janv. 082019
févr. 262018

Business Of Fashion- 24 février 2018

Prada On the Edge

Miuccia Prada showed a collection founded on oppositions, extreme power and extreme femininity — where sweetness read as a disguise, a distraction and a dare.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — The exhibition that currently takes up most of the space at the Fondazione Prada covers the years when Mussolini was in power in Italy. It has an aching timeliness with its detailing of the impact that an autocratic popinjay can have on popular culture. “My thoughts are influencing the Fondazione,” Miuccia Prada declared after her show on Thursday night. It made sense to assume some connection between what she is showing in her galleries, and what she showed on her catwalk.

It was a sensational idea, if not particularly elevating. What it makes clear is how much creativity suffered under Fascism. “When things are getting bad, even art disappears,” Miuccia acknowledged. “And what worries me for the art, worries me for the fashion.” But that has sparked a quiet fury in her. “We have to be ready to identify and respond,” she added. So what she showed were clothes for women who were ready to resist. It made for a collection founded on oppositions: extreme power and extreme femininity. Paillettes, tulle petticoats and bows in the same outfit as padded tech pieces. “My excuse for the show was the freedom of a woman in the night, super-sexy without being bothered.” I believe I heard Miuccia say that. “How to be powerful and still be feminine.”

Laudable. It reminded me of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” a movie a whole lot more people should see, if only because it couches the #TimesUp debate — and its partner #MeToo — in such primal, incontrovertible terms. “#MeToo? I think about it since so many years,” said Miuccia. “It’s time to really make it happen.”

Maybe this collection was her contribution to facilitation. There was a lot of sweet prom dress girliness balanced on ankle socks and heels — there was even a manga flapper, sheathed in electric filaments — but it was matched to bulky tweeds and sporty nylons, hyper-protective. There was even a variation of the sanitation worker that Raf Simons offered at Calvin Klein. Defensive, vaguely apocalyptic. In that context, the sweetness, in embroidered tulle veils, read as a disguise, a distraction, a dare. You hardly needed Bill Murray and Wes Anderson in the front row to underline the depth of irony in such a notion. And the discombobulating layering of Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack — Blondie, Bryan Ferry, Tom Waits — only added to the dislocated mood.

The show took place in the top floors of a recently completed tower in the Fondazione Prada compound. In the arid industrial space below were mounted neons of Prada iconography: The bananas! The monkey! It’s the art of Prada to make you feel on the edge of something. She did it again.

Vogue UK – 22 février 2018

11 Epic Prada Sets We Loved

by ELISA CARASSAI

MILAN Fashion Week rolls round again, and anticipation is mounting for the Prada show. But it’s not just about the clothes – we’re just as eager to see the sets. A long-standing collaborator with Rem Koolhaas’ design studio, AMO (it also designed Fondazione Prada in Milan), Miuccia Prada has, since 2007, been welcoming her guests with scenographic theatres of all types at Prada HQ on Via Fogazzaro, minus a couple of exceptions. Her most recent pre-fall show, for instance, was held in the warehouse that holds pending artworks for Fondazione Prada, causing fashion insiders to speculate on this season’s location. Here, we relive 11 spectacular sets that still pack a visual punch.

Autumn/winter 2013 menswear: “The Ideal House”
This was the season that AMO studio collaborated with American-German company Knoll on a series of design objects for the ‘ideal home’, with an interior populated with geometric furniture, objects and manifestations of everyday life, with screens that featured interior and exterior views onto a cityscape.

Spring/summer 2014 menswear: “Menacing Paradise”
Conceived by AMO studio as an abstract representation of a small town, the spring menswear set was lined with murals of tropical palm trees, sunsets, helicopters and “menacing” shapes. Helicopters whirled on the soundtrack to add to the threatening mood.

Spring/summer 2014: “In the Heart of the Multitude”
Artists came together to collaborate with Prada on a series of murals and illustrations that mused on themes of femininity, representation, power and multiplicity. Inspired by the politically-charged murals of Diego Rivera, muralists including Gabriel Specter and Stinkfish and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet saw their work almost enveloping the audience – and making its way onto clothes. The main surprise? Britney Spears was on the soundtrack.

Spring/summer 2015: “Outdoor / Indoor / Outdoor, 2”
For the previous menswear show, AMO had transformed the show space into a swimming pool. They reversed the impulse for the womenswear show, erecting purple dunes which were a stunning and unexpected backdrop, with models pacing through the desert on a brown carpet that lined the edges of the set.

