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DISSERTATION

Architecture + Fashion:

A study of the connection between both worlds

AMADI UGOCHINYERE CHINWENDU

Masters of Architecture (M.Arch)

Nottingham Trent University

2014
Acknowledgement
My sincere gratitude goes to Almighty God, my helper, the one who has always been there
for me even in times of trials.
I wish to register my sincere gratitude to a number of persons who genuinely contributed to
the successful completion of this study.
I faithfully appreciate the support and selfless efforts by my supervisor Prof Soumyen
Banyopadhyay in leading me in the right path to attaining knowledge and dedication
demonstrated by my project and also for been there for me for the duration of this course and
in pursuit for my degree of masters in architecture certificate.
I owe a million thanks to my parents Engr and Mrs A. U Amadi for their love, financial
assistance and prayers that saw me through all my educational pursuits, I equally register my
gratitude to my siblings, Harrison Uzoma, Kelvin Chinedu and Elizabeth Nwulo for their
prayers, words of encouragement and love.
I want to thank my best friend, my partner and Fianc Capt. Oden for been there for me, you
were supportive all through and I appreciate you for your patience, prayer, encouragement
and love. You are the best, I love you dearly.
I also owe a million thanks to everyone who remembered me in their prayers, God knows you
individually and may he bless you all richly according to his promises.
Special thanks to all my fellow mates for their continuous support, love and encouragement.
God bless you all.

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AKNOWLEDGEMENT.....2
TABLE OF CONTENT..3

LIST OF FIGURES.....4
ABSTRACT........5
1 INTRODUCTION.....5-9
1.1 Research Question and Aim.... 9
1.2 Research Methodology.... 9
2 LITERATURE REVIEW....10
2.1 Background Studies....10
2.2 Deconstruction in relation to Fashion and Architecture ..11-12
2. 3 Contemporary Architecture and Fashion..............12-14

3 CASE STUDY ....15

3.1 Interrelationship between Fashion and Architecture.....15

3. 2 Frank Lloyd Wright- Guggenheim Museum..15-20


3.3 Zaha Hadid - ThyssenKrupp Headquarters..................20-22
4 CONCLUSION23
BIBLIOGRAPHY......25-28

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LIST OF FIGURES
Fig 1: Media faade in fashion and architecture by Husseein Chalayan and ag4
Architects 7

Fig 2: Metal dresses by Paco Rabanne and metal covering in building by Frank Gehry,
2003 7

Fig 3: Lucy Ortas art work of the boundaries in Fashion and Architecture 8

Fig 4: Geometry and Deconstructivism in Futurism Fashion... 8

Fig 5: Toyo Ito - Mikimoto Ginza 2 Building and Petal Dress Detail photo courtesy: Atelier
Manferdini. 9

Fig 6: Two - way dress by Yoshiki Hishinuma and Tods Building by Toyo Ito, Tokyo,
2004 14

Fig 7: Guggenheim Museum by Frank L. Wright with a Guggenheim hat of an unknown


designer.. 17

Fig 8: Cristobal Balenciaga Hat. 18

Fig 9: The Guggenheim hat ................................................................................................. 18

Fig 10: Valerie Idiosyncratic Fashionistas Guggenheim hat............................................... 19

Fig 11: Zaha Hadids building inspired by one of her fashion design.. 22

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Abstract

The social need for expression in this new age especially in the field of architecture has seen
some recent development; although architecture and fashion seem to be independent of one
other, architecture deals with the constructed environment while fashion is the motivating
factor behind the dress making business . It has been discovered that fashion is a robust way
of expressing ones culture and identity. A study of the connection between fashion and
architecture would be investigated in this research thereby a number of points would be
drawn out linking both fashion and architecture together in this post-modern era. This
research will create new ways for this method in design. Through the study on deconstruction
of modern architecture it is important to test its dominant effect over modern-day
architecture. An argument would be established from the research based onto what extent the
relationship between fashion and architecture has affected each other and in what kind of
pathways has the effects benefitted the users
Studying precedent literatures on topics of modernism, a number of views would be looked
into and a case study analysis would be carried out to finalise the methodology. Architecture
and fashion developments would be studied and compared with modern day architecture so
as to suggest areas for commendation of this proposed method of design.

