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Working with sources of inspiration: Muslim architecture
Working with sources of inspiration: Muslim architecture

We continue the series of articles by Veronica Tkachenko «Working with inspiration sources», which began in late 2013 on the site Fashion-Astrology.com. For a designer who is working on a special image of a customer or creates an exclusive thing, it is extremely important to the state of creative inspiration. When the work is completed, then we can say for sure whether it was done with or without inspiration. Inspiration — that’s what makes the usual thing in a real masterpiece. Inspiration comes to us from the poetry, music, painting, and other tangible or intangible sources.

Each designer has his own source of inspiration, in accordance with the indicators of an individual horoscope. Quite often, designers intentionally go on a travel for inspiration. How to survive a state of culture shock, which occurs after an acquaintance with the masterpieces of world architecture? How to convert new experience to the original design concept? This will be discussed in our study.

Unfortunately, theorists do not often indulge fashion designers with practicing constructive proposals for dealing with sources of inspiration. However, we managed to find the publication by critic Galina Galadzheva «Architectural images and costume design» (Atelier magazine, №5, 2011). The very title of the article does not show a direct relationship between the architecture and design elements of the costume. Nevertheless, the author cites a number of useful tips for working with a source of inspiration — architectural creations of Gaudi. For example, the experience of rhythm arcade in the Park Guell can be used in the form of a multi-layer suit, in a deliberately enlarged upper part, with a decorative design of the lapels, collar and neck line. The shape of the tower above the roof at home Batllo reminds dress with full skirt, which were in vogue in the middle of the XX century and today became the prototype of the modern cocktail dresses. Individual elements of decoration in the estate Guell can be used as a pattern for a scarf, shawl or cardigan.

Astrologers too have cycles of creative activity. For example, a visit to the exhibition «Jameel Prize» was an incentive for us to become more familiar with Muslim culture, in particular, with the architecture. We have already talked about working with such a vast source of inspiration, as the Space, and even with such an unusual source of inspiration, like mold. Therefore, the work with such a structured source, as the architecture, it is not too complicated. Let’s try a similar way to sort through the individual components of Muslim architecture, and to find a use for them in the design of the costume.

In Muslim architecture traditionally isolated 5 major schools of architecture: the Syrian-Egyptian, Persian, Indian, North African and Ottoman. Smaller areas, such as Iraq and Central Asian — are considered derivatives of the basic architectural traditions. The first mosque was built in accordance with the Byzantine tradition, with a characteristic cruciform layout. However, they later overgrown subsidiary outbuildings, distorting the original intent. We are interested in the basic structure of buildings, as well as some characteristic elements. 

Architects allocate 8 typical structures in Islamic architecture:

1. Guldasta (columns, strengthening internal corners of walls).

2. Wall.

3. Quince (deep niches in the wall).

4. Patio.

5. Log, decorated by ayvans.

6. Large dome.

7. Small dome over retail space.

8. Large shopping dome.

An important element is the minaret of the mosque. Usually one of the minarets stood out for its size and beauty. In medieval Andalusia it is the Giralda tower, in Morocco — the Koutoubia minaret, in India Delhi — Qutab Minar, in Afghanistan — known minaret of Jam, and in Central Asia — Bukhara Kalyan Minaret. Minarets of the Maghreb and Andalusia were built on rectangular base, sometimes increasing cubes standing on each other. Iranian minaret of XI-XIII centuries is a tall and slim tower with balcony. Minaret of the Mosque of Mutawakkil «Malviya» («hooked» — Arab.) in the city of Samarra (Iraq) is a truncated cone, around which there is a spiral ramp. Minarets, built in the Ottoman time, have a slender shape. Today the outstanding monuments of the Ottoman school have survived: Madrasah Syrchaly in Konya, Chifte Minar in Erzurum, Madrasah in Karatau, Inje Minar in Konya, Ulu Cami Mosque in Bursa, Yeshil Mosque Jami in Bursa («Green Mosque»), Mosque of Sultan Bayezid II, Shah-Zade Mosque in Istanbul, Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, the Blue Mosque, repaired Keshk Baghdad Keshk.

