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In more recent history, architects in the modern movement turned to clothing again and again both for positive and negative analogy. The goal of modern architecture could be likened to a change in clothing: to shed the overky fussy, decorated dress of the 19th century and to don a plain of coat of pure white. 1
Installation artist use fashion principles to understand how identities can be created, dissolved and formulated anew; their work is rooted in the everyday and the ordinary, proposing a rhetoric of communication though social space. Architecture and fashion has become a site for understanding the self. Architects use the built environment to alter our relationship to each other and to ourselves, exploring the impact of material, colour, tactility and tropes of memory create place which are at once real and imagined. They highlight the gulf between private experience and public content. 2
No longer just space for living, working or wearing architecture and fashion seem to engage on an equal footing with the philosophical, historical and formal principles. Contemporary society's ever changing relationship to material culture, where contemporary techniques and environments have become interactive and the division between functionalism and representation is breaking down.
Architects also give fashion a platform itself in a sculptural disguise. Bernard Tscumi called on Pia Myrvoid's fashion expertise to create the textile sculptures that he showcased at La Villette and Lucy Orta collaborated with an architectural practice to redesign one of the London college of fashion's public space as an expression of textile structures. Joep Van Lieshout has collaborated with Rem Koolhaas on the Grand Palais project in Lille, to express his artistic signature in an architectural style described as "modular mechanism". In a work that took direct inspiration from iconic architecture, Yeohlee unravelled the famous Guggenheim spiral designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959 to create a series of asymmetrical spirals around the body. Zaha hadid set designs and performance costumes for the Metaplois Ballet charged architectural principles with expressive movements.3
Susan Sidlauskas, the author of Intimate architecture, observes here that These alliances are by no means a contemporary phenomenon. Since the late nineteenth century architectural visionaries such as Gottfried Semper, Sigfried Giedion and Walter Gropius drew comparisons between the economy of dress and the practice of architectures. That dress could be considered a metaphor for modern architecture at all points to the sub textual parallels between dress reform and the critical discourse of modern architecture. Semper viewed a buildings shell as an example of clothing, associating and directly linking the German words "dress" (gewand) and "wall" (wand). Likening textiles to built surfaces, which he regarded as modes of veiling rather than purely tectonic structures, Semper argued that the evolution of architecture resulted from technological changes rather than from pursuit of idealistic form. 4
1 Henri Lefebvre (1991 edition) the production of space, Oxford; Blackwell
2. Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture, pg 37
3 Susan Intimate architecture ,
4. Susan Intimate architecture ,
Georg Simmle, the first intense analyst of fashion and architecture, regarded society as a whole to gewand, tracing the threads of it weave and the embroideries of its surface to the manifestations of modern life. 5
Adolf Loos also claimed that a building's robust outer shell should be wholly differentiated from its intimate, inner spaces. Dismissing the type of ornamentation associated with feminine dress as "something that must be overcome", Loos advocated a paradigm of architecture based on mens fashion extolling the subdued understatement of a tailored suit as the ideal facade for modern aesthetics. 6
Fashion-Preoccupied with manufacturing how reality should look, it produces a wide range of looks, trends and body aesthetics. Fashion is consumed visually, though it is created for wear on the body, it is conceived and given form as a visual exchange. Many conceptual designers give primacy to the theoretical content and visual signifier, as though the garments visual significance is intended to outweigh its wear ability.
Kennedy fraser located the space of fashion as "political strategies are planned, movies made, books published, art exhibits mounted, critical coloumns turned out, dances danced, editorial policies formulated academic thesis germinated wherever people think, speak or create shared forms of expression"7.
