Rachel Hall of StudioSwag.blogspot.com


When people talk fashion, it is mostly within its own category of discussion. But what most don’t realize is that fashion is a very primitive need of protecting the body from the environment and weathering. In another light, architecture is also a very primitive need of protecting humans, animals and earth species from the environment. Where these two concepts meet is at a very humane level, and as these two forms of design have evolved, we now have seen very interesting connections and relationships between the two.

In this article, we chime in with architectural designer and fashionista, Rachel Hall, in discussion of this relationship between the design-world of fashion and architecture, and how she interprets these two very human forms of expression. Born in Japan, and raised in New Orleans, this woman of Filipino-descent is in pursuit of pushing the boundaries of design in two of the most expressive forms of art.

Rachel, tell us, how did you first get involved with fashion, and then how did you get into the world of architecture? 

I grew up in a house full of brothers and was consequently THE biggest tomboy growing up.  So, to say the least, I was a late bloomer to discover fashion.  But when I did, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I quickly recognized the power clothes have to be an extension of your personality and how they make you feel – an experience – which is important in how it relates to architecture.  When reduced to simple terms, architecture and fashion are essentially the same, a necessity of shelter from the elements.  But throughout time, humans maintain a desire to express themselves through both clothing and building.

I had always wrestled with what I want to be when I grow up. Originally, I went to school to be an industrial designer, then switched gears to pursue a double major in Fine Arts and History.  Almost two years in, I couldn’t commit to a degree and felt lost.  I decided to take some time off to sort out my thoughts.  The goal: work hard for the next year to afford a life of travel.  And I did just that.  Experiencing other cultures exposed me to the potential and creativity that existed within architecture.  I immediately enrolled into design school, and now have a BArch with a minor in Architecture History.


When did you realize there was a relationship between the two and what connection did you make of it?

Early on in architecture school.  The way that architects and fashion designers approach design process is very similar.  When I was in high school, I used to make my own clothing by deconstructing my existing clothes to figure the 2D pattern needed to make a garment.  The first year of architecture, they drill into you the idea of designing 3-Dimensional shapes and spaces through the exploration 2D drawings

So what’s the next step for you? Are you looking to develop these ideas further into your professional path?

I think the next step for me is to dive in and start designing my own clothes.  I think designing in different medias is important for keeping your mind fresh with ideas.  Now with the success of my blog, I can use it as a platform to get my ideas out to the public and test some ideas.  I’m still small, but it’s growing quickly.


Who are your favorite fashion designers?

Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Prada, Diane Von Furstenburg, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs

What are your favorite places to shop?

French Connection, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Zara, ASOS, Topshop, J.Crew, H&M, NastyGal.com and various vintage stores.

What are your favorite places to go for architecture?

I have been very fortunate to study abroad in Europe three times in my academic career.  Nothing beats the architecture there, particularly the historical aspect – my heart will forever be with Paris.

I was born in Japan and spent my early childhood there, and my fondest memories are from the architecture.  My father is an architect, so he made us go through every temple on that Island.

New York City is incredible.  My father was born and raised in the Bronx, so we visited the city my entire life.

What are your favorite architecture 

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, OMA, Toyo Ito & Associates, SAANA, Jean Nouvel, BIG / Bjarke Ingels Group, and of course my office, Trahan Architects.


Interviewee: Rachel Hall of StudioSwag.blogspot.com & Trahan Architects
Interviewer and Edited by Derick Lee


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