Architectural Fashion: Hybrid Outfits Combine Bauhaus with Arts & Crafts

A new collection of shirts, jackets, dresses and more from fashion designer Mary Katrantzou recalls two very different design movements, one focusing on the hand-made (Arts & Crafts) and one on powerful, industrial-age graphics and shapes (the Bauhaus).

Debuted on the catwalk of London Fashion Week, this series celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, featuring colors, geometries and typographies recalling the school and movement. These are imprinted, however, on delicate and decorative apparel.

“The collection explores an intermingling of two different breeds of aesthetic, using their components to discover a new hybrid,”says Katrantzou, who drew inspiration in part from vintage Bauhaus posters but also Victorian-era patterns.

“I don’t think anyone would put the Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus together conceptually, but I think it was the beginning of modernism, even if aesthetically it is not as visible.” In a way, these divergent styles represent different paths, but both were built on attention to detail and a belief in the careful and complete designs of everyday objects. Her pieces stitch together the utilitarian and organic sensibilities of the two movements.

“We wanted to choose some of the colours that are present in William Morris’ work and the Arts and Crafts movement, and bring them into the Bauhaus posters, and vice versa. I always loved the Bauhaus posters for their symbolic nature, and equally, I think William Morris as a visual language is equally distinctive.” Katrantzou, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, draws a lot of ideas from architecture and built environments, often referencing structures from streets to steel trusses.