Architecture and Fashion - Mutual Inspiration

27 June, 2020
Architecture and fashion are two disciplines that share inspiration and the same purpose. The goal is to transform designs into art.
 

Architecture and fashion have a relationship stemming from mutual inspiration. This relationship is based on similar languages. It reflects structures, rhythms, proportions, textures, colors, and creativity.

These two disciplines seek beauty through fulfilling our basic human needs like clothing and shelter. The poetic and the sublime become the connecting thread between the two.

Coco Chanel masterfully defined the relationship between architecture and fashion with her famous phrase, “Fashion is architecture, a question of proportions”. The ideas of architects and fashion designers are shared regarding their vision of proportions and volumes.

Architecture and fashion, seeking balance

An architect works on a blueprint.

Although the materials and techniques are different, architects and designers maintain proportions. They often surprise us with groundbreaking ideas that create new ways of understanding these disciplines.

An architect and a designer seek the same goal as they seek to make life and the world a better place. They constantly search for the perfect balance between creativity and functionality.

Furthermore, architecture and fashion originate from a similar process. They are born with a sketch, an idea captured on paper that takes shape through volumes and proportions.

 

Mutual inspiration

A sketch of a dress

The fashion world is full of designers with an architectural background. An example is Basque designer Balenciaga, the first fashion architect and known for the geometry and simplicity of the lines in his designs.

Likewise, this designer maintains, “A good fashion designer must be an architect for the patterns, a sculptor for the shape, and a painter for the drawings”. Balenciaga burst into the world of fashion, providing his designs with volume and invisible seams as sculptures.

Another example is Josep Font, a designer from the world of architecture. He studied architecture, fashion, and pattern making, showing his inspiration in every design. His work prioritizes space and movement.

Both of these designers masterfully transferred their previous training to the world of fashion.

Among the most renowned architects, are Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Philip Beesley. They’ve designed shoes, bags, jewelry, and complete collections.

Architecture, the stage for fashion

Models performing at a fashion show
 

Stores designed for the luxury brand reinforce the relationship between architecture and fashion. Fashion brands no longer want to occupy the main streets of famous cities.

This is one of the ways that brands have to differentiate themselves from the competition. Thanks to this, they provide stores with spaces that invite to buy and that reflect their style. Many of these stores occupy entire buildings and have become a tourist attraction.

From Los Angeles to Madrid, large cities are home to exclusive shops designed by renowned architects. The list of great architects involved in fashion stores continues to grow every year.

Architects such as Tadao Ando, ​​Rem Koolhaas, Herzog, and de Meuron or Kengo Kuma have developed stores for large fashion firms. In recent decades, many fashion brands have chosen famous buildings to present their collections.

A few years ago, Louis Vuitton chose the spectacular Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro to present his collection. This building is an emblematic work of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Several large fashion firms reflect the interior design of famous architectural offices, such as  Chanel, who worked with the late architect Zaha Hadid to create spectacular minimalist sets.

The purpose of architects and fashion designers is the same – to thrill through their work.