Global Muses: Fashion Design Inspired by Travel From Sonia Rykiel to Brunello Cucinelli, New York Fashion Week’s top designers reveal the destinations that influence their styles.
1/8 Sonia Rykiel: U.S.A. Road Trip “My most inspiring travel [experience] was a road trip in the USA with my lover, Mario Fattori, the movie director. We drove through Colorado, San Francisco, Houston . . .”
Photography courtesy Sonia Rykiel
2/8 Brunello Cucinelli: Cortina, Italy “I don’t need to go too far to find inspiration, since my home in Solomeo is the ideal sanctuary for living in harmony and experiencing a balance between nature and art. If I ever need to get away from Solomeo, however, I take a trip into the mountains, particularly to the Dolomites in northern Italy. My favourite town to visit during the winter months is Cortina. The serene and monumental beauty inspires me to think about dressing luxuriously with rich materials like leather and fur.”
Photography courtesy Brunello Cucinelli
3/8 Gary Graham: Berlin and The Cloisters “For Fall 2013, I’ve taken images of medieval tapestries and paintings I found in Berlin and The Cloisters, and used them in prints. In the past, I’ve used actual images of walls of buildings, whether in Charleston or from my own cabin upstate, and made clothing from them.”
Photography courtesy Gary Graham
4/8 Norma Kamali: Abu Dhabi “I wore an abaya in Abu Dhabi and was inspired by the power of traditional garb, but also by how seductive a simple slice of black chiffon could be, especially when just face and hands are exposed.”
Photography courtesy Norma Kamali
5/8 Mimi Plange: Ghana “I would have to say Bath, England, is one of my favourite destinations for its rich history, Roman baths, and its amazing fashion museum that has served as a resource for period fashions and details within my work. I also love visiting my birthplace, Ghana, and experiencing its rich culture while searching for pattern, colour and adornment.”
Photography courtesy Mimi Plange
6/8 Jose Duran: Jamao al Norte, Dominican Republic “I love this town in the middle of the mountains [called] Jamao al Norte, located in Moca, Dominican Republic. The water is always cool and pleasant. It inspires me so much when I am there seeing people having a good time and enjoying themselves.”
Photography courtesy Jose Duran
7/8 Alan Bedwell of Foundwell: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater “The most inspirational figure for me is Frank Lloyd Wright, and the most amazing building for me is his Fallingwater house in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. I know it’s not very exotic, but in every sense it is a great source of inspiration, and [represents] a willingness to try to extract the finest levels of quality, design and ingenuity.”
8/8 Rona Pfeiffer: Dutch West Indies “The influence travel has on my creations is one that supports the theme of my jewellery—and my life, frankly! My jewellery is all about contradiction. That is the quintessential artistic trigger. Recently, I sailed through the Dutch West Indies, a magnificent visual, but we listened to Led Zeppelin as we sailed the open ocean. This contradiction of senses is certainly going to influence my next collection!”
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Whether for relaxation or adventure, returning to the country where they were born, or visiting destinations rich with history, designers often find inspiration on their travels.
We asked a number of fashion’s top names, including Sonia Rykiel, Brunello Cucinelli and Rona Pfeiffer, which destinations in the world have inspired their designs and how. What we got were personal photos and reflections on everything from recent trips to voyages that took place years ago. Noting different aspects of their collections that have been inspired by the things that they’ve seen and experienced along the way, these designers make it clear that travel has had a lasting impact on their lives and characters.