coiled, intertwisted shapes came into play. New approaches to the construction of buildings inspired designers to focus on the structural, three-dimensional design of garments.
Isabel Toledo, in particular, a highly praised designer known for her commitment to the manipulation of fabrics, used the technique of twisting in her Fall/Winter 1998 collection. Her garment "Half Moons Blossom Into a Cornflower Dress” presents her strong personal vision of giving garments shape and innovation rather than falling to the social norm of what’s on the runway that season.
Also known for his extraordinary technique, Frank Gehry, treats metals as flowy fabrics, twisting and turning the material to create new forms. The Lou Ruvo Center’s windows wrap the voluminous structure adapting to the twists and curves of the building.


Voids of Geometry
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2010
Viktor & Rolf Spring 2010

Guangzhou Circle
Guangzhou Circle


Geometry used to generate form is nothing new when it comes to architecture and fashion, but subtracting parts from the whole transformed designs to create innovative buildings and garments that hadn’t been seen before.
The Guangzhou Circle, designed by Joseph di Pasquale, steps away from the skyscraper convention, creating a Chinese landmark, and perhaps a world landmark for its unusual shape. The concept of the building is inspired by jade disks and the numerological tradition of fengh shui. The two circular facades contain and support suspended groups of stories that make the interior space orthogonal and habitable. Many have come to love the building and what it stands for, but still some despise the building calling it a donut.
Designer brand, Viktor & Rolf, shared the same concept as the Guangzhou Circle by cutting out layers of their tulle gowns in geometric circles with a chainsaw, an uncommon tool in dressmaking. By this action, their Spring 2010 collection is seen as having a surrealist influence. While the entire collection took a big risk cutting out similar forms out of their gowns, it was generally well received due to their conception and execution.


LED Technology
Hussein Chalayan Fall 2007
Hussein Chalayan Fall 2007

Yas Hotel
Yas Hotel
The latest technological advancements in LED allowed lighting to become the facade in both buildings and dresses.

Hussein Chalayan’s Fall 2007 collection featured a dress created from 15,600 LED lights-the dress combined with Swarovski crystals displayed a short film representing the arrival of spring.
The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi designed by Asymptote Architects also takes advantage of technological innovations in LED technology, featuring color-changing sequence.
Although both the Asymptote Architects and Hussein Chalayan are praised for their ability to adapt to technology, their designs have brought up environmental concerns.











Sources
  1. __http://i-rep.emu.edu.tr:8080/jspui/bitstream/11129/294/1/Hedayat.pdf__
  2. __http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/documents/skinbones_exhibition_guide.pdf__
  3. __http://www.dwell.com/interviews/article/merging-architecture-and-fashion__
  4. __http://www.vogue.it/en/encyclo/architecture/m/fashion-architecture__
  5. __http://www.arcspace.com/exhibitions/unsorted/skin--bones/__
  6. __http://pingmag.jp/2007/06/15/skin-bones-parallel-practices-in-fashion-and-architecture/_
  7. __http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/designers/paco-rabanne/__
  8. http://www.archdaily.com/64028/ad-classics-centre-georges-pompidou-renzo-piano-richard-rogers
  9. http://www.fitnyc.edu/5114.asp
  10. http://www.archdaily.com/464054/guangzhou-circle-joseph-di-pasquale-architect/
  11. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/dutch-courage-meet-viktor-and-rolf-the-offthewall-designers-behind-fashions-weirdest-creations-8904671.html
  12. http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2010RTW-VIKROLF
  13. http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2007RTW-HCHALAYA
  14. http://www.archdaily.com/43336/the-yas-hotel-asymptote/