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Architectural Flair in Fashion

From Alexander McQueen's 2011 line.

I’ve had my work be called angular before and not always in a positive way. Some people find the spherical familiarity of domed stadiums, cul-de-sacs and marshmallow cars to be soothing.

My architecture is about the play between nature and construction, between lightness and darkness, glass and steel. It is no surprise that this style is also steeped in my life. 

My affinity for fashion may come from French sensibilities. I too, was affected by the shoulder pad and neon trend of the 1980s and I once owned a pair of unbreathable tight black pants with giant flowers all over them. Not, perhaps, my finest moments.

I found as I become more comfortable in my own field that my appreciation for fashion became more specific. I love the play of structures in the dresses of Alexander McQueen or the work of draping and accentuation of Lanvin. You can’t be literal with dress constructions just like you can’t be literal in architecture. There has to be a foundation which pushes limits – rethinks angles, a site or a view or the silhouette of a woman.

Consider the relationship and similarities to the dress and building below:

One of my first major projects, a house in Palo Alto

Fashion designers and architects are not so different, we are given a client (of sorts), specifications for what is anticipated with us and we make drawings. Eventually, if we are lucky enough, if we draw and redraw, we bring out materials and we build on a blank canvas. We may have to compromise on our ideals but at the end of the day – our results are tangible.

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