Where T-bars meet T-squares

If you think the only link between fashion and architecture is that cool Prada store on Rodeo, you're very much mistaken. The history of fashion is filled with designers who trained as architects before swapping classic columns for column dresses - think Alaia and Pierre Cardin for starters.

It's a little bit more rare today, with almost every art school offering courses in fashion design, for designers to come from the architecture world, but the two disciplines are still very much influenced by each other. Case in point - an upcoming exhibition at Somerset House in London called 'Skin & Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture.' It's set to compare the work of designers like Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan - basically, every designer you can think of who has a way with a sharp line and an eye for innovative structuring - with architects like Zaha Hadid and Frank Ghery, highlighting the, well, parallels between the two.

Am not sure if it's going to include designers who actually did train as architects, as there are certainly several of them working today, including some of my favorites. I have a hunch that the following probably won't be included, so I will enlighten you all with a list of them here instead:

1. Nicola Finetti
Whoever said Australian fashion is all about unstructured sundresses and empire waists has clearly never seen the work of Nicola Finetti. After studying architecture in Rome and a brief stint in Argentina, Finetti moved to Australia to pursue womenswear design, launching his own label in 1995. His work is all about contrast and contradiction -his collections are always very feminine , consisting pretty much solely of skirts and dresses, yet are still very sleek at the same time. Also, despite the fact that each dress has a very definite structure (a result of that architecture training, I imagine), they still manage to look totally comfortable - I could picture myself wearing any of the ones below to a beach barbie. He also has a way with pattern repitition, like on the skirt above, that reminds me of a frieze on a building:

Photos courtesy of Vogue.com.au ; http://www.nicolafinetti.com/

2. Max Kibardin

In the tradition of Alaia before him, Max Kibardin has mastered the art of creating shoes that manage to be both delicately sexy, yet sculptural at the same time. The ex-model's shoes have all the qualities of a great work of contemporary architecture - they're both sturdy and light, have gorgeously curved arches, and a look that's very distinctly their own. And the color! I challenge anyone to look at a pair of Kibardin's shoes and not start squealing like a kid who's just got her first pony (on the inside, at least). He studied architecture in Russia before moving to Milan for fashion, which sort of explains the jewel tones and ornamentation:

3. Ninaki

Ninaki rings remind me of the Disney Center in downtown LA, and not just because they're big and shiny- they're the kind of thing that you either love or hate, depending on your definition of beauty. I love them, for all of their soaring, steely, imposing, take-your-breath-away magnitude. Designed by SciArc graduate Ninaki Priddy, the collection is a mix of the organic and macabre. The organic is quite clear, with the rings taking on polished, yet strangely amoeba-esque shapes. The noir side, too, is evident, especially in the names she's given the pieces - think Cruella and Contessa:

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