Henri Lefebvre's foray into such spectacle revealed an insidious ideological force, which he was keen to expose "people look and take sight, take seeing, for itself. We build on the basis of papers and plans. We buy on the bases of images, sight and seeing, which in the western tradition once epitomized intelligibility, have turned into a trap" 8
Fashion space is a synthesis between fiction and realism. In the fusion between them, the act of shaping and forming social identities is constructed and performed. Fashioning a sense of self through clothing as Ian Borden explains, "is above all searching for a sense of ones own identity, for alyer in which to drape ones self image in relation to the city outside 9
Looks are created or reconfigured as individual social realities take on new contexts. But the fashion identity is seldom constant "it confronts the imagined with the real, affirming or negating the prevailing assumption about individuals social identity and relative positions in social space"10
5. Susan Intimate architecture , contemporary clothing,
6. 8. Adolf Loos 1898 essay, p66-9
7. Susan Intimate architecture
8. Henri Lefebvre (1991 edition)
9. 4Iain Borden (2000) Fashioning the city, architectural design, (70),p14
10. Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture, pg 37
Benjamin was quick to identify the nature of urban architecture as he observed that the shopping activities collapsed the boundaries between private, interior realms and the external world of public spaces. Benjamin identified a new mode of urban experience as he traced the movements of the "rambling dandy" he described as the "flaneur"11
The flaneur traversed the public spaces of Paris built by Haussmann, who rid the capitals of its intricate web of tiny streets and replaced them with broad, clean avenues and wide pavements. Haussman linked the great train station with the wide avenue , effectively decongesting the city centre and designating open spaces for commerce, leisure and shopping. The arcades were a cross between a street and an interieur..The street becomes a dwelling for the flaneur; he is as much at home among the facades of houses as a citizen is in his four walls" wrote Benjamin 12
Historically shopping was segregated according to products. Over time, stalls became markets, markets became streets became arcades, arcades became galleria, and gallerias became department stores 10 the city was now landscape , now a room, Benjamin wrote. "And both of these went into the construction of the department store which made use of the flanerie itself in order to sell goods. The department store was the Flaneur's final coup" 13
The nineteenth century Parisienne was reluctant to venture into the street without a sense of purpose-shopping for example, provided an excuse for the idle pleasures of window-gazing and strolling. According to Janet wolff, "there is no question of inventing the flaneuse...such character was rendered impossibly by the sexual divisions of the nineteenth century" 14
Like the Flanuer, the flaneuse was creating a space or a path between architecture and place. In his experience of the city Benjamin identified many of the parallels between fashion and architecture as they generated representation of space. He regarded urban architecture as an expansive and complex assemblage of objects, people and events-all united by the mores of capitalism-able to transform the possible orientation to life as they contributed to social practices
"The axis between fashion, architecture and identity brings a new paradigm to retail architecture as its is reassembling the range of images and identities characteristic of fashion space, changing it perception of consumers as well." 15
11Flaneur and dolls, in walter Benjamin
12 Walter Benjamin p37
13 Walter Benjamin p171
14 Janet wolff, p34-50
15 12 Bradley Quinn pg 40
Building as Clothing
The relationship between fashion and architecture doesn't stop at fashion and retail. There is a long tradition in western culture that has likened architecture to clothing. Karen Franck examines this metaphor and even dares to suggest-contrary to the edicts of the modern movement-that architecture may be fundamentally linked to fashion.
