Bauhaus, style and fashion

by SylviaVDL

Bauhaus and fashion Hussein Chalayan

Even though the Bauhaus school existed only for 14 years and closed 79 years ago, its influence is still felt today. Not only do you see Bauhaus influences in streets, interiors and furniture design, but also in the classroom where its teaching strategies are still commonly used. In fashion too, many designers are still inspired by the Bauhaus movement.

For those of you who have no clue what Bauhaus is: Bauhaus was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for its approach to design that it publicized and taught. One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology. The use of graphical shapes, different materials and colours are just some of the elements of designs inspired by Bauhaus.

Caroline Herrera

I now understand why I loved Carolina Herrera’s spring / summer 2012 collection so much. It was inspired by Bauhaus. Have a look at the collection below.

Hussein Chalayan

Another great example is the work of Hussein Chalayan who applies the Bauhaus’ principle of Function over Form and whose work blurs the distinction between art and fashion.

Have a look at this great video where the furniture is transformed into fashion.

Although many of Chalayan’s collection were very conceptual, his latest spring / summer 2013 collection was very wearable and absolutely amazing.

Hussein Chalayan spring 2013 collection

Hussein Chalayan and Bauhaus

The theme was ‘seize the day’ where the designer tried to make ordinary day-to-day situations as wearable as possible. Of his progression as a designer he reflected after the show: “The first step was creating my own style. Now I want to see it on people. I want to fill the gap between fantasy and reality, because people only ever show the showpieces.”

Bauhaus & me

I’m getting closer to understanding my own style  and I feel that Bauhaus is a big part of it. The clean lines, the use of colour, geometrical forms and the use of complementing materials are all elements I like in my clothes.

My love for Bauhaus influences is not something new. Bauhaus actually formed the basis of a project I did for the School of Colour and Design I attended in Sydney. It was the first website I ever created and the topic was on Bauhaus and Colour. It’s a small site that I still kept on my computer and I will share it with you today. The teachings are still relevant and can educate you a bit more on colour theory and Bauhaus itself. The site was created in 2000 when the internet was still very much in its infancy. Screen resolution was low and at that time the site filled the whole screen. There were only 250 ‘websafe’ colours. So it’s a bit like stepping back into time and it’s hard to believe it has been 12 years ago already….

The easiest way to navigate this small site is through clicking the “next page” link at the bottom of each page. An interesting detail is that all of the colour swatches on the site were hand painted by myself!  Have a look!

Which style / design movement influences your style?

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1 Greetje

I found your site of Bauhaus enormously interesting, but it made me humble. As I still do not have a clue how colour works. It is such a study and I just do not get it. Thanks for showing it to us. I will probably visit it again lateron.
As far as the designers you featured in your article are concerned: absolutely loved Caroline Herrera. Beuatiful. Would love to have them.
The transformation of furniture to fashion was amazing. Chalayan’s collection is also very nice, but Herrera is more my taste.
Lovely article.

2 Sylvia

Thanks Greetje. Glad you enjoyed my old mini site. I actually really loved the collection of Chalayan as well. I actually bought something from him this weekend. Something very basic and simple really (white pants) but it was on sale for about 80% off!

3 Greetje

Where do you find these spectacular offers?

4 Sylvia

This was an all designer label sale in a warehouse. No mirrors, no fitting rooms so very risky. The collections were old of course, but I did buy quite a few high quality items……

5 Greetje

Oh… I have been to those sample sales / designer outlet sales. Hah, great fun. In The Netherlands women just drop the clothes they have on, guard them between their legs and fit anything they can lay their hands on. I mean drop their clothes where they are standing, between the racks. No bother with fitting rooms as that takes up too much time and they are overcrowded anyway.
The things you see then…. hahahaha. LOL x 10

6 Sylvia

I wore a jersey tight dress over pants, then pulled off my pants so I could try on the clothes. Quite a sight I suppose to see me in an ultra mini dress!

7 Ulla-Marie

I’m more eccentric than clean stylish, but I really think that less is more is nice to others and these dresses are adorable.

8 Sylvia

I really love that mix of eccentricity and minimalism!

9 lena

if bauhaus is defined (so to speak) as ‘wearable, clean cut style’, that’s my favorite – although sometimes i like to mix and match things like boho or eccentric jewelery, a gothic shirt, a romantic top and so on. my ‘every day suit’, what makes me feel ‘comfortable and secure’ is definately the minimalistic style (less is more) in dark colors -not so boring as it sounds! 🙂 i loved herrera’s most pieces -pure elegance! really ‘jealous’ of that designer sales…i live in cyprus, nothing like this happens here, but in greece, where i come from, there is an outlet designers’ village near athens, where, i’ve been told, one can find real worthy offers

10 Sylvia

Yes Herrera’s collection was fabulous! Very few of us truly have one style alone, but I think it’s good to know what your core style is. I hope you will get lucky visiting the designers’ village some day!


This is fascinating – a subject which holds great interest. Josef Albers, a lecturer at Bauhaus, is a painter whose work I very much admire. Bauhaus also had a major impact on architecture. The principles and practices of Modern architect Le Corbusier, Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe, and Mid Century Modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright influence my style. Louis Sullivan’s “form follows function” principle resonates with me.

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