Dreaming of faraway lands: when Fashion met Design

meriem bennani, miu miu, runway, fashion, design

Courtesy of Miu Miu

The fashion world meets architecture and design. From the recent scenographies and set-ups of the fashion shows to the collaborations for the new capsule collections

Fashion has forever played a significant role in making us dream of faraway lands and endless possibilities. But fashion designers know that without a great set designer or architect, sometimes these dreams can’t be literally constructed. Some of the best fashion shows, or partnerships and launches, have been the fruit of long-standing collaborations with set design or research studios, working to recreate the worlds surrounding the clothes produced by fashion designers. Here we explore some of the most prolific collaborations between architecture and design studios with fashion brands.

OMA/AMO

The relationship between Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas’ design studio, AMO, is a long-standing one dating back to 2004. Prada has welcomed her guests to scenographic theatres of all types at the former Prada HQ on Via Fogazzaro, Fondazione Prada, and in Paris for Miu Miu.

Spring Summer 2023 Prada Man,
Welcome to Prada’s paper playhouse. This past menswear fashion week, AMO transformed the space into an oversized home with walls, windows, floors, and curtains constructed from rolls of heavyweight raw-edged paper, taking a folded paper model to absurd proportions in the entire space. The kid-like atmosphere constructed by the studio, created an interplay of scales giving the feeling of being inside a gigantic mock-up space. Paper rolls were organized at different heights to create oversized doorways that lead to the following rooms and fixed, at their raw edge end, to metal truss systems that span across the ceiling of the Fondazione Prada.

Miu Miu Spring Summer 2022,

Amo Studio collaborated with the Moroccan digital artist Meriem Bennani on the set design for the Miu Miu show, held in Paris inside the Palais de Iena. Merging video installations with physical elements, a snaking white pathway was constructed inside the building, dotted by a series of ocular-shaped screens projecting a remake of the show with models strutting down the runway while focusing on the reactions of a casted audience through their wild facial expressions and small conversations. To add a cinematic effect, guests were seated on Eames office chairs which were placed all around the runway.

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Courtesy of Prada

prada, fashion, salone milano, design

Courtesy of Prada

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Courtesy of Fendi

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BUREAU BETAK

Alexandre de Betak is the founder of Bureau Betak, a production studio for runway shows, installations, and exhibitions running for more than 25 years.

Fendi Haute Couture Spring Summer 2022

Kim Jones is known for his ability to reinvent fashion house codes in a contemporary manner. Echoing this innovative will to add some ultra-modern flair to the game was the set commissioned to Bureau Betak, which constructed skeletons of Rome’s ancient monuments using stage lights. These lights formed the ethereal backdrop to the show, setting the city’s famous arches and Doric columns aglow with a sci-fi phosphorescence.

Fendi Fall Winter 2022

The starkness of post-modern architecture never fails to be stupefacient. For Fendi’s Fall Winter show, Alexander de Betak collaborated with Fendi creative director Kim Jones on a minimal set offset by swooping brutalist arches which had a sci-fi feel, as they were set aglow by a pulsing light display. The grey set tipped its hat to post-modernism and Jones did the same with his collection, contrasting it with ruffled chiffons with sharp tailoring – a juxtaposition heightened by the starkness of Bureau Betak’s backdrop.

alexandre de betak, fendi, fashion, design, salone milano

Courtesy of Fendi

ES DEVLIN

48-year-old British set designer Es Devlin has risen to fame for her multimedia installations merging light, music, and language, and her work for fashion clients has indeed left a mark on the creative landscape.

Saint Laurent Spring Summer 2023
After working for more than five years with Louis Vuitton, the British designer most recently produced a glowing metal ring for fashion house Saint Laurent's Spring Summer 2023 menswear show in the Moroccan desert. Inspired by Paul Bowles' 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky, Devlin produced a monolithic in the middle of the Agafay desert, which stood in the middle of a mirror-clad colonnade, surrounding rows of dusty red, stone-like stools created by local artisans, as well as a circular oasis-cum-pond at the center of the show space.

Dior Spring Summer 2022 Menswear
Dior’s Spring Summer 2022 Menswear show was a collaboration between Es Devlin, creative director Kim Jones and Travis Scott, a native of Texas. The collection named “Cactus Jack Dior,” was presented on a set of adapted initial sketches of a row of cacti, transforming them into roses and blowing them up to outsized scales along an 80-meter-long runway. Devlin’s set also merged elements from Monsieur Dior’s Garden with the dry Texan landscape, where horned skulls of desert creatures are found to be left scorched in the sun.

Finally, this year, in a surprising turn of events, Milan Fashion Week, usually the launching ground for fashion collections will present a collaboration between an Italian design brand and a Parisian fashion brand.

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Courtesy of YSL/Es Devlin

cc-tapis and P.A.M.

Enter cc-tapis, a well-respected Milan-based rug brand P.A.M (Perks and Mini), a fashion and lifestyle label based in Paris, founded by husband-and-wife duo Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey. This September, the two brands will drop a limited-edition collection turning iconic P.A.M. pieces into an out-of-scale collection of woolen rugs.  Celebrating the guilty pleasures related to the act of undressing, the collection includes five hand-tufted rugs produced by Indian artisans, explicitly created for the world of e-commerce, maintaining the quality and attention to detail that cc-tapis is known for.

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cc-tapis, P.A.M, Floordrobe Collection, ph. Piotr Niepsuj

cc-tapis, p.a.m, sweater, salone milano, fashion, design

cc-tapis, P.A.M, Floordrobe Collection, courtesy of cc-tapis

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22 September 2022