Fashion and Architecture: A Fascinating Dialogue

Fashion and Architecture: A Fascinating Dialogue

Throughout history, different forms of art and human expressions have established dialogues among them, becoming each other’s source of inspiration, challenge and questioning. It’s fascinating to reflect on these intersections, to find clues and encounters, as well as to imagine where these movements will go and how these intersections will impact them. No form of art stands alone, every work, every expression and every idea is fed by its context, its circumstances and those ideas with which it coexists. Fashion and architecture have a unique and strong bond that is worth exploring.

When we think about the nucleus of both fashion and architecture, we can find several conjunctions. For instance, they’re both the source of creations that do not only search for beauty, but also for practicality. While architecture designs the buildings that host our lives, fashion designs those objects that host each of our bodies. They are both ultimately destined for human use and this cannot be ignored.

Balenciaga, Spring 2008 // Guggenheim Museum

There are also other notions that are inherent for both of them such as the use of layers, materials and textures, the development of structures and the importance of proportions. These issues have inspired several artists and creators in both worlds, even provoking some architects to experiment with fashion and vice versa.

One of the most iconic examples of this is Zaha Hadid, a renown architect who entered the fashion world in alliance with Chanel by designing the runway and scenario for the presentation in 2012 Paris Fashion Week. Her creativity escaped all boundaries, thus her work cannot be separated between both disciplines, since it acquired diverse and astonishing forms. Pierre Balmain and Gianfranco Ferré are other fashion designers that come from architecture backgrounds.

Nova Shoe United Nude x Zaha Hadid – 2013

Coco Chanel herself said it well: «Fashion is architecture, it’s a question of proportions”. Balenciaga, Marchesa and Dolce Gabbana have also included architectural details in their collections, blowing the critics’ minds and setting questions that intrigue both worlds. They have even stated spaces like The Guggenheim, the Sydney opera House and the Beckman Tower as their inspirations. 

Balenciaga himself recognizes and honors this enriching dialogue among the arts: “The designer must be an architect with the patterns, a sculptor with the shapes, a painter with the colors, a musician for the harmony and a philosopher for the sense of measure”.

Both fashion and architecture aim to create works of art that prevail through space and time. Both of them are ways to create beautiful and inspiring forms of shelter for humankind. It’s truly exciting to see how these forms of art propulse and challenge each other. YOU MUST READ Where Did Cubist Architecture Go Wrong?


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