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1 INTRODUCTION
Over the past centuries the connections between architecture and fahion has gotten robust by
the understanding of the fact that both fields share in common similar ideas and principles
which are based on structure, form, art, science, technology and aesthetics. (Miles 2008)
Hence, their connection is inclined to constant changes in styles and taste based on the
architect and designer. There are certain people in the fashion design field who believes that
fashion has a huge influence on architecture. According to Quinn, art and architecture are
inspired by fashion and as such in many circumstances a dress can be a metaphor for
architecture.(Quinn 2010: 217) Although fashion designers and certain individuals perceive
architecture as fashion. In reality fashion is transient unlike architecture which is permanent.
This relationship shows that there are certain similarities and connections that binds both
fashion and architecture together. This relationship is liable to constant change in stlyes and
taste.
The various trends between fashion and architecture is as a result of the following:
Design theory : Both architecture and fashion have in common the concept of design theory.
Individuals refer to design as a problem resolving process. According to Gully, even in
fashion, problems with the clothing are caused by the designer which need to have a resolved
aesthetics. This solution must have a connection with the human body in terms of design
lines, color, fabrication, proportion and pattern (Gully 2009: 2) The concept of design in
architecture is the solution to the environmental problems surrounding us. According to
Schulz, architects deal with design situations related to our surrounding environment (Schulz
1992) Hence, design problems would always be a continuing process in both architecture and
fashion and means in creating a solution is the basic concept of design theory.
Art: Both architecture and fashion have in common the idea of art which acts as the
foundation for both fields. Therefore without art there would not be fashion or architecture in
the first place. Art defines fashion and architecture thus creating an identity for individuals in
both profession. Fashion designers and architects can be seen as artist who generate pieces of
art. Art, science and technology are connected with one another thus they affect each other
with a debatable boundary amongst themselves. (Wilson 2002) The relationship between
fashion and architecture can be seen in the cases of fashion taking inspiration from elements
that relate to architecture such as the technology used , the concept of cantilever, suspension
and synthesis. However, architecture is also seen taking elements of fashion design as
concepts and inspiration, this elements of fashion design includes the idea of wrapping,
folding, weaving, pleating and draping. Sometimes the form and structure of the architectural
building itself can be a source of inspiration to fashion designers. spaces (Skin + Bones: At
the Museum Of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles 2007: 1- 57)
Science: The constant development in science and technology have allowed us to see that
everything in life functions according to principles and rules, which have been discovered by
the ways of science. These principles and rules have been tested and proven to the status of
laws of nature (Trefil 2003:8) Improvements in science goes beyond improving the quality of
our lives, thus the belief in art and science by diverse cultures as the two most important
aspects of life. These two aspects centuries past were united together allowing science to be
seen as a natural philosophy connected with art and both represent religion and truth. (Wilson
2002: 7)Both science and art value creativity which proposes innovation, improvement and
change over what exist through the use of abstract models to comprehend the world

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(Vidal,2005: 158). As a result one of the new materials which have found its way on fashion
catwalks and architecture is the media faade. This faade is produced with small LED
lights and can photograph anything the designer wants. In architecture the LED light when
applied to the building faade reflects natural light during the day and during the night it
gives different colour scheme with the aid of a computer program. An example can be seen in
the work of Hussein Chalayan garment which was made of LED and the T-Mobile
headquarters in Bonn, Germany designed by ag4 Architects.

Fig 1: Media faade in fashion and architecture by Husseein Chalayan and ag4 Architects

Source:http://newlaunches.com/archives/led_dresses_in_japan_soon.php:http://creativity-
online.com/news/nocturnal-skins/141116

Technology: Technology is a physical object which allows the users to see and feel them.
The influence architecture has on fashion has gotten more visible with the development in
technology. These influences are visible in the materials used in architecture such as the use
of metals as a building material. Metal as a material has been in existence in architecture over
the past centuries and is still been in use till date. A lot of fashion designers in the past
centuries tried to gimmick the use of metal as a fashion fabric but were unsuccessful till 1965
when Paco Rabanne a fashion designer created a dress out of metal sheets. His design was
influenced by the metal covering used in buildings by architects. His concept for the dress
was for the metal to act as a covering on the human body. Frank Gehry is one of the
architects still exploring with metal covering in buildings.

Fig 2: Metal dresses by Paco Rabanne and metal covering in building by Frank Gehry, 2003
Source:http://www.blogcdn.com/www.mydaily.co.uk/media/2011/10/paco.jpg:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Image-
Disney_Concert_Hall_by_Carol_Highsmith_edit.jpg

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These various trends between fashion and architecture can be seen in the following examples.
An example could be seen in the Lucy Ortas Habitant, 1992. Where the raincoat (fashion)
could be converted into a tent (architecture) while the raincoat is attached to the figure, it also
forms a three-dimensional extension of the figure and changes the image of the bodys form
and surface. Lucy is one of the many artists who are trying to eliminate the boundaries
between architecture and fashion. She therefore believes that the only way these boundaries
can be eliminated is with their similarities, such as what they have in common: shelter, dress,
mobility and social space. (Quinn, 2003) It also imposes the materiality of the clothing onto
the body in some cases it could be by means of lacing etc. (Koda, 2001)

Fig 3: Lucy Ortas art work of the boundaries in Fashion and Architecture

Source:http://www.ecouterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wearable-shelter-lucy-orta-refugee-
wear.jpg Accessed 1/11/2013

Fig 4: Geometry and Deconstructivism in Futurism Fashion

Source:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-
DOGOJuRZve4/UJpCweeFRFI/AAAAAAAAAUg/otWwf8VpWUI/s1600/futuristic+clothes.JPG. Accessed
15/12/2013

Both fashion designers and architects tend to use similar techniques such as the use of
geometry to create form where they both begin the process with a skeletal structure then add
other things to support it sometimes they can be draped or even suspended. Textile
Architecture which involves weaving, stitching etc. is been informed by fashion design
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process which architects are now using in their design. These processes are interactive,
flexible and portable. (Pugh G et al, 2008:45) In time past dresses where made with
individual shapes but in this era fashion has taken a new turn where dresses are occupied by
translucent and thinnest skins similar to buildings. (Pawley, 2000: 7) From the images above
it is seen that fashion designers find pleasure in creating dresses that depicts certain elements
of architecture whereby some of the dresses play with various form of geometry that acts as a
faade and gives different structure to the body shape. These innovations by the designers
tend to promote and show how much influence architecture has on fashion. The effect
architecture has on fashion has created the seasonal styles and designs we see on the fashion
catwalk today.

