iris van herpen

It seems to be that wherever fashion is, architecture follows. This is not a recent phenomenon however; we have been associating fashion with architecture for centuries. Take Louis VIX for instance, this French king set standards of dress within his court, making fashion a calculated showiness. [ i ] His court, the Palace of Versailles, was an enormous architectural project with some of the most dazzling interiors still to date, the most famous of which is the Galerie des Glaces. [ ii ] Louis VIX is renowned for not only his extravagance in dress but also his extravagance in architecture, something that seems to have continued through the centuries.

Fashion can be profoundly influenced by architectural form and texture or quite often it can be associated with iconic architectural buildings and landmarks. If we look at Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen’s collection Hybrid Holism we can appreciate how architecture has influenced the form of the garments and how she has manipulated the material to create this architectural form within and beyond the limits of the body. Herpen explains that “by bringing form, structure and materials together in a new manner, she tries to suggest and realise optimal tension and movement” [ iii ]

fashion new york

On the other hand, we can associate fashion with architecture in its natural form through cities such as Paris, New York and London. When it comes to fashion capitals of the world, we immediately imagine these 3 cities due to the beauty of their architecture and their recognisable landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Times Square. Another point to consider is the aura of fashion to which we have given these cities by perpetuating this idea that high end fashion cannot exist without an architectural masterpiece to accompany it. Fashion has and will always be a calculated showiness within society, however for that to work it seems as if fashion needs an architectural back-drop that is somehow just as impressive or innovative.


[ i ] Purdy, D 2004, The Rise of Fashion, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

[ ii ] Held, S & Posner, D 1972, 17th and 18th Century Art, Abrams Inc, New York.

[ iii ] Herpen, I 2013, Iris Van Herpen, viewed 18 September 2014, <;



Herpen, I 2012, Hybrid Holism collection, viewed 18 September 2014,<;

DKNY, spring collection 2014, viewed 18 September 2014,<;