From Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino to Givenchy, most spectacular work have been created and inspired by environmental shapes and forms. Fashion and environmental shapes are both visually driven expressions of nonverbal expression. The two creative entities go hand in hand when it comes to elements like proportion, geometry, sculpture, or fluidity. Either of them could turn into an inspiration for the other. We bring to you different styles and patterns that have inspired some designers and their collections.


Seen at: Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela, Givenchy, Valentino, and Paco Rabanne

Geometrical pattern derives its origination from abstract form of art based on the use of shapes, integrated into non-objective compositions. Although avant-garde artists favoured the category in the early twentieth century, similar motifs are being used in fashion since olden times. In fashion, geometry is a formative idea. Since the very beginning of the fashion history, it has been used as design tool. It is most common character found.

The application includes the use of simple geometric shapes and forms. Like the style technique of Jean Patou was never usual, but full of originality and characterized by geometric motifs, clean lines and mixture of luxury and practicality, designed to glorify the new trend for the outdoor life, and bore a remarkable similarity to modern sportswear, which brought him fame, particularly in the American markets.


Seen at: Elie Saab, Ronald van der Kemp and Viktor & Rolf, Giambattista Valli

A design pattern that is marked by flowing tracery in a two-dimensional form drawing an unbroken curved line. These lines mostly form abstract patterns such as swirls, spirals, circles and S- shapes which influence the art of surface ornamentation.  The circle, throughout history has often been reckoned as a symbol of completion and perfection, while the S-curve, named after the mathematical function, forming the basis of design since the Classical period.


Seen at: Yohji Yamamoto, Thom Browne, Versus Versace, Marc Jacobs

It is a form of art that does not constitute an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. The term has been applied in fashion, where forms have been simplified or schematised. It is often seen in fashion as carrying a dimension, in that it can be seen to stand for virtues. The Abstract Expressionism movement began in the 1940s in New York City after World War II. From Chanel’s artfair- style runway to dress abstracts combination of abstract art and high-quality clothing, the special relationship between the same-but-different worlds of art and fashion is becoming very lucrative.


Seen at: Alexis Mabille, Berardi, Guo Pei, Armani Prive, Alexandre Vauthier

The form focuses on continuity and liquidity of design elements to create a visually striking art piece. The visual flow carries the viewer’s eye through the design in a way that all the important elements receive prominence, and nothing snags the vision or causes the viewer to lose sense of the piece. A group of artists called the “Futurists” attempted to show movement in their artworks in an aesthetic fashion. Because the Futurist movement took place in the early 1900’s, the technologies that they were interested in may seem quite antiquated by our modern standards. By using multiple brushstrokes and repetitive marks, it created a feeling of action into their paintings. Today, designers like Givenchy and Valentino use draping techniques inherited from the Greeks to represent fluidity in their work.

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja is a feature writer at L'Officiel India. She is a silver jewellery hoarder and an aesthete of all arts. You can find her unraveling new stories day in and day out.