Fig 5: Toyo Ito - Mikimoto Ginza 2 Building and Petal Dress Detail photo courtesy: Atelier Manferdini

Source:http://www.arcspace.com/cropup/-/media/186168/1tokyo_shopping2.jpg:
http://www.arcspace.com/exhibitions/unsorted/skin_bones.jpg Accessed 15

An example could be seen in the Ginza building by Toyo Ito, the style of the building and the
openings in the buildings inspired and influenced the petal dress appearance of the clothing as
seen above. The pattern of the holes in the building faade allows light into the building,
whereas in the dress the patterns create openings that allows some part of the skin to be seen
and some others hidden. A common phrase states that what we wear reflects our
individuality. The style of the building reflects the architects concept of using a faade that
acts as the first skin which protects the structural frame of the building at the same time
allowing the users of the space to have little glimpse of the surrounding but in fashion the
dress is the only skin which protects the body thus the body acts as the structural element in
this case. Value that is expressive is something Architecture and fashion have in common.
The two are important expression of culture as both structure and clothing are made to cover
and protect our human body. (At the Museum Of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, 2008: 3)

Even though there are connections between architecture and fashion as pointed out above,
there are some modifications in scale, materials, sizes, shapes and proportions too. One of the
most essential differences amongst these two are the fact that fashion design lives in the
moment and each season new garments and outfits comes and goes but on the other hand
architecture has more permanent existence and will stay among us for much longer amount of
time.

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The effect that each of the mentioned professions have on each other makes them stronger
and in some ways gives the ability to the designers to have a wider point of view to design
amazing master pieces. In addition, in recent years it is much more obvious that architecture
in many cases is a motivation and inspiration for Fashion design and it is also similar for
architects to get motivated by the work of fashion designers. From the examples above there
is a relationship between architecture and fashion, however my argument is to what extent
has this relationship affected each other and in what kind of pathways has the effects
benefitted the users. Therefore this argument is going to be the driven question of this study.

1.1 Research Question and Aim


The main question for this study is whether fashion and architecture only have a comparable
connection or they are interconnected and have effects on one another thereby the research
aims to study is how exactly is the relationship between architecture and fashion played at?
The aim of this study is primarily about the connection between architecture and fashion and
how architecture has influenced fashion to what it is today.
The following objectives would be studied:
To analyse the similarities between architecture and fashion and to determine the way
forward from where they are today.
To suggest that there are limitations from the relationship between architecture and
fashion.
The aim and objectives would be explored through literature reviews, selected case studies of
architecture and fashion, comparative analysis, observations and conclusions.

1.2 Research Methodologies


The research methods used mainly in this research has to do with studying precedent
literatures of post modernism in the periods that are relevant and reasons why they are
relevant thereby creating a number of views . Few case studies analysis would be carried out
to finalise the methodology.
Post modernism in architecture which began in the 1950s was based on a variety of principles
and practice that was concerned about comfort and style thereby meeting the user needs,
hence a response to modernism. Although based on old-fashioned beliefs these principles
were not accepted by all. It has and is still influencing todays art, fashion and architecture.
(Thomas, 2002: 37) In the 1970s post modernism architecture became a movement. Post
modernism architecture was derived from modern functionalism a former movement, this
movement designs were focused on the usability of the space. On the other hand, developing
architects during that period viewed functionalism as uninteresting and unexciting due to the
fact that there was no space for conventional designs and structural ideas (Jencks, 2002: 42-
45) As a result of post modernism, both fashion designers and architects combined
functionality and art together as one broad idea. In fashion, post modernism main elements
were developed by the following fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne
Westwood and Comme des Garcons (Jones, 2005: xi, 56) Architecture of post modernism
were influenced by fashion whereby the building structures where identified with their
elegant aesthetics decoration of curves and captivating lines designed to please its viewers
and users. This type of architecture comprises the elements of originality, contradiction, irony
and surprise. (Wigley, 1995: xxvi)

