Architects of Style
Coco Chanel famously said decades ago that “fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” There’s no doubt that houses such as Balmain and Chloé embrace her sentiment. Inspired by the flowing lines of modernist structures à la Frank Gehry, a select group of designers are transforming tight-fitted dresses, towering stilettos and mosaic handbags into mesmerizing works of art. Chanel, who believed wholeheartedly in individual style, would have also shared Richard Neutra’s sentiment that “architects must have a razor-sharp sense of individuality.” With this in mind, stand boldly above the crowd with these architecturally inspired pieces.
Guajiro native culture inspired Yosuzi to create these Venezuelan Siruma straw hats ($375). Each handmade statement piece, which takes eight hours to weave, celebrates the indigenous South American tribe and empowers the region’s native artisans.
Atelier 7918, 949.715.0899 :: atelier7918.com
Olivier Rousteing bid adieu to Balmain with a collection of unapologetically sexy, tight-fitted mini dresses. Rousteing’s edgy street-savvy couture leaves little to the imagination. The Illusion halter dress ($3,745) amplifies this sultry look with an open back and exposed zipper. :: lyst.com
Blanc Noir transforms the staid zip-up into the pinnacle of athleisure style with a rose gold puffy vest. Constructed with moisture-wicking material, the vest folds compactly into a packable logo bag. $189. Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island, 949.759.1900 :: neimanmarcus.com
When Sophie Hulme launched her evening bag collection in 2016, she knew that craftsmanship would be the key to her success. Thick saddle leather adorned with 24-karat gold-plated hardware became a signature look. Her black and navy glitter Albion square tote bag ($1,094) is a nod to Hulme’s love of military dress. Atelier 7918, 949.715.0899 :: atelier7918.com
Under Sarah Burton’s creative direction, the Alexander McQueen line continues to craft well-tailored clothes such as this embroidered eyelet dress ($7,495) with a tiered, scalloped skirt. Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island, 949.759.1900 :: neimanmarcus.com
The Myer caramel calfskin day bag by Chloé ($1,950) features the brand’s signature diagonal zipper embellished with a handmade tassel. Combining leather and suede creates the contrasting texture. The removable straps, double handles and side snap closures transform this medium-size bag into a versatile piece for city dwellers. This is no surprise since the brand’s creative director, Clare Waight Keller, is fascinated with arabesque architecture. Chloé, South Coast Plaza :: chloe.com
The Row’s calfskin shoulder bag features a mosaic pattern constructed with 11 colors of hand-cut crocodile skin. The circular pattern mimics the rolls in a French croissant. $6,750
Sophia Webster is known for her ostentatious heels. Her sexy gold leather Delphine lace-up sandals ($650) evoke the stacked windows on an urban skyscraper. :: sophiawebster.com