"wrapped, smooth, fluid, transparent, layered, material, border, sleeve, exposed, texture, folds, facing, pattern, decorative, fabric, ornament, veiled, fluted, fastened, patch, stiff, cosmetic, worn, reveal, covered, hung, formal, symmetry, cut, foot, fussy, elegant, measure, size, image, model, sketch, design, style, seam, coat...."16
Karen Franck argues here that in more recent history architects in the modern movement turned to clothing again and again both for positive and a negative analogy. The goal of modern architecture could be likened to a change in clothing: to shed the overly fussy, decorated dress of the 19th century and to don a plain coat of pure white 17
Even though clothing as an explicit metaphor is not as popular as it once was, the continuing overlap of terms suggests a deep commonality between building and clothing-in experience ideas and design. The word used to describe clothing are themselves a source of architectural design idea ('fold', for example). Karen Franck point out here that both building and garments are made by hand and machine to enclose and yet display the human body in its entire physical, cultural and psychological dimension, and that each is an extension of that body, each touches and touched, seen and felt.18
Karen Franck argues that we wear building, with their curves fluidity, their layering and materials, some buildings today may remind us of material. Some buildings today may remind us of clothing. This is building as clothing that is seen or worn only by someone else. Karen Franck argues here that "for in all the modernist talk of architecture as clothing it was always an other, who wore it"19
Don Ihde, author of virtual bodies, agrees with Karen Franck. Don Idhe believes that the body that occupied the clothes, even the much admired English suit (an early model for modern architecture) was always the over-there or object body, never the here or subject body 20. R Bianca Lepori, author of Architecture Inside out, argues here that "the architect was outside the garment-gazing at it never occupying it himself".21
Juan Pallaasma, Author of Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the senses, explains that architecture as clothing can reintroduce embodiment and lived, sensory experiences into architectural discourse and education, but only if the designer, writer and readers 'wear' the buildings themselves, feeling as well as seeing them. Juan Pallaasma believes that by doing so this would be a significant and much needed change from the modernist tradition, still in force, which makes the architects a detached observer and which privileges vision to the exclusion of other senses. 22
16. Fashion & Architecture, pg 94
17Mark wigley, white walls
18. Fashion & Architecture, pg 94
19. Fashion & Architecture, pg 94
20. Virtual Bodies, Body and flesh, , Don welton, Blackwell Publisher, (oxford), 1998
21. Architecture Inside Out, R Biancana, Wiley Academy, London 2000
22. Juani Pallaasma, The eye of the skin: Architecture and the senses, academy edition, (London), 1996
Clare Cooper Marcus, Author of House as a mirror of self, argues here that the clothes that we wear, that we care and become attached to bring us close to the intimacy of the architecture, to where it touches us in so many different ways. It is no longer out there in front and at some distances, a sight/site only for the eyes and the intellect. She believes that it is instead all around us, whether we are indoors or out, giving us feeling and sensations, encouraging us to move in certain ways and not in others. Being within the space says something as clothes do, about who were are and who wish to be. Clare cooper then argues here that we may develop strong feelings of attachment, associating a building with experiences we had there so that like a favourite jacket, it becomes part of a personal history. While the connection between buildings, identity, and memory are particular strong for houses, this is also true of public building Clare Copper explains. 23
Lisa Heschong, author of Thermal delight in architecture, has a different approach, she believes that when architecture becomes clothing of the here body, sensory experiences becomes alive and immediate e.g. the feeling you experience when you open a door or a window? What will it feel like to touch the handrail, to grasp it and slide ones hand along it? She believes that many of the answers are found in materials which can be selected for their sensory quality. "the drape that is sought is made differently by velvet and silk, so is the sound and the temperature generated by each". 24
Peter Blake, author of No Places Like Utopia, argues that, by thinking of a building as clothing we wear brings the living, feeling, remembering body into the building, it also links use, construction and care to aesthetic. "the absolutely flawless example of the interplay of form, fucnction,light, texture, structure and economy of mean, so modestly presented, so totally devoid of critical or academic double link" 25
23. House as a Mirror of self, Conari Press (Berkeley), 1995
24. Thermal Delight in architecture, MIT Press, (Cambridge, Mass), 1979
25. No Place Like Utopia, WW Norton (New York), 1993, pp 330-331
Deconstruction in Fashion & Architecture
Bradley Quin The author of Fashion Architecture has observed and conducted a detailed study of the search for hidden meaning mines the labyrinth of spaces between theory and form, exposing a vast rhetoric of distances , destination, habitations and voids in the field of fashion and architecture.
Spawned by post-structuralist discourses, investigation of the gaps between culture and meaning reflects a modernist drive to identify the metaphorical and material cores underlying the true; the real and the beautiful. This mission reveals a double logic of conservation and demolition, as both physical and philosophical principles are deconstructed and reconstructed, or remain unconstructed in the limbo between void and space. Each has the capacity to function as a dialectical crowbar, applied to interpret a range of aesthetics, forms, installations and events"26
Bradley Quinn believes that Few contemporary architects are content with the concept that interpret space as strictly internal and external; a variety of structures within a building transmutate space into internal and external divisions throughout. While the boundary wall traditionally designates one surface as interior and the other as exterior, it simultaneously separates and links inner and outer space. To fashion designers fabric also creates a boundary wall positioning access point at collar and cuff as space flows an outer surface to an interior voids.