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2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Background Studies
A number of studies exist on the relationship between architecture and fashion design. Many
exhibitions and art fairs took place on the subject matter of the parallel relationship between
architecture and fashion design, the theories and techniques that they have in common have
been the subject matter of study for most researchers.
One of the books used by many fashion designers is When Cloths Become Fashion, Design
and Innovation System (Loschek, 2009). This book focuses on the theories and techniques of
fashion design. There is a chapter which studies the relationship between fashion and
architecture design. This book outlines the realm of fashion scheme. The situation
performative impulses, social qualities, plurality of stlyes and economic condition.
Sources of Architectural Form(Mark, 1995) is one of the source book on architectural
theories. In this book, the basics of the creation and formation of forms in architecture have
been studied and aesthetics as the main subject of importance in architecture is interpreted.
Also, the history of Western architectural theories from the ancient world to the present day is
being studied. It focuses on design theorys vital question: How does the Architect generate
Architectural form?
The book The Fashion Of Architecture(Quinn, 2003) focuses on the contemporary
relationship between fashion design and architecture design based on techniques, image,
vision and materiality. Todays Architecture shows its present new fashion trend. Showing
how architects are been influenced by fashion thereby using methods of cutting, stitching,
folding and wrapping from old-fashioned dressmaking to design structures that are portable,
flexible and expandable. The book focuses on works of pioneer fashion designers such as
Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen and compares their designs with architectural
buildings.
The book Fashioning the Future, Tomorrows Wardrobe(Lee, 2007) studies the effect of
technology on fashion. In this book the importance of technology on fashion scheme through
the years is being studied. The book relates the importance of technology in fashion and how
fashion can be designed in the future. The improvement in technology has allowed
individuals in the fashion industry create and design machines or software that can interpret
the designers concept unto the dress.
One of the important displays on the interrelationship between architecture and fashion
design took place in August 2008 in London by Gwyn Miles. The display was called Skin +
Bones, Parallel relationship in architecture and fashion. This display pictured the effects of
art on these two disciplines and how it forms the intersection, merge and divide in
architecture and fashion. Techniques, forms and materials that architecture and fashion have
in common were all pictured in this displayed and they show cased the work of brilliant
designers in both industries.
Barzandeh Melodi has an unpublished thesis which she wrote in 2010 in Unitec New Zealand
on Fashion, Architecture and the Urban Environment . She proposed that the relationship
of architecture design and fashion design is based on the techniques and theories in
environment.

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The book What is Art?(Tolstoy, 2010) is one of the important books which offers the true
meaning of aesthetics and art. This book studies the art as a primary and basic factor of many
professions. With the help of this book true meaning of art can be studied and its relationship
with other professions such as fashion design and architecture design. Art can be known as
the main source of the above cited disciplines and their relationship can be studied.

2.2 Deconstruction in relation to Fashion and Architecture


The word deconstruction as defined by Oxford English dictionary (2012) says that
deconstruction is a system of serious study. It is fixed on exposing unchallenged
philosophical norms and inner flaws in philosophical and historical dialectal. Deconstruction
deals with the unpredictable and the untold. It demands answers from the present compared
to what was believed (Royle 2000: 7) providing a certain reason to deconstruction has been
challenging for many researchers. Timothy Clark states that deconstruction cannot be
foreseen or planned. (Clark 1992: 190).
Deconstruction cannot be foreseen or predicted (Beardsworth 1996: 4), it is likely referred to
as a progression as this would add up with the endless. This means that it is a continuing
movement, not predictable or expected; the academic is exposed to learn as he continues.
Regardless of the link between minimalism and modernism, the connection of deconstruction
in fashion and architecture generally centres on process instead of ideology. Frank Gehry is
one of the well-known believer of deconstruction in architecture. He and Eisenman often
show the idea of folding. His projects represents other physical appearance of fabric as well,
which is evident in his Hotel Marques de Riscal in Spain and in Disney Concert hall Los
Angeles through its structure of volumes that covers the body in the exact manner as a dress.
Amongst those who embraced deconstruction in fashion design are Yohji Yamamoto and Rei
Kwawakubo although on a less abstract process compared to Martin Margiela. It is worth
mentioning that Yohji and Rei are regarded as been more unconventional than other fashion
designers. In general, we can assume that deconstruction in architecture compared to fashion
is theorectically grounded. According to Hodge a supervisor at the Museum Of
Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, explained the connection of deconstruction in fashion and
architecture saying Despite the fact that architects and fashion designers might not have
embraced the concepts of deconstruction either from a similar source or for the same reasons
it is obvious that these trends began in both proffession at about the same period (Hodge
Skin + Bones: 15)
Although, fashion designers frequently get inspiration from specific buildings they
sometimes make references to the particular architects however in architecture, the most
frequent reference of fashion made by architects is through the method of reinventing the
potentials of textile in the construction of structures thereby testing the abilities of old-
fashioned architectural building materials.(Hodge Skin+Bones: 16)
Presently the comparable techniques amongst fashion design and architecture can be seen as
follows. These techniques are well thought-out as deconstruction, reconstruction and un-
construction. With the help of these techniques, the space that was not visible tends to be
visible in a single view. However, the unnecessary details are going to be eliminated (Quinn,
2003). Reconstruction in fashion design defines the clothing which is open to change. Dress
that is by some means not completely finished has the capability of transformation. In some
circumstances the old-fashioned clothing which is in a way that designer is able to add some
new parts to it and makes it more buoyant and gives a new life to it. Reconstruction increases
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the contrast of the interior and exterior, making the garment more dynamic. Reconstructed
fashions are made complete and yet remain undone. It transforms a form of a garment into
other forms; for example, it turns a jacket to a tent (Quinn, 2003). In architecture, also, the
reconstruction is legal and it is known by the name of renovation. In renovation, an old
building will be given a new identity by addition of new parts to it. In addition, the concept of
deconstruction is similar between these two industries, in fashion design; deconstruction
explores the interiority of the garment by slicing them.
2.3 Contemporary Architecture and Fashion
Bradley Quinn stated in his book the fashion of Architecture, 2003 that modern architecture
could be compared to a dress. [(Quinn 2003: 36) So also was it stated by Mark Wigley in his
book White Walls and Designer Dresses, 1995]. Time and again architects have relied on
dress for similarity even though they frequently lay off fashion as playful and absurd.
However contemporary architecture cannot be detached from clothing because architecture
from the beginning has always been an art of a dress (protective body) (Wigley 1995: 10).
Basically the aim of the architects (modernist) was to shelter the excessively elaborate
ornamented clothing of the nineteenth century and to put on a simple covering of pure white
(Pawley 2000: 94). The dressing of pure white walls is a fashion declaration which is far
from being unbiased and quiet as is proposed but signifying a selective need and passion
(Wigley 1995: xiv).
In modern-day fashion and architecture, some architects example: Architect Van de Velde
used to be judged for altering architecture into fashion by considering it like a clothing design
(Wigley 1995: 86). Another person known as Adolph Loos also seeks for modern-day
structural design to be matched like a custom-made suit, he stated that architects should
initially take part with fabrics as a technique of clutching the significances and beauty of
dwelling, then engage structural design (architecture) to sustain these values in the
constructed form (Quinn 2003: 50), affirming that this was the practical path that humans
initially learned to build.
Another Architect who experimented the ways of fashion is Toyo Ito. He used the idea of
wrapping on his Tods structure, thereby covering the structure with a geometrical facade and
this facade embraces the structure just the way fitted clothing fit tightly to our body.
However, just like several other architects, Ito has designed and built stores for several
fashion organizations. (Hodge Skin+Bones: 16) During the late nineteenth century, the
architecture of fashion stores rapidly turned out to be a vital focus,hence the growth of
departmental stores by architects allowed them to study the role of clothing in their proposals.
This process has allowed architecture to have a long-lasting presence in the style (fashion)
magazine. (Hodge Skin+Bones: 16)The fashion magazine is one of the powerful institutes of
the fashion industry. Individuals who have familiarized themselves with the fashion world
tend to be conscious of the fashion appearance (image), thus architects have been recognised
in maintaining a relatively trendy image particularly in the present day as they intermingle
even more regularly with the fashion organization. A lot of architects are famous for their
distinct style or unambiguous clothing. Example of such famous architect is Philip Johnson,
he is known for his heavy black rounded eyeglasses . (Hodge Skin+Bones: 7)

