NEW YORK — Two design worlds intersect in “The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing the Architecture of Fashion,” a new exhibit at the Center for Architecture, the home of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The exhibit, which runs through March 11, explores the growing relationship between fashion and architecture through pieces from 15 designers, such as Yeohlee Tang, Hussein Chalayan, Yohji Yamamoto and Martin Margiela, and nine architects, including Shigeru Ban, Zaha Hadid and Winka Dubbeldam.
“Art is transcendent,” said Bradley Quinn, curator of the exhibit and the author of “The Fashion of Architecture,” upon which the current exhibit is based. “The two worlds are heavily influenced by each other.”
Seven themes are presented in the show: Geometry and Scale; Graphic Form; Social Spaces; Volume and Voids; Construction (or Deconstruction?); Surface and Space, and Dynamic Structures. Under Geometry and Scale is Yeohlee Tang’s black duchess-satin gown with a white underskirt, utilizing a double-hull construction to create volume and shape. “I look for style, material and function in architecture,” said Tang. Her “cable dress,” displayed in the same segment, is made of Nano-Tex silk tattersall and is suspended from the shoulders. It uses an “elegant yet functional cable construction,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hussein Chalayan’s “dwell neck” dress, crafted from a plasto-resin substrate molded into two shells that clip together with stainless steel fasteners, falls under Dynamic Structures. This particular theme looks at how fashion designers incorporate architecture into their garment construction.
For Martin Margiela’s Deconstruct Dress, as shown in the Construction (or Deconstruction?) category, the designer purchased the item at a flea market, and reconfigured it to expose internal elements for decoration. “We tend to want to use spaces in their essence, but to turn them around slightly,” said a spokesman for Margiela. “This is similar to our approach of taking existing garments and giving them a new form. The dress is done in a wry and humorous way.”
“Architecture acts as a platform for fashion,” added Andy Frankl, president of IBEX Construction, a retail construction firm that underwrote the exhibit. “This will look at how fashion and the environment in which you sell fashion come together.”
— With contributions from Amy S. Choi, New York, and Robert Murphy, Paris