Bradley Quinn points out that The construction of both garments and architecture creates spaces that are denied from sight, generating fantasies of inclusion and exclusion. Techniques of deconstruction, construction and reconstruction can be deployed to penetrate such structures and invert their content, making all spaces visible in a single view. The current fascination with voids can be interpreted as an attempt to explore the limits of material and intellectual expression.27
Architects attempt to counter urban decay by regenerating existing spaces, preserving their historical features and expanding them with modern extensions. Such spaces can be understood as interstitial: they are spaces in between stages, buildings in transition, architecture under renovation and places subjected to reconstitution. Interstitial spaces often voice reconstruction a concept deployed by architects to describe their efforts to preserve derelict structure. As they reconfigure outmoded styles or introduce new aesthetics, new architecture appears to triumph over old, ensuring that out dated architecture are given a certain definition and identity they might not have had otherwise. 27
Fedrick jameson was quick to point out that the role of reconstruction exists "not merely as a matter of rebuilding but also a s a matter of strategic demolition, presenting questions of historicity as architects determine which vestiges of the past are allowed to survive and the form in which they will be retained in 28
26. Bradley Quinn, Fashion Of architecture, pg 39
27. Bradley Quinn, pg 40
28. Fedric Jameson in Neil Leach (ed) (1999) architecture and revolution, London Routledge, p72
Bradley Quinn points out that Reconstruction in fashion emerged at a time when projects were launched to rebuild Berlin, retrofit the earthquake ravaged harbour artea of San Francisco and restore war-torn Beirut and the ruins of Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. The framework for architectural reconstruction evolved against a socioeconomic and political backdrop to which urban projects responded. As construction sites became a prominent feature in the urban metropolis, fashion designers began echoing the reconstructivist theme in their collection. 29
Ruins are satisfying to the eye because of the memories they evoke. Whether real or imagines, they indulge the viewers in the fantasy of creation, suggesting that what was once there could be reconstructed and redeemed in contemporary vision. But when ruins are physically reconstructed they reflect an aesthetics crisis.
Derelict architecture and reclaimed buildings can be viewed as a form of cultural refuse appropriated for its exchange value like the reconstruction of abandoned clothing, base materials are converted into commodities. "Reconstructed objects, whether in the form of buildings, clothing or symbolic, connect the rag picker with the modern preservationist transforming reconstruction into a contemporary cultural practice".30
Reconstruction surfaced in fashion after deconstruction had already taken hold. Both aesthetics projects a message of resistance. "Deconstruction explores the interiority of garments by slicing them open, rearranging their ornamentation, turning them inside out and sewing them back together in a new form". 31
Reconstruction heightens contrast of the interior and the exterior-the unfinished features of the outside do not necessarily mean that the garments interior is unfinished making the garment more dynamic as the relationship between the two examined. The term doncstruction refers to taking apart, and actually shows the process of tailoring by dismantling it. The intention is to uncover, reveal and simply, creating an unconventional garment but one considered being finished. Reconstructed garments can be based on vintage clothing that have been re-cut, restyled and reprinted. Just as the old fabric have acquired unique texture and patina that cannot be simulated in new ones, their forgotten histories bring the past into the present evoking narratives of the garments lived experience. 32
Reconstruction also describes certain type of transformable fashions that literally reconstruct other forms: jackets that become tents or mobile shelters, and garments that transform into bags or even furniture and reassume their original form again.