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Fig 6: Two - way dress by Yoshiki Hishinuma and Tods Building by Toyo Ito, Tokyo, 2004

Source: http://www.thecityreview.com/skinb.html

The relationship between fashion and architecture was analize in the book known as
Architecture in Fashion written and compiled by Deborah Fausch, which was published in
1994. Many of the written essays in the book make available a detailed background about the
main links between the two field. Deborah wrote on the two conflict between fashion and
architecture .(Fausch 1994: 7) whereas in the book Architecture in Fashion, Wigley explains
on the supposed refusal of fashion by the modernist movement in architecture. His writing is
strongly deep-rooted in philosophy, where he approachess the whitewall as the common
element shared by the architects andbuildings that are considered to be modernhe also
suggests that even though the practitioners of modernism viewed their work as pure, timeless
and free of the fluctuations of fashion, their work was based on The visible aging of the
white wall calls into question that architectures ability to transends the turnover of
fashionable stlyes. The white wall became a style that was repeated and reinterpreted in the
same way the fashion industry perpetuates trends. (Wigley 1995: xix)
The use of fashion as an architectural inspiration has been slowly accepted because of the
level of elitism that exists in the field of architecture. To call a work of architecture
fashionable is an insult to the architect and the artistry of their ideally timeless creation. If
the goal of architecture is to be timeless, the rapidly changing styles of the fashion world are
viewed as threats. Clothing is produced quickly and the cycle of changing styles is constantly
in motion. In contrast, buildings are constructed in much longer periods of time and , as
lasting structures, are often designed to stand the test of time. For this reason, architects and
architectural scholars have traditionally considered their field to be exempt from the fashion
system, which to them is both trivial and temporal. However Wigley provides evidence for
the influence of the rapidly changing fashion system on the modernist movement, which was
defined by its aspiration to acheieve timelessness. (Wigley 1995: xxv)

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3. CASE STUDY
3.1 Interrelationship between Fashion and Architecture
In identifying the relationship between Fashion and Architecture it would seem challenging
comparing and contrasting between them both but with recent design inventions in the world
today certain attempts would be made in this chapter to study the modern relationship
between fashion and architecture in substantial depth, by exploring the method, theories,
skills and materials used by the designers (fashion designers) and architect. During the
previous era, architecture tried to free herself from fashion however in this era it has
identified with fashion. People tend to ask must it be fashion? Architecture and Fashion have
in common (share) similar duty of enclosing space which is based round the form of a
human. They both have restrictions and requirements that they provide for the human figure
and also have similar traits of innovative study of volume, movement and space (Pugh et al
2008: 45- 50).
There are certain similarities between the two and also there could be disimilarities in the
similarities. Below is a case study on the comparison of fashion and architecture trends.