The appearance of mosques largely depends on the construction materials that were available to builders. For example, in Syria, black and white stone the most commonly used. In some other countries (Iran, Iraq, Morocco and Andalusia), the mosque was built of brick, in other places — of cut stone. Blue Mosque in Istanbul for centuries wins the beauty of its blue tiles.

So, we examined the main structural elements of Muslim architecture. The above information is cited from this source. How to deal with this information? This problem does not seem so unusual. We already have an example of proper use of Muslim architecture as a source of inspiration in the collection «Istanbul Contrasts» by Dice Kayek. In the first stage work of the architects and designers has much in common. Both of them are engaged in the creation of the idea of spatial form. The only difference is that the architect is working on building materials and the designer with plastic materials and fabrics. Thus, the general form of the unique structure of the architecture can be the basis of a new collection. Sometimes monuments are used «as it is», ie, as fotoprint. This is a tribute to a certain planetary configurations. In the 2013-2014 Neptune in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio formed large trine. This configuration enhances the manifestation of the highest love and inspiration in all aspects of life. Therefore, creating new patterns on the fabric, which reflect the ideas of Neptune, different religions and theories about the salvation of the human soul. This textile trend we called Live Nature. Muslim architecture is also an evidence of intense spiritual quest of man. This is the highest love, carved in stone.

Pictures of historical monuments in the textiles are a reflection of another trend: Fascinating Cartography. It owes its origin to the forthcoming transition of Saturn from Scorpio into Sagittarius. Saturn will be in Sagittarius from 2015 to 2017, and more precisely from the December 2014 to January 2017. The main topics of Sagittarius Zodiac sign: travel, acquaintance with the culture and customs of other countries, ethnic characteristics, etc. Such fabrics were in abundance presented by Dolce & Gabbana Fashion House and others.

Next, you must make sure that the basic idea is the leitmotif of the collection. How to do it? We can use such design terms, as a key silhouette, design lines, the individual details, colors and texture features. 

Key silhouette of the dress may reflect the roundness of the dome of the mosque (oval silhouette) and slim minarets (rectangular silhouette). The rounded shape of the bottom of the dress can also be successfully beat the dome of the temple. Puffed sleeves dress, caftan or coat can look like angel wings, as in the collection by Dice Kayek. 

In the design lines some elements of architecture can be reflected. For example, the arches may overlap with the form at the yoke of the dress or coat. Complex draping on the back or on the shoulder girdle may reflect the idea of the supporting column. Spiral minaret almost has its counterpart in the design of clothing: everyone knows that spiral skirt.

Further details — on the waiting list. Finishing trims of skirt can beat whichever member of decorative finishes of a mosque. Multilayer collar is another opportunity to apply a few décor ideas at the same time. The shape of a minaret can be used as playful cufflinks that supports its owner in good shape.

As you can see, there are a lot of options for creativity. All depends on the courage of the designer, on his original thinking. It is not necessary to use all methods of transferring architectural form to designer dress. It’s enough with one, but made with taste and sense of proportion. For example, at the Fashion Week Mercedes-Benz-Fashion Week Russia in the spring of 2011 a collection of Frankie Morello was presented, where the main feature was leaning Tower of Pisa. No, the model did not go down the runway, slightly leaning to the side and simulating the leaning tower. Just in each model the silhouette of the tower was ingeniously used: on the trouser legs, on the shelf of blouses, on the back of the dress. And thanks to this item the collection was memorable.

At consultation of astrologer Veronica Tkachenko you can discuss the features of your individual horoscope, find your own way in creativity, select the most favorable time for important business activities. For young designers a special support program has developed, there is a discount for consultation. After all, the younger generation is the future of our fashion! 


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