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A Look Back at Zaha Hadid's Influence on Fashion

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Anyone with a passing interest in contemporary design is aware of the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who, her firm said, passed away at the age of 65 early Thursday morning. As one of the most powerful women in her field, Hadid was known for the massive and hyper-futuristic spaces she created in locales like Baku, London, Guangzhou, and Cincinnati. And despite leading so many high-profile projects, her work extended well beyond architecture; in fashion, Hadid was not only an influence on working designers but an active contributor to the discipline.

In this arena, Hadid's work ranged from über-luxury — as when she designed a movable pavilion for Chanel that globe-hopped to Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, and Paris — to attainably mainstream. (Just last year, the architect created a pair of Adidas sneakers with Pharrell.) Hadid crafted sculptural jewelry for the Danish label Georg Jensen, and more jewelry, a mix of organic curves and bling this time, with the Lebanese brand Aziz and Walid Mouzannar.

Other accessories took notes from her architecture, too — a logical step, when modernist metal pieces from designers like Sophie Buhai are so reminiscent of miniature Hadid edifices. Commenting on her choice to focus on sterling silver, the New York jewelry designer Lynn Ban told the Wall Street Journal in 2015: "You don't see a Zaha Hadid building in gold, do you?" (While her buildings largely hewed to white and silver tones, Hadid's jewelry did in fact come in pink, white, and yellow gold.)

Seoul Fashion Week

A show attendee at Seoul Fashion Week in March. Photo: Ed Jones/Getty Images

Last week, showgoers at Seoul Fashion Week took in the latest collections at the Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza. The architect herself was a frequent flyer at fashion events, like Natalia Vodianova's Fabulous Fund Fair and Christopher Kane's runway presentations. She thought critically about the medium, and designed an exhibition called at London's Design Museum called "Women Fashion Power."

As Hadid told Vogue in 2011, "Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is how you place the object on the person."