3.2 Frank Lloyd Wright - Guggenheim Museum


Brief Background:
Wright is indisputably the finest recognized American architect who has earned himself fame
and respect from his members and pubic in general thereby making him an icon in the field of
architecture seventy years ago. (Levine 1996: xiv) He is been referred to as the most popular
and celebrated architect of the twentieth century. Through out his career not only was his
personal life attracting the media but also his buildings which are considered necessary in any
historic study of architecture. (Levine 1996: viii) Frank Lloyd Wright rise to fame could also
be seen as a struggle where his constant pride affected every aspect of his career, beginning
from the technique he used in designing structures to the manner in which he intermingled
with clients, all this are seen as the driving forces in his successful career. (Gould 1952:39)
The phrase form follows function was changed to form and function are all oneby Wright
whereby he used nature as the best integration tool. (Venturi 1977:19,Sullivan
1979:208)Wright is known as the father of organic architecture, although in his theory the
word organic architecture comprises of the properties of the materiality, the relationship of
the building form and its environment and the building function. Thus it is an attempt of a
combination between the building structure and the context. (Wright 1953: 322)
The Guggenheim Museum:
This museum was influenced by post modernism, whereby the design was centred on the
usability rather than functionalism. This museum built by Wright is located in New York. It
was constructed in the year 1956-1959 but remodelled in 2006-2008. This museum is a work
of art despite the fact that it is a gallery meant for the appreciation of modern arts. From the
building shape, form and structure, it is obvious that the the style of the building has a bit of
fashion. (Ballon 2009: 115)
The relationship between the museum and the hats:
There are three different fashion accessory hat styles in the figures below which has some
similarites with the guggenheim museum but a unique different one which has exact replica
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at the same time gimmicks the guggenheim structure while the remaining three different hats
gimmicks just the upturned cone shape of the structure.
Concept: Wrights idea for the building was for visitors to experience the space as a
continuity form.
Spaces: The building spaces generates from the form of the museum of the curved spiral
structure. This structure which forms the spaces allows the spaces to conform to Wrights
philosophy of organic architecture.
Structure: The guggenheim structure is of a spiral form which has a central display hall lit by
a skylight. The structure gives the appearance of one single continuity of just one floor, one
internal wall and one external wall.
Materials: The building materials used in the construction of this magnificient structure is
precast concrete blocks painted with white paints which is applied on both internal and
external walls.

Fig 7: Guggenheim Museum by Frank L. Wright with a


Guggenheim hat of an unknown designer

Source: http://martadelarica.es/wordpress/architectural-fashion/

In fig 3, this picture depicts a gimmick of the museum, although getting more information
about the designer, the designer concept nor the date/year/country proved to be difficult. It is
glaring that the designer and artist was trying to design something outrageous which came out
looking like a Guggenheim but in this case the top of the hat grows downward creating
various volumes as it grows. This volume creates spaces of unique forms that is spacious. It is
safe to assume that the materiality of the hat is made from a flexible material which allows it
to take the form and geometry of the Guggenheim. The shadow gaps created by the ramp of

16
the Guggenheim museum was depicted by the dark material of the hat, so also was the white
colour of the concrete material depicted with the white material used on the hat. The different
curves of the hat are flattened into the fabric material thereby creating a three dimension of
the hat. This reverse concept of the building shows that the influence architecture has on
fashion can be expressed in various ways with altered materials.

Fig 8: Cristobal Balenciaga Hat

Source: http://www.vam.ac.uk/membership/node/429

In fig 4, the hat was designed by Cristobal Balenciaga born in Spain (1895 1972). The hat
was made in 1962. The geometry of the hat has some similarities to Wrights Guggenheim
museum. The Balenciaga hat is made of silk material which makes the structure not to be
balanced on its own when placed on the head, hence three internal hair combs acts as the
framework of the hat that supports the hat on the head. The designer thoughts about the hat
were based on simplest form this form which was created out of seven spiral stiffened
textile material was made to appreciate the Guggenheim museum in a reverse form. The
geometry of the hat is very striking whereby the structure of the hat curves continuously
leaving a few spaces as it grows and widens. These spaces could act as a circulation space in
terms of architectural design while the spiral form could serve as both the internal and
external walls of the structure. The structure of the hat could be made of precast concrete if it
were to be a building so as to give it a solid frame work as that of the exact material quality
of Wrights Guggenheim museum. It is my assumptions therefore that sometimes consciously
or unconsciously fashion designers take clues from existing architectural buildings.

Fig 9: The Guggenheim hat

Source:
http://irenebrination.typepad.com/.a/6a00e55290e7c488330162fc62a1d9970d-500wi

17
In fig 5, this image also has certain similarity to the Guggenheim museum, unfortunately
getting more information about the designer, the designer thoughts nor the date/year/country
proved to be difficult. It is safe to assume that the designer was trying to replicate the inverted
cone form of the Guggenheim. The hat from afar can be mistaken to be the exact shape of the
museum hence it is dubbed the Guggenheim hat. The materiality of the hat is also unknown
but it is safe to assume that it is made of a solid material which allows the hat to balance on
the head easily also, the hat looks like it is made of a white fabric which gives it the
Guggenheim appearance. Therefore it is safe to assume that this designer was inspired from
Wrights Guggenheim museum.

