“What inspires you as a designer?”, a question that most designers regularly hear. Brenda Ueland said “Inspiration comes to us slowly and quietly…prime it with a little solitude”. The amount of influences that can affect the nature and creativity of a designer’s work is countless, and to pinpoint a true inspiration is difficult, to say at least. Each fashion designer has their own unique set of influences that bring inspiration to their work, influences by nature, by human body, by arts etc. Generally, designers are inspired by their context, so it is no surprise that the built environment find its way into fashion.

Architecture and fashion are dealing with structure and shape, one that relates to the form and function of the human body. Coco Chanel once said “Fashion is architecture; it’s a matter of proportions”. Many fashion designers have often taken inspiration from architecture, bringing to their catwalks techniques, materials and structures used in cutting-edge building design. It’s very interesting to see how two arts cooperate and inspire each other, especially nowadays that nothing is completely new and there is a need for inspiration. The following works are just a few examples.

British-Turkish designer Hussein Chalayan once created a collection in which chairs and tables became garments.


Belgian Martin Margiela uses elements of deconstructivism in his collections.


Japanese Issey Miyake uses pleats and cantilevers that they quote architecture.

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Graduate student and designer Matija Cop created a mixture of architectural and sculpture fashion.


Dutch Winde Rienstra created some pieces, that exemplify her fascination with architecture and space. The sharp openness of each piece contrasts with natural form of the body.

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Inspired by a cathedral, this dress by Iris Van Herpen may look like it’s carved from wood but in fact is, 3D printed.

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Rosie Assoulin was influenced by an unlikely place for her Fall/Winter 2015 collection: a cemetery. “We were inspired by the Brion Cemetery by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa near Treviso, Italy,” Assoulin says. “The incredible angles and lines, triangles, squares, and rectangles, all blending together somehow harmoniously. I find something new every time I look at it.”


Yasutoshi Ezumi was influenced by Frank Gehry. The idea came about after doing some research. “I watched the documentary Sketch of Frank Gehry,” Ezumi says. “He was really freely making structures of paper architecture models; it was just like fashion draping, so I did the same design for the collection.”


Chloé was influenced by Arabesque architecture. “In my Summer 2016 collection, I created a series of pieces made up of elements of exaggerated details from Arabesque architecture,” she says, “working the proportions on a larger scale and piecing them together to create edges and straps and to frame dresses and tops.”