The architect who forced to dress as he wanted to9:30 AM
(Nova Shoes designed by Zaha Hadid in collaboration with brand United Nude)
Sometimes I think I learn tons of things at the School of Architecture, except how to do architecture. I promise: the weirdest things you could never imagine, the most unbelievable situations, the most curious speeches, I've learnt them all at college. And there's still some years for me to go, so this has just started.
One of the anecdotes I talked above has a lot to do with fashion. I needed to tell you, because when I heard of it, I though it was so fun and rare that I was in need of sharing it.
Nowadays is not a weird thing having a multidisciplinary job which can be based on different disciplines and combine the best of several professions. I've met artists converted into makeup-artists, but also financial and marketing experts who have come to the dark side and are now designing websites. Industrial designers who illustrate books at nighttime. And why not, architects (some of them known all over the world, and considered the best creating buildings) who have decided to transfer their talent at creation into clothes and accessories. Without going any further, Rem Koolhas and Zaha Hadid launched some time ago a pair of shoe collections collaborating with famous brands and shoe designers. Gianni Versace studied architecture, as Gianfranco Ferré and Pierre Balmain, who didn't finish the degree because he wanted to focus on his career at Haute Couture. But 120 years ago, this was not so simple: if you studied something, odds were that was your profession for life.
(Melissa x Zaha Hadid shoe collaboration)
Henry Van de Velde was an architect and artist who was not satisfied as what society on lates 19th Century told him to do. He was born in Amberes, Belgium, and was a precursor on the trend known as Art Nouveau these days.
Besides be known for designing cottages and houses following the Art Nouveau modern trends, he also built museums, invented furniture and was one of the firsts on doing interior design... Matching dresses and accessories he created to be used on those rooms. Can you imagine wearing a ring matching the porcelain vases on your living room? And then changing your attire for cooking, because the kitchen-dress is made of fabric matching the tiling walls? I can't either.
(Reception dress and Tea dress, designed by Henry Van de Velde)
Nevertheless, Mr. Van de Velde had a huge imagination and ability to transform spaces and sensations into dresses worn by his wife Maria Sèthe, or his friends' wifes. Somehow, he was the first on designing simple dresses, away from complicated corsets and super structured Victorian dresses which I suppose, were the most uncomfortable thing in this world. They called it "the Artistic-Dress".
Had you ever imagined that an architect had had so much importance and power on fashion history? Neither do I