Fig 10: Valerie Idiosyncratic Fashionistas Guggenheim hat

Source: http://idiosyncraticfashionistas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/time-out-ny-our-15-minutes-of-fame.html

In fig 6, this picture is a fashion accessory designed by Ignatius Creegan for Valerie
Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. This hat is so unique because it was made out of felt and wheat
straw plaits sewn by a special machine. The hat is unbalanced which makes the structural
frame of the hat to be supported by the silk ribbon ties around the face of the wearer. The
shape of the hat looks like a building form aside the fact that it was influenced by the
Guggenheim museum. The felt used in the production of the hat creates the various spaces as
seen in the figure, also it depicts the shadow gap of the museum; The felt determines the
width of each wrap as the machine weaves the straw round the felt to create the internal and
external wall of the hat which acts as the body of the hat. Therefore from my observation it is
safe to assume that no matter the link between fashion and architecture, there would always
be a certain influence from both worlds where each architect and designer wants to improve
in their creativity at the same time provides a shelter and accessory for the body giving them
that unique identity they deserve.

Through this case study what is coming clear is this kind of connection: the concept of art
and the concept of technology. In the concept of art, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture has a
18
narrative which can be interpreted as an art and in the world of fashion art is everything, a
fashion designer sees art in everything and anything and I believe been an organist architect
himself he took pleasure in incorporating the site and the building together thereby making an
art of the surrounding environment. The Guggenheim building is the art of the mix and it
defines fashion in a way that speaks art hence, the gimmick from various fashion designers.
This influence that the Guggenheim building has on fashion could be said to be a formal
influence because fashion is art and therefore the building represents fashion because it is an
art piece on its own.

The concept of technology which is a physical object could also be seen in the building
materiality used by the architect and that of the fashion designers, this technology allows the
users of the buildings to feel, touch and see the object. The materiality used in the
Guggenheim building I believe was difficult for the fashion designers to imitate and as a
result they went for an alternative material that could still give the exact feel and texture as
that of the Guggenheim building. These influence that architecture has on fashion is an
informal influence because there is no direct link with the materiality. Therefore the
connection between both fields is that they both share the same concept but interpreted in
different ways and with different technologies. This could still be considered as an art
because in art different materials could still give the same end product as seen in the images
above. The nature of the material is permanent in architecture but in fashion it is transient.
This gives fashion an upper hand compared to architecture. Also, the concept of technology
has and is still having a great impact on the type of structures seen in both architecture and
fashion. Some of the new techniques used are known as spiral, folds, twist and waves. (Quinn
2003) As seen in the images above.

In some part of the world, some buildings still depicts modern architecture because of its
style, taste and fashion. This influence could be said to be fashion because it reflects the
fashion of the past in comparison to the fashion of the present. Therefore the connection
between fashion and architecture could be said to be a parallel relationship which is inclined
to continuous changes in style and fashion. However, Park Shinmi a famous fashion designer
argument tends to be more realistic based on the fact that she considers the connection
between architecture and fashion as a system of cultural expression whereby she believes it is
a creative beauty that is conveyed through the mixture of styles and materials a vision of
desire in modernitys search for perfection. (Karaminas 2007: 8-9) Therefore this study
clearly communicates that both world (architecture + fashion) strongly depend on visual
language to express their nature. In conclusion, it is safe to agree that fashion design is all
about movement and style, whereby the dresses are not constructed as a separate object from
the movement rather they are seen as a single act.

Therefore it is safe to assume that the great transformation and changes taking place between
fashion and architecture is as a result of the industrial revolution. Thus, like architecture,
fashion exist in dimension of time and movement whereby fashion designers and architects
are required to design under the influence of these great movements accordingly (Quinn
2003) Finally, the effect that each of the stated professions might have on each other, makes
19
them stronger and in some ways gives the ability to the designers to have a wider point of
view to design extraordinary master pieces, thus it is my argument to ask does these
influences and interrelationships work in a beneficial way, so also, are they affecting fashion
and architecture in a positive way? Architecture under the influence of fashion design is
becoming more fluid and artistic; on the other hand, fashion design under the influence of
architecture is becoming more technical and structural. After all said and done, the argument
remains are these professions work in the benefit of the users and are they satisfying the
human beings needs? Or are they just satisfying the aesthetical point of view of people.

3.3 Zaha Hadid - ThyssenKrupp Headquarters


Brief Background:
Zaha Hadid is a world renowned architect and a fashion designer, born in Baghdad 1950. She
got her degree from Architectural Association, London in 1977. She began her trademark of
neo modernist architecture when she was still teaching at Architectural Association Design
Museum, 2007. She broke away from the classical rules of modernism such as space, ceilings
walls, back, front and right angles then reconstructs them in her idea of a new fluid spatiality
which is intended to symbolize the exciting fluidity of present-day life. She combines light,
fluidity and space in her building and fashion projects.

