The summer solstice yesterday may have prompted you to take a look around at the clothing, shoes, and accessories for summer 2012; there is no doubt that making a bold statement is the ultimate trend goal this season. From cut-outs, to geometric patterns, to colorblocking, to daring shades of green, dynamic pieces are popping up in nearly every fashion line this season. You may notice that the most cutting-edge clothing designs bear a striking resemblance to recently completed, award-winning architectural structures. Has the fashion design industry taken influence from the world of architecture when creating their summer 2012 lines? You be the judge!
Cut-Outs vs. Voids
One of the summer's most daring trends is cut-out clothing. That's right, slivers of material are carefully removed from the shoulders, back, and mid-section of clothing to create a seductive yet refined statement. This trend is not only making a debut on the red carpet and in local stores, but in the architecture community as well. By removing the entire core of the skyscraper, the new CCTV Headquarters in Beijing exemplifies the cut-out trend in it's purest form. Though the central void in this building is a little less demure than the minor fabric cuts, there is no doubt that both looks are adventurous, playful, and confident.
Geometric Patterns vs. Biomimicry
The prints and patterns that have graced the runways in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons appear to hold a permanent place in the fashion industry. Versatile yet memorable, whimsical yet sophisticated, patterned pieces are ideal for nearly any occasion. However, this year's summer collections place an additional emphasis on brighter colors and patterns that are more geometric in form. Coincidentally, the bold patterns that have captivated the fashion world share many similarities with biomimicry, a leading 2012 trend in the green building industry. By utilizing patterns of biological systems found in nature, architects have the ability to increase the structure's strength while simultaneously introducing passive heating and cooling measures. The Flat Tower designed for Rennes, France uses the organic shapes of biomimicry not only for energy efficiency and aesthetic beauty, but as a way to accommodate high-density housing without dominating the French skyline.
Color Block vs. Modular Architecture
Mix and match is making a comeback! Designers were not shy to juxtapose bright colors and contrasting materials to create unique looks that can be easily replicated off the runway. The clean lines and simple shapes of the color block trend not only apply to clothing, but to contemporary architecture as well. With modular construction, buildings are broken down into prefabricated units that can be stacked, arranged, and customized to suite the both the site and the function. The Izola Honeycomb Housing Complex in Slovenia uses modular units connected by rods to create an innovative and eco-friendly solution to low-income housing.
Bold Shades of Green vs. Colorful Facades
With so much publicity around green living, green eating, and a green economy, 2012 can be called “the year of green.” Did we forget to mention green clothing? Green hues took center stage at the New York Fashion Week, and we can't wait to watch this bright, fabulous hue turn heads all season long. Green will not only be found on clothing, shoes, and nails, but as a primary material on buildings around the world. At the Nanyang Art Institute in Singapore, the vast green roof not only promotes environmental sustainability, but connects the building to its surroundings, both aesthetically and physically- visitors can actually walk on it!
The next time you have architect's block and find yourself intimidatingly staring that blank piece of sketch paper, try flipping through a fashion magazine or simply observe the clothing statements of your office mates for a dose of design inspiration.