29. Bradley Quinn, Fashion Of architecture, pg 66
30-31. Bradley Quinn, pg 67
32. Bradley Quinn, pg 67
Hussein chalayan's furniture-cum-garments for his After words (autumn/winter 2000) collection demonstrated the literal expression of the reconstruction aesthesis in five pieces of 1950's style furniture designed to transform into dresses and skirts, complete with suitcases to pack away the clothes taken off. The collection was based on the idea of having to evacuate home during a time of war, hiding possessions when a raid was impending and using the agency of clothing as the means to carry away possessions more quickly. The theme was painfully close to real life. 33
Reconstructed architecture in part a monument to the style it preserves highlighting the role of architecture as a collective memory. Reconstruction fashion also shapes memory into constructed form. As both garments and buildings begin to share the same spatial framework, they forge new links between memory and space.
Deconstruction moments came as Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto also conspired to take fashion apart. Closely followed by Margiela,Ann Demeulemeester, Victor & Rolf, Junya Watanabe and Dries Van Noten. The tailoring of Robert Cary-Williams, whos use of zip, fastening straps and lining feature as explicit design motifs. In architecture, architect Matta-Clark made architecture by cutting a line through building walls to reveal and explore their hidden spaces. His cuts made the interior voids of the building visible, underlying their surface. Matta-clarks works have been highly influential in generating new construction possibilities and inverting traditional understandings of the division between the visible and the unseen. 34
Marc Auge explains"desonstrution constitutes its own rhetoric, voicing attempts to disclose the forms of distortion, erro and domination that have been embedded in current perception of architecture. With its agenda to renounce these power structures and establish new visual and spatial hierarchies, deconstruction makes a powerful statement of resistance. By revealing the failures and limitation universally imposed by modern architecture, deconstruction foils the proliferation of the hegemony Auge describes as the "worldwide consumption of space" 35
Architects are now re-examining urban spaces in response to Jacques Derridas call for a new mode of "architectural differences that would enable the built environment to comprise places where desire can recognise itself, where it can live" 36Derrida exposed the value of deconstruction canonical texts to probe their meaning further, producing a format that can also probe other disciplines. Although Derrida did not consider deconstruction as a style he even refuted it congruency with deconstruction in architecture-the value of its application as a powerful concept for interpreting architecture.
34 Skin and bone -parallel practice in fashion and architecture, Thames and Hudson , p24
35 Marc Auge (1995) non-places, London: Verso, p 107
36 quoted in Neil Leach (ed) (1997), Rethinking architecture, London, Routledge, p317
37 Neil Leach (ed) (1997), Rethinking architecture
Neil Leach suggests that "Deconstruction in architecture emerged at a moment when Bernard Tschumi proclaimed "the new Europe needs a radically new architecture, an architecture of disruption and disjunctions, which reflects the fragmentation and dissociation within culture at large"37
Bradley Quin, examines the work of Kawakubo here and observes that Kawakubo characteristically calculates the proportion of conventional garmenst then radically inverts them as she reconfigures the disntances between neckline, waistline and hemline. Her models are often required to drape orlloop the clothes around themselves rather the wear them conventionally. She once made a dress that had no opening making it impossible to put on. Bu she insisted that it could be worn and that it could be tied on like an apron. Kawakubo also deconstructs the models themselves: their hair is often unkempt or brushed into straw-like configuration.make are applied to like like bruises or blistering, higlithing the face with bold colours or earsing the mouth and eyebrow altogether. She interprest the body as the common ground beween fashiuon and architecture.38
Brooke Hodge and Patricia Mears, explains here the relationship the work by Rei Kawakubo to that of the Pompidou centre: The architecture of the Pompidou centre is in many ways Kawakubo muse. Although much of her work has resonance with Le Corbusier Ronnchamp chapel (1954) the design of the Pompidou centre was central to the dawning of deconstruction fashion. Designed by Richards Rogers and Renzo Piano, the building became a beacon of the Deconstructivist style signalling a new technical and conceptual manifestoamong fashion designers as well as architects. Its exposed structure was a deliberate attempt to alert the viewers to the mechanical and engineering aspects of architecture.39
Kawakubo's work is an extension of these new architectural principles.By experimenting with folding the garmentsback and front into eachother.by clevrly twisting the garments panels. She simultanenously rotated the back and the front and vice versa , blurring the ornamented front with the disregarded back.
