Architects of Modern Avante-Garde Fashion

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In the esoteric realm of haute couture, it is enough sometimes that a garb, exquisitely wrought, is just a piece of fantasy brought to life to beguile and surprise us- where the human form becomes the mold of designers’ fantasies brought to life. That no matter how fragile and fluid the fabrics are, had no power when manipulated by the hands and imagination of the designers. Let’s take a look at these amazing architects of modern Avante-Garde fashion who demonstrated to us the infinite possibilities of human creativity.

Architects of Modern Avante-Garde Fashion

  1.  Iris Van Herpen

One of the first designers to adopt a 3D printing technique to construct her garments, she created ethereal pieces seen in Paris Fashion Weeks, the MET Museum, and worn several times by Lady Gaga. She graduated in Fashion Design in 2006 and launched her own label the year later. Perhaps the most famous of her creation called Sensory Seas became a landmark of her career. Her manipulation of fabrics to look like living underwater creatures is mesmerizing as if you are traversing into a world of mystical sea creatures.

Avante-Garde fashion by Iris Van Herpen
Photo courtesy of Iris Van Herpen

2. Guo Pei

Remember Rihanna’s yellow gown she wore at the MET? It was the creation of the Chinese designer Gou Pei. Growing up during the era of the dominance of Mao’s ideology in a communist household in 1967, Gou Pei developed a passion for fashion at an early age. In her defiance of the rigid rules of the communist regime, she persisted in finishing a degree in fashion design at a secondary school in Beijing. She worked for a clothing company afterward and later built her own company in 1997. She is the first Asian designer to become a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

3. Ryunosuke Okazaki

Surreal, futuristic, and fantastically mechanical are what describe the Japanese designer Ryunosuke Okazaki’s creations. Although in real life, designs like these are truly hard to wear but the craftmanship is a demonstration of the infinite possibilities of what imagination can do. These pieces require not only artistic capabilities but the brilliance of engineering as well. He just graduated from art school last year, 2021, but his prowess showed mastery equal to a lifetime of experience already.

Avante-Garde fashion by Ryunosuke Okazaki
Photo courtesy of Metal Magazine EU

4. Thiery Mugler

When I started my fashion career, this guy is one of the first creative minds I was looking up to. In fact, I still have the Fashion Fetish Fantasy fashion show fresh in my mind. Thiery Mugler is just unforgettable. This French designer defied the body form with his deadly corsets, and sculpted fabrics to mold into the human body as if it was not fluid. He took us into a different world with his creativity. A lot of people in the fashion world were saddened by his passing early this year, 2022. He might not be able to grace us with eccentric designs but surely his legacy lives on.

5. Yohji Yamamoto

I consider Yohji Yamamoto as one of the pioneers in Avante-Garde couture with his sculptural manipulation of fabrics. He drapes them in the most unexpected ways peculiar to our contemporary taste, but his androgynous designs that are often oversized are actually wearable. They are fun and exciting, hard to replicate if you are not a master skill like him. He was born in 1943 in Tokyo, Japan. His first designs were debuted in 1977 in Japan and later appeared in a Paris fashion show in 1982. His success earned him several awards including the prestigious Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon.

Photo credit: Getty Images

By Jonquil Dun

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