KARL LAGERFELD’S DONGDAEMUN
By Naomi Barling
Karl Lagerfeld has long been the pioneer in creating architectural partnerships when selecting outstanding venues for his Chanel presentations. Who could forget the Resort14 collection where attendees took a trip to a private island in Dubai or to Versailles the year before. This season again, the designs and set won’t be the only stars of Chanel’s Resort show in Seoul, South Korea. Karl Lagerfeld has selected Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) as the venue for the presentation on May 4 2015.
Lagerfeld has a longstanding relationship with Hadid, who designed the set for Chanel’s Spring 2012 underwater-themed runway show as well as the Chanel Mobile Art Center in New York’s Central Park in 2008. First opened to the public in April 2014, the Dongdaemun building is Hadid’s latest creation and is no stranger to the fashion world. Its undulating rooms and curving hallways have already played host to Seoul fashion week.
Fashion’s current love affair with architecture seems to have influenced Chanel’s decision to show its collection in the DDP. But they are not the only ones choosing interesting venue spaces. Two days after the Chanel show, Louis Vuitton will show its Resort collection in the equally futuristic Bob Hope Estate in Palm Springs, California, a counter to LV’s own feat of architecture, the Foundation Louis Vuitton designed by Frank Gehry in the Bois du Boulogne in Paris. In New York, Max Mara collaborated with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop on a Whitney-inspired handbag. And in Milan Prada in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas just opened the doors to a new art center.
The DDP has been designed as a cultural hub at the center of Dongdaemun, a historic district of Seoul. Inside the 38,000-square-metre cultural complex with its twinkling aluminum façade are huge art and exhibition halls, a conference space, design museum, design labs and academy hall, media center, seminar rooms and designers lounge. The emporium is made up of eight storeys, of which four sit above ground level and four are set below the plaza.
The building features a curvaceous facade made up of 45,000 aluminum panels of varying sizes. This was achieved using advanced 3-dimensional digital construction services, making DDP the first public building in Korea to utilize the technology. The design integrates the park and plaza seamlessly as one, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature in a continuous, fluid landscape.
Lagerfeld told Wallpaper in 2006, “Architecture stimulates fashion. The systematic relations of both can last in time and space for quite a long period.” Lagerfeld constantly stresses the importance of the relationship between fashion and architecture and it seems like the rest of fashion is coming around to the Lagerfeld way. But for now we look forward to seeing on May 4 2015, if the clothes match up to its hosting venue.