Swarovski is among the companies that has tried in the last few years to spark up a dialogue between art, architecture, design and fashion through different projects.
At the recent Milan’s Fuorisalone, a new Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibition presented new pieces by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka, France-born but Tokyo-based Gwenaël Nicolas, Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen, Dutch architectural lighting designer Rogier van der Heide and Swiss-born, San-Francisco-based designer Yves Béhar.
You can read further about the event in this article I did for Dazed Digital that also features some feedback from three designers involved in the project.
One of them, Tokujin Yoshioka anticipates in the interview some of his future projects, in particular his solo exhibition entitled "Tokujin Yoshioka_Spectrum" that will open in May in Seoul and that will feature his "dream architecture" project entitled "Rainbow Church".
The project dates back to when the architect was in his early twenties and went to visit the Chapelle du Rosaire, also known as the “Matisse Chapel”, in Vence, near Nice.
Painter Henri Matisse designed the bronze crucifix on the altar, the candle holders and tabernacle, the stained glass windows based on three main colours - yellow, blue and green - the wall murals and even the priest’s vestments (copies of the latter are part of the Collection of Modern Religious Art at the Vatican Museums in Rome, but their maquettes are stored at the Centre Pompidou in Paris).“I was engrossed in the beauty of the light that the chapel created and experienced a space filled with the light of Matisse," the designer stated in a press release, "Being bathed in the sunlight of the Provence, the stained glass with Matisse’s vibrant colours suffused the room with colours. Since then, I had been dreaming of designing an architecture where people can feel the light with all senses.”
The project - that will feature a 9 metre-high stained glass window formed by 500 crystal prisms that will be filling the space with rainbow colours - interestingly reinvents religious architecture and could be used as the starting point for a fashion collection.
Wonder in which ways can religious architecture (note: from any religion) influence and inspire fashion design.
Think about alternative ways of combining sacred architecture and fashion that may go beyond the mere use of stained glass windows for prints (as that has already been done...), avoid borrowing from nun styles à la Yves Saint Laurent (A/W 2010 collection) and remember not to fall into the colourful traps of religious catwalk shows à la Fellini. Just stay focused on the external architecture and the internal design elements and see where they may lead you.
"Tokujin Yoshioka_Spectrum" is at the Beyond Museum in Seoul, Korea, from 1st May to 30th June 2010.
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