Architecture and fashion. It’s a convergence we’ve seen time and time again, whether in Adolf Loos’s polemical essays about proper dress or in the twisted rubber of a pair of Lacoste sneakers designed by Zaha Hadid. We recently got a chance to speak with Karen Moon, co-founder of the newly launched StyleMusée, about the overlap between these two areas of design. StyleMusée is described as “a customizable style inspiration board keeping you at the pulse of fashion. It lets users visually explore the fashion industry's social media posts on Facebook to discover designers and muses they love... and never knew they loved.” Their hope is to eventually take the style inspiration that people find in social media and offer tailored shopping recommendations. Their first editorial, Architectural Interpretations, immediately caught our attention, and Moon gave us the lowdown on building, dwelling, thinking…and dressing.
What were you looking for when you curated the first editorial, Architectural Interpretations?
I think of architecture as a form of art, and the intersection between art and fashion is an important theme in the DNA of our company and our mission. Fashion is an art, and I want to help style artisans visually tell their stories so that others can discover them. It's embodied in our branding as well has artistic references: musée means ’museum’ in French, and also stands for ‘muse,’ the main call to action on the site: saving the things that inspire you.
What kind of cross-pollination do you think there is between fashion and architecture, if there is any?
Fashion and architecture are both based on basic life necessities - clothing and shelter. However, they are also forms of self-expression - for both the creators and consumers. Both fashion and architecture affect our emotional being. For example, fashion refers to the actual articles one wears, but style is how you put it together and how confident you feel when you are going about your daily life. Similarly, our moods are affected by our living and work conditions - sunlight, cleanliness and comfort. On a deeper level, fashion and architecture both have less to do with luxury and design, but everything to do with feeling comfortable in your own skin and in your habitat.
Do you find any particular kind(s) of architecture inspiring?
The type of architecture I find myself drawn to time and time again has asymmetrical shapes and a fluid, organic quality that draws the eye throughout the structure. For example, I'm very much inspired by Richard Serra and Frank Gehry. Now that I think about it, it's actually a common aesthetic that I'm drawn to in several areas of design. Despite evolving fashion trends, I'm always attracted to draping and subtle details with asymmetrical elements. Brands that always have something I love are Rick Owens, United Nude, Thakoon, and Yigal Azrouel. My favorite jewelry pieces are a set of torque rings from Frank Gehry's capsule collection for Tiffany & Co.
I never drew the parallels before, but I can see the corollaries in retrospect. There's a very structured, yet fluid element all in the aesthetic in the DNA of many of these artists' work.
Care to make any comments about the way architects dress?
This is a tempting question to answer, but I'd literally have to Google this! It's probably best to not to comment as it would be a bit disingenuous.