In a conversation between Peter Eisenman with Charles Jencks, Charles Jencks suggests that The garments structure had deeper resonance with Peter Eisenman's skyscraperproject for New Yorks and Berlinthan they did with fashion items "for belin we took that section and then twisted or rotated it through its length to produce the final result"Eisenman explained "for the second one-the New York Tower we took the queens grid, which was already rotated and the manhattan grid, and rotated one of the other" 40
Michael Surya explains here that the "void occupies establishes a dialogue with cultural production, articulatesd in Mallarmes Mime the imagery, the sublime hymen of Derrida, the Chaosmos of Joyce and Kristeva's uterine, semiotic space".41 Bataille's pure voids unmasked the precious spaces of life as he deployed it to rationalize the inevitability of death.
Exposing the voids seems to represent a move towards the transparency of materiality and the methodology as well as the concept a movement mirrored by conceptual fashion designers as they charge fashion with the theoretical content. Movement to make the theoretical principles of architecture more visible in the structure has opened a dialogue with the informed public and generated a popular interest in the symbolism of the void.
38 Skin and bone -parallel practice in fashion and architecture, Thames and Hudson , p24-29
39 Peter Eisenman in conversation with Charles Jencks, Architectural Design, 72 (4)
40. Fashion & Architecture, Wiley Academy
41 Michel Surya (2002) Georges Bataille, London: Verso,p3
Identifying the voids in architecture exposes a number of unexpected dimensions. Most of the structure is masked between internal and external walls and external skin,making us less aware of architecture as we become more familiar with the ornamentation imposed upon it. Liberating these voids inverst the visual perception of architecture, mediating a new experience of the bulding for the individual who inhabit it.42
As Richard Patterson wrote: "the synthesis of meaningwill not be satisfactory for anyone for any imaginary coherence with which we might temporarily embelsih this incompleteness will be resisted by the persistent intrusion of that void-that nothingness" 43
In architecture, the void created by death staged artistically as the genre tragedy, is represented in architecyure in a poetic gestures. Richard Patterson suggests that "the form of the tragic became the basis of the aesthitc theory..narrative as a form of recording or ritual, no longer held sway over the totalising imperatives of rom"44 This basis was shared by both fashion and architecture, each discipline relying on the judiculous construction of a visual language that translated memeory into specific forms.
Daniel Libeskind Museum in Berlin (1999) which negates the traditional mode of collective memory by speaking directly to the individual. Voids often form the epicentre of Daniel libkeskind deconstructivist architecture. The Jewish museum features many such area, their emptiness designed to evoke the lost Jewish population of Germany. By portraying death visually the connection between the void and the relationship to a cosmic order is articulated by metaphor as well as material space. The museum voids are intended to be transcendent and immaterial libeskind describes them as "the ineffable or the immeasurable" 45
Robert Young, author of Mental space explains here that Libeskind himself intended for the building to be read in terms of what is not: "the denial of collective memory inversely signifies it as an absence, triggering the reorientation that Freud described as the "phantasy life of the individual real internal and external sensations are interpreted and represented to himself" 46
"The Nothingness conveyed by these hypothetical voids is emblematic of dead person, voicing their absence. The museum figurative centre is interrupted by seven dense voids-discernible to the visitors only as inaacible walled of spaces that signify the removal of the Jews from the German culture. The voids are intended to create a maze through which the visitors must move generating apprehension and expectation. Their presence has the effect of re-orientating visitors towards the imaginary scenarios and narratives that fill these gaps conveying the sense that something is out of balance, that the surrounding space remains unsolved." 46
42 Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture, pg 72
43-44 the void that is subject, architectural design 70(5),p73
45 Daniel Libeskind The Walls Are Alive, The Guardian 13 July 2002
46Quoted in Robert Young (1994), Mental Space, London: Process Press, p80
Surveillance & Visual Culture in Fashion & Architecture
Bradley Quin The author of fashion on architecture, has examined the effects that surveillance and visual culture has on the society and in turn the impact it causes on architecture. Ultra modern garments already feature the range of wireless internet access. By concealing the system within the garments design and fabrics, techno fashion fuse wireless technology with video capturing capabilities, mobile phone communication.
