Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices In Fashion And Architecture

by | 28. Aug 2012

Exhibitions and Events

Photo: arcspace

Skin + Bones explores the parallels between the “skin” – or exterior surface – and the “bones” – or structural framework – of both clothing and buildings of the past 25 years.

A dramatic tensile canopy, beginning at the low wall by the sidewalk, stretches up to attach to the permanent awning covering ARCO Court, then swoops down to highlight the museum’s entrance.


Photo: arcspace

Since the 1980s, a growing number of avant-garde designers have come to approach garments as architectonic constructions, while many in the field of architecture have boldly embraced new forms and materials. These developments are due in part to numerous technological advances that have revolutionized both the design and construction of buildings and made techniques like pleating, seaming, folding, and draping part of the architectural vocabulary.


Photo: arcspaceForeign Office ArchitectsYokohama International Port Terminal (1995-2002)


Photo courtesy Peter StigterViktor & RolfMultilayered Blouse, jacket, and pants.One Woman Show (Fall/Winter 2003)

I consider clothing not only as a metaphor for shelter and social space, but mainly as a case study for architectural cladding systems.
/Elena Manferdini

Photo courtesy Atelier ManferdiniPetal Dress Detail

High-fashion brands that commision architects expand the possibliliies for new architecture. Are these not the new roles to be expected from combining business, contemporary art, and architecture?
/Toyo Ito

Photo: arcspaceToyo ItoMikimoto Ginza 2

Forty-five of today’s most creative fashion designers and architects are represented by a wide range of more than 300 objects: from one-of-a-kind haute couture gowns to intricate architectural models and special full-scale installations.

“Creative Process” highlights the parallels in the working methods of architect Frank Gehry and fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.


Photo: arcspaceGehry Partners, LLPFinal Founders Ceiling StudyWalt Disney Concert Hall (1987-2003)


Architecture has been a constant source of inspiration for my work throughout my career. An architect’s thought process, his choice of materials, the combination of these materials to create a structure, and the practicality and function of a structure are all things that I try to incorporate in my own work.
/Narciso Rodriguez

Photo: arcspaceNarciso RodriguezSketchbook (2006)

“Structural Skin” shows buildings and clothing in which the surface and structure become one. “Constructing Volume” highlights garments and building projects that use ingenious methods and construction techniques to create unusual, sculptural volumes.

With the recent A-POC lines, Miyake and Fujiwara explored the application of A-POC to furniture design. Trampoline, a knit, and Gemini, a woven, work both as clothing and as chair covers for Arad Ripple Chair (2005).


Photo: arcspaceA-POC with Ripple Chair.

Like Junya Watanabe’s Soiré (or techno Couture) collection, autumn-winter 2000-2001, designer Tokujin Yoshioka’s ingenious paper Honeypop Chair (2001) makes use of cellular honeycomb construction, that enables it to be shipped flat and expanded into it’s shapely chair form when unfolded.


Photo: arcspaceSoirée dresses and Honeypop Chair.

The enormous “Tectonic Strategies” gallery, which addresses seven cross-disciplinary methodologies: “Wrapping,” “Folding,” “Draping,” Pleating,” “Printing,” “Suspension,” and “Cantilever,” reveals how fashion designers and architects employ one or more of these cross-disciplinary methods.


Photo: arcspace


Photo: arcspace


Photo: arcspace


Photo: arcspaceHerzog & de MeuronPrada Aoyama, Tokyo (2001-2003)


Photo © Guy MarineauYoshiki HishinumaInside Out 2way dress, Spring 2004Courtesy of Yoshiki Hishinuma

The exhibition is curated by MOCA Architecture and Design Curator Brooke Hodge. The installation is designed by architects Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown.

A full-color catalog with written entries on each of the individual architects and fashion designers in the exhibition, as well as over 500 illustrations is co-published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Thames & Hudson.


Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and ArchitectureISBN: 050051318X


CITYLos Angeles, California