Furniture And Fashion

Hussein Chalayan first highlighted the relationship between furniture and fashion in his autumn/winter ’00 collection. In a runway twist that few can forget, models took apart prop furniture and began putting it on as clothes—chairs seemed to transform into dresses and a coffee table became a skirt. Though the two artistic mediums are rarely considered in conjunction, Chalayan’s memorable show has opened a dialogue between fashion and furniture designers that continues to this day.

Iris van Herpen‘s show-stopping dress for her spring/summer ’08 collection evokes Philippine furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue‘s Pigalle armchair, and Tadashi Shoji‘s strapless dress seems to be a variation of his Lolah armchair. Meanwhile, Chalayan’s latest spring/summer ’09 collection was closed by fantastic dresses that looked like they were stopped in time. Furthermore, the collection’s theme, “Inertia,” was an idea explored by William Sawaya with his Twist chairs back in 2001.

On the other side of the coin, Nicolas Ghesquière’s futurist aesthetic is perfectly reflected in the triangular geometry of Konstantin Grcic‘s Chair One for Magis, while his patent leather coat from autumn/winter ’08 is uncannily agreeable to the Crystal chair by Zaha Hadid.

Fashion and furniture are often perceived as opposing sides of a creative coin—mobility vs stillness, fluidity vs firmness, past vs present. And yet, as we have seen, the underlying relationship between the two design mediums is equally potent, and in seasons to come we will find out just how strong it is.

—Deacon Yu

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