Architecture & Fashion: A Seamless Connection

With the grand scale of architecture and the delicate features of clothing, how is it possible for these two seemingly different art forms to be connected?  When you start with the basic elements of design – line, color, shape, and form, to name a few – it’s no surprise that these art forms often draw inspiration from one another. Let’s take a deeper look at the connections and learn about some of the leading designers who impacted both realms.

Fashion and Architecture

For The Body

When you strip architecture and fashion to its bones, the ultimate need is where the similarity lies – protection. These 2 forms of design have evolved from our basic life necessities. But they have both grown into something much larger.

What started as a need to protect the body has been transformed by culture, weather, and location. Every culture has created its own identity. Clothing and structures were created to express individuality from other cultures but also needed to be functional for a geographical location. As time passes, cultural identities have lessened and shared style becomes worldwide. With this, architecture and fashion have essentially become one and the same.

Inspired By Both Worlds

For some designers, architecture and fashion has been interchangeable throughout their careers. Fashion designers like Tom Ford, Versace, and Omer Asim all started with an architectural background but decided to focus more on fashion. Other architects, like Zaha Hadid, have collaborated with designers to create stunning runway pieces. 

Cut From The Same Cloth

The evolution of 3D printing has brought more similarities. Now architecture and fashion can even be constructed the exact same way making scale the only difference between the two. These printers not only allow for more intricate and fascinating designs for both buildings and fashion but also output materials strong enough for structures and fluid enough for bodies. The possibilities become endless. In this interview from Dezeen, fashion designer Iris van Herpen shares how 3D printing has impacted her styles and allowed her to collaborate on building designs.

When we go back to the initial need (protection) and basic elements of design, it’s easy to see how both fields are desirable for a designer. While fashion may be fleeting and architecture more permanent, both art forms bring confidence and empowerment.  Each style evokes a certain emotion for the wearer or the inhabitant. With technology, we’ve seen incredible advancements for both fashion and architecture. It will be fascinating to see how 3D printing will play a role in bringing the two even closer together.