Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Menswear stripped down to its skin and bones

The weekend before last I was in London and I was fortunate enough to visit the Skin+Bones exhibition on at the Embankment gallery within the beautiful Somerset House. If you find yourself in London over the summer why not venture to the exhibition, it located in one of my favourite areas of London in Summer so there really is no excuse.

Within the exhibition you can discover how over fifty internationally-renowned architects and designers including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Future Systems, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid 'fashion' buildings and 'construct' garments. Unfortunately the exhibition does not look at menswear and this is something that I'd quite like to address on the blog.

Over the course of the coming weeks I am going to explore this intriguing relationship between these two inspiring disciplines. The relationship between fashion and architecture is a symbiotic one and throughout history clothing and buildings have echoed one another. While they have much in common they are still intrinsically different. Addressing the human scale with very different proportions, sizes and shapes. Architecture also has a more solid and monumental and permanent presence...but then again so should good quality menswear. Advances in materials and software have pushed the frontiers of both disciplines, buildings have become more fluid and garments more architectonic. Architects have adopted techniques common with dress making and tailoring, such as folding, draping, weaving and printing and fashion designers have looked to architecture for inspiration and way to build and engineer garments.

Chalayan's laser dress - Kanye must have loved this!

Which menswear designers spring to mind when you think of the fashion and architecture crossover? Hussein Chaylayan's mechanical dress and his recent laser dress are some of the best examples from the female catwalks, but of course McQueen, Boudicca, Yamamoto and Victor&Rolf have also provided great examples over the years. Over the coming weeks I will be looking at the best examples within the menswear designers but if you have any thoughts I'd love to hear them.


Thomas said...

Looking forward to this - dad's an architect and has always dressed to the stitch of his own tailor.

Danz said...

Hussein Chaylayan is a genius. I don't think anyone does technology/fashion hybrids like he does.


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