The Aesthetic Of Bauhaus and Current Trends Following WWW, as much of Germany lay in despair, Bauhaus thrived as a revolutionary, inspired and unique School breaking down the perceived class barriers between craftsmen and fine artists. Founded in 1919 by Architect Walter Groping, Bauhaus modernized the Art Industry and Education, influencing all aspects of design today. As fashion, like art, progresses in cycles, inspiring and influencing each other through the creation of their designs, it would have been an ideal for Bauhaus and its collective education.
The communal teaching of design basics to all iris year students meant all disciplines adopted a visionary approach to composition integrating simplicity, functionality and bare boned structure. The Wassail Chair is an iconic example of Bauhaus aesthetic, completely reducing the classic club chair to its fundamental form whilst retaining comfort and style. Inspired by the tubular steel framing of his bicycle, Marcel Brewer created the Wassail chair to be seamless. Engaged with the transparency of the form”, Brewer created a mere structural outline of what then was considered the standard, contributing immensely to the Bauhaus aesthetic we know today. In Fashion we see the same structural aesthetic in pieces like La File Do’s “One” Bra. The singular steel underline sculpts the body leaving only the bare necessities of the common bra, focusing on its foundation. Using minimal detailing in the cups, opting for a soft mesh, the bra focuses on the structure; the nowhere and straps.
Both Brewer and La File DO keep color to the minimum, using black or plain monochromatic schemes to further accentuate the framework of the designs. Rejecting the bourgeois detail plastering Germany at the time, Bauhaus students instead took the opposite direction. By completely striping back all decoration, even reducing color back to primary’s and shades, they created a new take on architecture. Using geometric blocks and unconventional materials they constructed simple yet intriguing designs. The same can be said for modern fashion.
Structured outfits in block colors are always popular as they provide a sleek and sophisticated look, such as with 3. 1 Phillip Limb’s SIS 14 collection. As Bauhaus students used geometric boxes to create interesting shapes for buildings, Limit does the same for women. The square boxed white Jacket although seemingly plain creates an incredibly smooth and angular silhouette, the oversized structure building off her body emulating perfectly the white cubic buildings most associated with the Bauhaus aesthetic.
During the first year of Bauhaus education, Color Theory was intensely studied. Josef Teen, teacher of said subject and inventor of the 12-hue color wheel believed “Color is life; for a world without color appears to us as dead. Colors are primordial ideas, the children of light. ” The psychology and audience perception of color developed at Bauhaus is still an extremely relevant source to all designers today, helping designers portray different emotion through color and hue. Whilst at Bauhaus, Teen developed a series of seven methodologies for coordinating color using hue.
One methodology in particular, saturation, was adopted into some of the most famous artworks to come out of Bauhaus such as Josef Albert “Homage to the Square” in which Albert created the exact same square filled with consistently smaller squares and changed the feeling of each art work using only hue and saturation of the color. This saturation is best shown in an exercise from Paul Kale’s lour class depicting the different shades of red moving down the scale. In Channel’s SIS 14 collection we also see the emotional effect of saturating colors.
On the pure white canvas of flowing capes and summer dresses Karl Loggerhead paints graduating swatches, each color swiftly moving from dark to barely there light, while the dress graduates from dark forest greens to soft pastels. Paintbrushes and pallets adorn the models hands as they walk and the youth and creativity of the collection shines through instantly. Bauhaus considered typography to be another kind of building, literally studying the Truckee of letters and characters, the flexibility each character held and the visual effect they had on the audience.
The Bauhaus font otherwise known as the “Universal” font was a meticulously sculpted style that was simple, clean and modern. The rise of typography heralded the rise of graphic advertising, a strategy that would quickly be picked up by most if not all design disciplines, none so ferociously as fashion. Designer brands like Louis Button and Channel are not only instantly recognizable but intrinsically valuable for bearing their particular typeface as part of their branding. In fashion, Typography is used as a hook for customer engagement, often aimed at teenage girls.
Typography is the quickest way to get your demographic to relate to your brand. Although not considered a typically high-class trait in fashion, brands like Mission, DENY and Jeremy Scott have taken up the typography trend successfully with their graphic fonts plastered over Jumpers, dresses and anything you can print on. Although nearly one century old, Bauhaus continues to influence many aspects of design. The flesh and bone structure, simplicity of design and geometric blocked out hopes are all still extremely relevant in the fashion and art of today.