If someone were to ask a group of people what architecture and a tuxedo have in common, the answers would more than likely vary between functionality and aesthetics.  Fashion has long been synonymous with clothing and the textile industry. It’s no wonder the term – fashion show- refers to an exhibition for clothing and related accessories.  But the word fashion is actually defined as “the process of making or shaping of something.”  It wasn’t until the 1500s that the term became representative of the idea of a “prevailing custom” or “popular style of dress” by a group of people acting together.  The truth is fashion affects almost every aspect of our daily lives.  The influence of trends in today’s society is ever increasing, and professionals of every industry recognize the importance of capitalizing on them.  Over the course of history many fashionable trends have emerged in architecture as a result of explorations.  To name a few; structural expression, expression of form, sustainable design, integrated building technology, as well as material and ornamental expression. 

An exploration similar to the aforementioned was recently investigated at the offices of Cripe Architects + Engineers.  Using excess flooring material, designers fashioned a dress to be displayed at the 2014 IIDA Fashion Through the Ages show as well as a tuxedo.  The idea behind both garments was to use the materials required by the competition to create a style of dress influenced by a previous era in clothing fashion.  The Tuxedo – designed by Frank Hindes– was designed in 3 pieces, each one intricately woven together and held in place with rivets.  The rivets served a functional purpose, as well as an aesthetic.  Lining the seams and edges of the suit, they provided an ornamental detail resemblant of metal fasteners on the exterior of a building.  This exploration was yet another example of how designers take great care in developing innovative solutions in order to solve complex problems.  Whether the client is in need of a large building facility with multiple floors, or in need of a garment made from flooring material ; careful listening, proper planning, and attention to detail are essential to good design and a quality finished product.

Written By:  Andrew Adegbamigbe

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