Techno fashions equip the wearer with the technological means to survey the environment and the activities of others. Both near and remote. Vision become disembodied as it comes under the control of systems in fashion and architecture, aligning it with the sort of "scope regime" as observed by Martin Jay as he moaned the society of the spectacles identified by Guy Bourdin.47
Prada New York flagship shop
Prada have generated an atmosphere of heightened visibility in their new York flagship shop. Surrounding the shoppers with video monitors electronic displays screens and cinematic reels. For many shoppers the opportunity to be captured on film is to be glamorous. In the changing room the video feeds stream grainy film images and fashion shows onto wall panels, while video cameras projects the images of the shopper onto screen inset within the mirror, simultaneously transmitting real-time and cinematic images. 48
Prada shrewdly manipulate our endless fascination with watching others and ourselves, amplifying the function of clothing as boundary and margin in the ever widening gap between public and private personae. Clothes being the form in which the fashioned body is made visible, give the wearer a public identity.
Both fashion and architecture presumes the presence of a public that watches and must be watched. The fashion system is premised on Visuality; a concept essential to the consumption of fashion but often mis-underestimated in interpretation of it. As the cultural theorist Irit Rogoff explains "we actively interact with images from all arena to remake the world in the shape of our fantasies and desire and to narrate the stories which we carry within us"49. Visuality is not the same as sight; it occurs when the visual media and sensory perceptions intersect.
Architectures engagement with the visual is mediated by its ability to conceal and to reveal, to hide and to watch. Likewise fashion is a form of masking within a system of transposing images within the eye, revealing and concealing, part reality, part illusionary.
47-48. Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture, pg 23-24
49. Terra Infirma (2000), London Routledge, p30
Paris based designer John Ribbe, . In his 1999 and 2000 collection, gave women the means either to conceal their entire bodies of expose them at will. Creating a tiered system of fabric panels. Ribbes swathed his models in body conscious sheaths that concealed the wearers face, allowing her to draw the gaze of others while remaining anonymous. 50
Alexander Mc Queen has explored the effects of surveillance in his work, as a mean of inciting terror and allure. From his Dante collection (autumn/winter 1996), masked models imposed a reign of terror on the catwalk as they stalked the audience, model wore a stiffened lace top that bracketed her face, its lapels flaring upwards from the sternum to conceal her nose, lips and jaw line. Members of the audience could never know whether they are being watched or not or what intention lay behind the gaze. Mc Queens panoptical subversion references the ever expanding Omni presence of surveillance in daily life 51
The London based fashion visionaries Vexed Generation also creates garments that counter surveillance. Their strategic design tactics give fashion the power to invert and deflect electronics surveillance by using visors, hoods, zips and collars to render the wearer anonymous, one of their most popular garments is the vexed parka, which they created as a commentary on the escalation of surveillance during the 1990's. The vexed parka is characterised by a hood and a collar that covers most of the face and the ear, closing over the mouth and the nose but leaving the eye area open. Adam Thorpe, Director of Vexed Generation , explained "we made the parka in 1994 and launched it in 1995. It sums up all the idea and concepts we had about fashion and social surveillance, which we included in the most of the other clothes we have designed", "the area in from of the mouth and nose is formed so it can take one of the filters normally used in special neoprene cycle mask". 52
The political climate at this time was characterized by protest and civil disobedience in response to the controversial British Criminal Justice act and the governments implementation of poll tax reforms at that time we felt that civil liberties were attacked. Freedom of expression, the right to demonstrate assembly of party were strategically cut short. Particularly during the poll tax riots it was apparent that although holding an equally valid proposition or opinion, people were confronted with riots police wearing protective kit, Thorpe said.
