Gaudi under the fashion spotlight

Gaudi under the fashion spotlight

Peter Pilotto backstage,photo by The Guardian

These days after passing by, I guess for the hundred time by one of the Gaudi`s masterpieces my mind can’t stop dwelling on the ingenuity of Antoni Gaudi’s work. I have seen it many times, explored it as a huge fan but never dared to try it out through my design work. I wondered why is that?

For the ones who are not maybe familiar with the history of the work of the genius, Gaudi was a Catalan architect during the late 19th and early 20thcenturies.  His unique style was a combination of inspiration taken from oriental arts, such as Persian, Indian, Japanese; and his fascination with the mechanical structural system in organic life forms. And I am sure you heard about Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera and many more.

My personal fascination with him started really long time ago, first I was attracted by colors, then shapes and of course at the end I was obsessed by the impossible solutions of the architecture and structure.
What was so fascinating to me can be summed up in the picture below… which shows what one sees when you look up to the ceiling of the cathedral inside Sagrada Familia…  Breathtaking and powerful to say the least!

Gaudí’s architecture is a synonym of art. It is for me a unique symbol of the unknown future. Not to be surprised, it serves as a source of inspiration for many artists, whether they are illustrators, poets or fashion designers.

Well, as much as I was fascinated with this artist I was also a bit scared to even try to use his work within my solutions since I thought that, as in many cases, it will either look like a literal interpretation or it will be naive. So I tried to get into the possible points of inspiration to get at least the best way to approach his work through fashion.

Gaudi’s spend most of his life in a study of the organic structural system coming from nature and the ways to translate it into the use of ruled geometrical forms such as helicoid, cone to form the vaults. He often said that“There is no better structure than the trunk of a tree or a human skeleton… Paraboloids, hyperboloids and helicoids are constantly varying the incidence of the light, making matrices themselves, which make ornamentation and even pure modeling unnecessary.”  So to my surprise, this simply means that these patterns are not in the use of being a simply wonderful colorful ornament but also for a functional reason.The fascinating aesthetic was precisely calculated geometry.

“Form follows function”

When you think about Gaudi you think about the clear example of multichromatic, light, magic and impossible structure. It is like looking through a kaleidoscope of a wonderful world of natural fractals. This is the point that for me best suits fashion design solutions especially when it comes to clothing lines. Exploring Gaudi’s fractals and details and implementing them trough precise structural pieces defined by geometry makes sense. So for me the best solutions that I found as a great point and example were the ones conected either with pattern or texture.

But where is the main point of architecture? Well, it doesn’t have to be architecture, but mostly about great pattern design, that looks ultra futuristic and created by state-of-the-art cutting edge technology, or with the exploration of the fabric and texture.This way we are getting modern ready to wear design solutions.

It is evident that the references to Gaudi today are constant, and hundreds of artists drink from his brilliant cups of ideas.  The reason is simple his works gives total freedom to the imagination . For me, fashion will always be able to question the limits of his work and break them as well as he broke the rules hundred years ago. So no matter how many times I pass by his work I will get fascinated over and over again but maybe even dare to finally put his fractals as part of my creative investigation.

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