Thursday, 24 April 2014

History of Fashion and Clothing in Architecture

Text : Nor Azua Ruslan

[ Dressing Architecture : Colour, Style & Fashion ]
In Relation With Architects and Clothing

Original works submitted to the Manchester School of Architecture for the Bachelor of Architecture dated April 2009. Received a commendation in Summer 2010.

2.6] History of Fashion and Clothing in Architecture
Bradley Quinn wrote in The Fashion of Architecture; architecture is making its presence felt in cutting-edge fashion. The pliable metals, membrane structures, lightweight glasses and plastics used in building construction are creeping onto the catwalk. Although the relationship between architecture and fashion was recognised more than a century ago, the connection between them has rarely been explored by historians, designers or practising architects.[5]
Few famous architects have been trying to describe architecture’s role in the formation of fashion identities; they were Rem Koolhas, Zaha Hadid, Hussein Chalayan and Rei Kawabudo. Since then, new readings of both areas emerge. However, we can trace back the metaphor of architecture and clothing back to Vitruvius and even earlier. Historic of costumes reveal the axis of fashion and architecture in period dress, in many garments that were ornamented and even constructed according to architectonic reference.[1]
In 1840s, architecture was dominated by the rounded window frames and blunted arches which is the same as fattened curves conspicuous in the dress line period. Poxton had no intention of influencing women’s dress but his design inspired a voluminous device that continued to dominate fashion for the following two decades. [1] In 1898, Adolf Loos has also identified architecture with clothing, following Semper’s logic closely. In his essay ‘The Principle of Dressing’, Loos acknowledged the primacy of dress as a basic shelter, encouraging architects to first engaged with textile as a  method of grasping the meaning and aesthetics of dwelling, then employ architecture to sustain these principle in built form. [1] 
Rem Koolhas, Zaha Hadid, Hussein Chalayan, Rei Kawabudo and Ken Yeang might have a unique taste in fashion therefore they emerge into the fashion world, but somehow keep their job as an architect. But Tom Ford studied architecture before switching to fashion at Gucci; attributing his regard for clean lines and sleek panels to his awareness of architectural structures. While Kei Kagami abandoned his architecture career in Tokyo to design fashions for Junko Koshino, then moved to London to work for John Gallalino. [5]
FIG.2.7: Zaha Hadid’s clothing style.

[2] Bradley Q. (2003) The fashion of Architecture. Berg: Oxford, p2-3