"We were interested in the possible sartorial links between the extremes. For us the garment was a kind of modelling of social situation, this enables the wearer to maintain a public presence and gather social and political information first hand. Thorpe said, "Our clothing is about communicating what we think that is essential or important. To give people enough protection for them to be able to go out and be active, more involved with their environment in a secure fashion and more individual".53
51. Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture
52. Fashion & Architecture, Wiley Academy, Pg 91
53. Bradley Quinn The fashion of Architecture, pg 24-intervived by the author
Malcolm Barnard argues here that For hundreds of years people have put some message in the type of clothing they wore. Long ago people started wanting to stand out from the "crowd" and be different from other people by means of changing their clothing. Some examples of these "standing out" became very popular and were followed by more people. This was the moment when fashion appeared. Nowadays, fashion is sometimes defined as a "constantly changing trend, favored for frivolous rather than practical, logical, or intellectual reasons". Nevertheless, it is necessary to say that at the present moment fashion has a deeper influence on the life of people and possess more than just frivolous reasons for its existance. Clothing has become an integral part of self-realization of every person. It is no longer just an "external shield" and a frivolous attitude towards it may cause loosing a very important physical, psychological and social aspect of a person's life. 54
Fashion and identity
The type of clothing completely depends on the person who is wearing it; therefore it becomes a reflection of his perception of himself, which leads us to the term - personal identity. Lately a lot is being heard about personal identity and its meaning in the life of every single person on the planet. The choice of clothing and accessories (clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of a person's main clothing) is as important as identification through the color of hair, height, skin and gender. Clothing nowadays is a media of information about the person wearing it. 55
The same principles apply to the application of fashion on architecture. Fashion having a deeper influence on people, it becomes easily recognizable as a symbol, and its application to architecture makes the surrounding more upto date with the fashion world.
Communication through fashion, visual and not by word
Malcolm Barnard in his book "Fashion as communication" makes a great work by outlining cultural roles, rules, rituals, and responsibilities that are maintained and constructed by fashion 56.Fashion is compared to art. It is like an architect or that gives his creation any shape he desires and at the same time is the reflection of the architector's belonging to a certain social level, a certain psychological condition and so on. One of the questions concerning the communication through fashion is whether the message possessed by fashion is the reflection of the internal or external identity. There are arguments that support each of the sides; therefore it goes without saying that fashion is a "polyhedral being" that intersects numerous internal and external aspects of any personality. The message that clothing contains is basically a way of nonverbal communication with gender, ethical and power aspects. 55
54-55. Fashion Theory: A Reader (Routledge Student Readers) [Paperback] Malcolm Barnard (Editor), pg 21
56-57. Malcolm Barnard, pg 34-36
Areas Of further study.
The major contribution to this literature review have mainly focused on the works of fashion designers, artists and architects whom have incorporated the use of fashion and architecture to a certain extent in their projects, or have employed similar techniques in their works. In some instance both the architect and the fashion designer have worked alongside each other.
However there are areas of further studies which can be introduced. The research covered here, does not clearly identify the pattern which is occurring throughout the UK and other countries. The research will hence, look into the trends and patterns which is arising or occurring in the field of fashion and architecture. The trends will look into architectural projects in the last 5-10 years, which have integrated fashion with architecture, or projects where architects have worked with fashion orientated clients and fashion designers. The main research will look in to the UK, and other developing countries that are beginning to incorporate the field of fashion into architecture. This research will also identify the main factors which influence the integration of fashion into architecture.
The thesis will examine the current situation in the UK, i.e. examine case studies and do a compare and contrast study, looking into similarities that is occurring in fashion design and architecture. The case studies will examine the design techniques, materiality and other detailed observations which links fashion design with architecture. And suggest whether it is being caught on in the UK?
The thesis will also look into the current situation around the globe, drawing closely to more recently upcoming countries, whom are integrating fashion and architecture. Draw closely into What other countries are saying?: both developing and non-developing countries in terms of the need for integration of Fashion and architecture, this will also introduce the topic of What people and society as a whole have to say about Fashion and architecture?
The factors which influence the society and in turn fashion influence on architecture, will also be key factors which will be looked upon in this thesis. These factors that are to be covered will be the media world, Glamour, Branding logos.