The wearable skyline: Isoda printed LA's cityscape in miniature on a silk collar (left) and blew it up large for this color-blocked trapeze dress.
Ever since wrk-shp's Airi Isoda launched her first line of women's clothing in the fall of 2011, the architect-turned-designer has been known for creating strong silhouettes and mixing her fabrics with materials more common on a spec sheet than in your basic womenswear catalog. Collaborating with her partner and husband, Ryan Upton, Isoda dips coats in concrete and envelops purses in housepaint, fashions delicate collars out of wood, and raids the hardware store for joinery and accent pieces. One early design repurposed Tyvek into a white raincoat with pockets of wheatgrass growing out of it, turning a stroll in the rain into a more imaginitive way to water the plants.
In wrk-shp's recently unveiled spring/summer 2013 collection, Isoda takes inspiration from the 1950s-era Case Study Houses in and around Los Angeles. If you could dress like your favorite postwar experiment in modern architecture, would it be Richard Neutra's Stuart Bailey House (#20A)? Or perhaps Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen's Entenza House (#9)?
Tyvek raincoat with silk charmeuse lining and wheatgrass, part of wrk-shp's inaugural 2011 collection.
As Isoda explains on her website, "just like the designs of the [Case Study Houses], pieces in this collection are based on using modern, clean lines and materials [and] fabric, produced by taking advantage of today's technology." The skyline print above is derived from a photograph Upton took from the Griffith Park Observatory, and is inspired by the views from Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22.
Playing house: Together, Isoda's skyline-edged skirt and glazed top are all windows and sky.
As you can see from the shots of her clothes, Isoda's playful short skirts and dresses are best paired with skyscraper-high heels. That's a tall order for workaday life, not to mention construction site visits. But if we choose to teeter alongside Architect Barbie in dizzy-making shoes, at least we'll be better dressed!
P.S. For those of you who can't wait for spring, you can find Isoda's fall 2012 collection at wrk-shp's newly launched online store.
Photos by Lauren Randolph; Tyvek coat photo by Jordan Duvall.