Amongst both disciplines there is a clear understanding of how it begins and where it ends
which begins from the human body then to generating spaces and finally to movement
without any cautious act of a specific theory. Zaha Hadid lets her spaces which are fluid in
nature speak for themselves. Although many people do not agree with her style of design,
they believed the designs cannot be built but fortunately she has grown steadly to earn a
reputation for herself in this profession with her unique forms in architecture and in fashion
as well, which gives an expression of cultural and political identity and individuality.
(Citation from: http://designmuseum.org/design/zaha-hadid [Accessed 15th December 2013]

The ThyssenKrupp Headquarters:


This building was influenced by fashion, whereby the design was centred on the usability and
functionality of the space. This building comprising of a museum, auditoriums, conference
room and library built by Zaha is located in Germany. It was constructed in the year 2006.
The building is a work of art and from a distance it appears to be sculptured despite the fact
that it is meant for the cultural appreciation of the metropolitan life on the caspian sea. From
the building shape, form and structure, it is obvious that the style of the building has bits of
fashion.
Citation from :
(http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/documents/Publikationen/TK_Magazine/compact_2011_02_e
n.pdf [Accessed 7th February 2014].

20
The relationship between the dress and the building:
Concept: Zahas idea for the building was for visitors and staffs to experience the space as a
fluid form.
Spaces: The building spaces generates from the fluid form of the curved arc of the structure.
This structure which forms the spaces allows the spaces to conform to Zahas philosophy of
dynamic fluid organic architecture.

Structure: The structure is of a curve arc form which was formed by basic nature forces
such as the forces of ice, water and wind. The building structure reacts to the serviceable
interactions and administrative structures within different sectors. The folds of the structure
gives the appearance of a single continuous surface.
Materials: The building material used in the construction of this magnificient structure is
steel.

Fig 11: Zaha Hadids building


inspired by one of her fashion
design.

Source : http://bijouxsharonne.blogspot.co.uk/ : http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/thyssenkrupp-


headquarters/

Zaha is an example of designers who work in fashion as well as architecture whereby her
fashion sometimes inspires her architecture as well as her architecture influences her fashion.
The building image above was inspired by the flowing mesh dress from her fashion playbook
called frozen aura and it was because she wanted to help raise money for a foundation known
as the world wildlife foundation. The dress was her muse for the famous ThyssenKrupp
building. The building faade depicts the dress pattern but with an additional element design
21
to it whereby the pattern of the mesh creates the opening for the windows of the structure.
The nature of the fabric allows light to pass through it thus making it very transparent to the
public eyes. This is glaring in the building faade whereby the openings in the building
transmit light into the building giving the building a transparent appearance. The fluidity
nature of the dress can be seen in the form of the structure and also the way the buildings are
arranged to one another. Therefore it is safe to assume that both architecture and fashion are
more than connections. They both involve filling empty spaces with planes and contours on
different scales. However, the cross pollination of ideas is deliberate. The relationship
between these two disciplines grows more intimate as the days goes by. Another example of
Zahas work whereby fashion influenced architecture can be seen in the images below.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/zaha-hadid-turns-shoe-designer-teams-up-with-melissa/

Zahas shoe designed for Melissa comes in just two colours as seen above which can be seen
as the muse for this building. The rubber shoes which are unusual in design are also very
interesting to look at from a visual perspective. The very precise lines, transverse sloping
straps and openings of the shoes influences the faade design of the structure. Thus, the cut
outs of the shoes act as the window openings of the structure which allows light to enter the
building. The straps of the shoes divide the glass surface thereby acting as non-structural
elements which does not reveal the whole space to the public but allows the users and
viewers to experience the space themselves. Its safe to assume that this building is indeed a
work of art and at the same time reflects art as the concept of the building structure. The fluid
nature of the shoes is visible in the building form and spaces created by the form. These
shows that designers working in fashion as well as architecture tend to inspire one another in
ways that are visible to the public and users. It is safe to assume that Zaha Hadids love for
experimenting in both fields of architecture and fashion has been a success and to an extent
shows that the bond between fashion and architecture in the future might be the new
movement accepted by all thus meeting the needs of the users, functionality and usability of
the space.
22
4. CONCLUSION
Certain elements and details in both architecture and fashion tend to become the useful idea
and inspiration behind the fashion designers clothing and accessories and also the architects
building design. Although both architecture and fashion are structured,visual and art in
appearance. They are also three - dimensional in form and space which changes the entire
shape of the design and also acts as the foundation for both architecture and most fashion
designed objects.
In cases where we have the fashion designers as architects, it is safe to assume that a parallel
relationship is created in their design which tends to bridge the gap of both fields. Thus, in
cases where the fashion designers are not architects and the architects are not fashion
designers, it is safe to assume that there is a similarity in their works influenced by the other.
It is also safe to assume that architecture inspired by fashion design is becoming more fluid
and artistic while on the other hand, fashion design inspired by architecture is becoming more
technical and structural.

This research on the connection of both worlds has shown that there might be some
possibility in the future in this new method of design.

23
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