Fashion Flagship Stores
Fashion and architecture have experienced an unrivalled period of growth, with star architects and major fashion brands working closely to build architectural wonders around the world. But is this simply a classic commercial act or a romantic matter based on a natural affinity from both sides? Clearly, architecture is one of the most powerful tools for achieving corporate identity in the fashion world and, on the flipside, these buildings are the perfect catwalk for promoting architectural creativity at its most extreme. But while this partnership has been able to keep both parties commercially satisfied and conquering new territories, I see a more important social and cultural impact here. This collection of buildings shows how fashion and architecture are in fact capable of enhancing each other's relevance in the world we inhabit; architecture and fashion’s shared understanding of space, structure and composition means the two art forms have a lot of common creative ground as a starting point for evolution. OMA/AMO's prolific collaboration with Prada is a great example of how architecture - having recently reached its conscious state of context-awareness and social sensitivity - is affecting the world of fashion. On the other hand, modern architecture has long since departed from its beauty-bound origins in pursuit of higher conceptual grounds – often preferring substance over style. But looking at the line -up of elegant flagship stores in Omotesand? street in Tokyo affirms a certain faith in fashion's possible contribution to architecture restoring its long-lost relationship with the classical notion of beauty. What do you think? Does this mutually-challenging relationship keep both parties evolving or do you see this return to style and beauty as a step backwards?