Fashion and interior design are two of the more accessible ways of art and design, given that they're linked to more commercial and mass production of functional items like clothing and furniture. They are relatively easier to get your hands on compared to higher forms of art like sculpture because they share and use the same materials, colors, and shapes — and are more often than not inspired by the equivalent trends and events. While fashion and interior design take different forms, both are opportunities to put forward an aesthetic that's deeply personal to the designer or the customer, all while mirroring the world around us.
Aside from these, what are the other similarities between fashion and interior design? Is it the process of developing designs and products, or the reliance to follow similar societal trends? Do they influence each other in any way, or are they exclusive of each other in terms of the way they operate? What we'll come to know is that fashion and interior design are intrinsically linked that the thought and design process is similar allowing many fashion designers and interior designers to cross and pursue projects on the other side of the fence.
Fashion and interior design are reflections of what society deems as meaningful and relevant.
Much like other forms of art and design, fashion and interior design are byproducts of societal trends and cultural shifts and milestones. Fashion trends are typically the result of economic, historical, and social events while interior design styles quickly follow suit.
For example, sustainability in fashion began in the late 1980s, but only solidified as a business value in the mid-2010s after a series of garment factory-related issues rose to the surface. The 1980s movement in sustainable and ethical fashion took its start from the awareness campaign on environmental issues that happened 20 years prior. The 2013 resurgence, on the other hand, was built from the many catastrophic events in the industry. These milestones severely affected the kind of apparel that went into the stores - regular t-shirts were replaced with sustainably-farmed cotton tees, and sneakers were swapped with shoes made from airplane tires and other recycled materials.
As the sustainability movement gained traction in the fashion world, so did its counterpart in interior design. Just a few years ago, people began taking recycling and upcycling seriously in interior design work, and other sustainable practices. Vintage hunting became a preferred method of sourcing furniture and materials, and natural implements like indoor gardens and solar energy panels soared in popularity.
Fashion and interior design follow the same design trends.
Both fashion and interior design reflect the relevant themes that pervade society. Similarly, they tend to showcase the same trends and aesthetics design-wise. Fashion - given that it's more accessible and in many ways ephemeral due to the quick turnover of trends - has the power to influence the slower cycles of interior design trends.
For example, Phoebe Philo's Celine not only influenced the many designers that came after the esteemed designer but also trickled down to the way spaces are designed and styled. During the last few years of Philo in the fashion house, interior designers began to implement minimalist design in their spaces and eventually affected the kind of furniture and décor pieces that went into the home stores.
This great overlap between the two disciplines gives customers the chance to decorate their homes the same way they fill up their closets. If you were a fan of animal print and similar accent patterns in 2021, you would have been pleased to know that cow print textiles were ubiquitous in fashion and interior design.
Materials and colors used tend to be interchangeable when it comes to fashion and interior design.
Aside from design trends, fashion and interior design also share the same materials and colors, given the many similarities in the design process they employ. In fact, designing clothing is pretty much alike as designing furniture items. This means that fashion and interior design — being visual mediums — are all about the combination of colors, patterns, textures, and styles.
A result of the growing global gender neutral movement, millennial pink made its way from the streets to the sheets fairly quickly in the 2010s, thanks largely to the presence of social media and insane accessibility of information. Pantone, arguably the leader in color theory and trends, captured this particular zeitgeist in 2016 and announced Rose Quartz as one of the colors of the year. What started in the clothes and accessories of people as popularized by brands like Acne and Mansur Gavriel quickly found itself in wallpaper, paint, and bathroom tiles as marketed by designers and design practices like Sarah Sherman Samuel and Lim + Lu.
This convergence between the two design mediums has been merchandised by prominent fashion brands like Ralph Lauren and Jean-Paul Gaultier, with more brands following suit.
Fashion and interior design both serve as an outlet for personal expression.
Fashion and interior design are readily available vehicles by which people can express their authentic styles and preferences. While fashion remains to be more accessible, interior design - thanks to commercial outlets - is closer to our hands more than ever. There's a certain mental high that comes with being true to your self, and both clothing and furniture allow your true persona to shine.
Some people who live minimalist lifestyles have an equally minimal home and wardrobe, some people who are socially involved were advocacy-specific tote bags and decorate their homes with artwork from their role models in the community, and some people wear statement jewelry and use outstanding home accessories to, well, make a statement. The person who is able to utilize clothes and home décor to express their personal thoughts and feelings are bound to feel limitless when it comes to pursuing creativity.
In fact, this certain individualism that comes with personal expression even lends to the development and evolution of design styles. It's thanks to unique persons that combination styles and aesthetics became the norm (think maxi-minimalism), and that versions of certain design aesthetics transform into their post- or neo- counterparts.