Five Points of Fashion: Modern Architecture for Spring Summer
For Louis Vuitton’s Spring Summer 2014 Icônes collection, womenswear director Julie de Libran was inspired by the designs and career of modernist architect Charlotte Perriand. One description of the collection draws parallels to the functional aspects of modernist design. From dezeen.com:
Perriand’s investigations into standardisation and modular furniture led Louis Vuitton’s designers to create garments that can be matched with each other in various combinations.
However, a closer reading shows a much more subtler, architecturally sophisticated interpretation. Perriand was a disciple of Le Corbusier, the father of modernist architecture, who defined the modern style with his “Five Points of Architecture.” Corbusier intended the points to serve as guidelines for a way of designing and living, with new spatial and formal flexibility. De Libran, clearly draws on Corbusier’s manifesto.
De Libran’s Five points of Fashion
Pilotis describes the use of concrete columns instead of walls for support. These columns form the basis of the new style, separating structure from ground. From Lester Korzilius, disassociating the house with the ground does allow the perception and experience of the house to be more cerebral . . . ie, it allows one to fully appreciate the Absolute harmonies to which the composition is attuned. This is represented by the platform wedge sandal; there is no other interpretation.
It lifts the base
Open Plan allows for an internal layout and usage with independent of supporting walls. The open plan, possibly the greatest contribution of modern architecture, allowed buildings the flexibility for different configurations and functions. De Libran expresses modern architecture’s greatest legacy as a cotton poplin tunic dress. The shapeless versatile cut can be worn by itself or with pants, and is appropriate for a wide range of social functions.
Flatroofs/Roof Gardens. Flat roofs, the form most associated with modern buildings, stood out as a stark contrast to the pitched roofs of the past. Not just a stylistic device, the new form allowed for a functional plane for roof gardens and restored the ground space occupied by the building footprint. The easy metaphor here is the hat. However, De Librian took a deeper reading of the usable roof: a form that allows for more uses. The result is subtle, but definite: The leather dress has18 stripes, which coincide with the number of weeks of a typical capsule collection. Besides the decorative function, the wearer can use the stripes to countdown to when the dress becomes dated. Genius.
countdown to obsolescence
Free façade, another benefit of pilotis, meant that the exterior could take on forms without the need to support the building. Substituting pilotis for for heavy, thick load-bearing walls, the façade was free to take on any shape. Initially, modern buildings, adhering to the functional tenants, had box-like shapes. However later architects would experiment with curvy, undulating, fragmented forms. This cashmere blend cape with leather details, seems to best expreses this idea, perhaps a bit post modern (Hadid, Gehry) but still owes its lineage to Corbusier.
Horizontal Window Traditionally, windows were essentially holes in load-bearing walls, and assumed the shape of punched out slivers of light. With the structure now supported by columns, windows could run the entire length of the exterior wall, allowing the landscape vista to serves as wall. Clearly, the bustier top, with leather trip was inspired by the exposed horizontal band.
Whoever said fashion styles were ephemeral and fleeting, never saw the timeless styles of LV’s Icones Collection. I assume we won’t expect another major style for at least 40 years.