Autumn/winter 2015: “The Infinite Palace”
Blue and black “fake” marble lined the walls of the men’s show, which sported metal ceilings and metal floors; Frédéric Sanchez put Front 242 on the soundtrack.

Autumn/winter 2015 womenswear: “The Infinite Palace”
A Wes Anderson-like palette of pale greens and sugary pinks covered the walls of the womenswear show space, punctuated by aluminium inserts on doors and floors to create a hyper-intimate environment. “Sweet…” said Miuccia Prada, of the sugar-spun saturation of colour on the clothes and the set, “but violent. I wanted impact. How can you be strong with pastels?”

Spring/summer 2016: “Indefinite Hangar”
Billed as an investigation of “the perception of continuous space through an invasion of the ceiling”, the spring set featured fibreglass and polycarbonate “stalactites” hanging from the ceiling, illuminated by an orange glow.

Spring/summer 2017: “Total Space”
This was the show where AMO Studio built a mesh ramp on the remnants of the previous season’s set. Defined as “layers of different architectures”, the ramp was illuminated by lights, and was conceived by American director David O. Russell as a surreal dreamscape, and featured a preview of his collaborative short film with Prada, Past Forward.

Resort 2018: “Suspended Ensemble”
For the first time, Prada showcased its resort show in its newly renovated Osservatorio, a top-floor exhibition space for contemporary photography in the Prada store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Millennial pink and mirrors combined with benches oriented towards a rooftop view of the Galleria’s dome.

Autumn/winter 2017: “Teen Dream”
Inspired by the “bare simplicity of everyday life”, AMO studio constructed a series of domestic set-ups lined by an extending wooden ‘boiserie’, a partition between the private, Seventies-inspired teenage bedrooms and an urban front covered in posters.

Spring/summer 2018: “A Story Within a Story”
Designed by AMO studio in collaboration with NYC-based design studio 2×4, the spring set featured the work of eight visionary artists – including Brigid Elva, Giuliana Maldini, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples – whose artistic aim was to illustrate women in a “uniquely empowering way”. The graphic panels also included archival work of Tarpé Mills, creator of the first female action hero – which popped up again in the collection.

Dazed & Confused – February 26, 2016

Miuccia Prada explores the complexities of womanhood

Speaking backstage of the many roles women have to play, the designer presented a vision of strong and multifaceted femininity

Earlier this week in Milan, Alessandro Michele debuted a collection for Gucci that was based on the idea of fashion operating as a coded visual language in which history, time, politics, and identity are contained. Although he picked on references as far-reaching as the Renaissance, rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary street art, it’s not unfair to say that his signs were easy to follow – your eyes could seek out a Chinese-inspired collar, a disco-style platform boot, or a 60s velvet dress layered over a pussybow blouse. That’s not to say these garments weren’t visually arresting or technically complex, crafted with incredible, painstaking skill. But when the word “real” is spray-painted above a Gucci logo, it isn’t hard to get the message.

The same has never quite been true of Miuccia Prada’s collections – this is fashion that demands considered thought, reflection extending far into the hours, days and weeks after the final model has exited the catwalk. Yes, the signs are there and the references are familiar, but they appear somehow foreign – like the scattered, dreamlike symbols of a Giorgio di Chirico painting, which the show space’s chiaroscuro arches seemed to take inspiration from. Building on the foundations laid by January’s menswear show, last night Prada’s girls walked in sailor hats, fur coats and Hawaiian prints, decorated with keys, roses, corsets, notebooks, knitted gloves and socks and many other accoutrements besides. They were dressed, said Mrs Prada, for an adventure – rather than waiting, forlorn, for a long-lost love to return from a voyage, they were the ones doing the travelling.

“They were dressed, said Mrs Prada, for an adventure – rather than waiting, forlorn, for a long-lost love to return from a voyage, they were the ones doing the travelling”
The clue was in the music, where PJ Harvey’s grazing voice sung of having traversed “hell and high water”, and the alluring drawl of Nico name-dropped the Titanic. “Women – iconic women, strong women and poetic women”, summed up music maestro Frédéric Sanchez backstage of the soundtrack, which also featured Marilyn Monroe and Edith Piaf. From Harvey’s furry armpits, lurid green eyeshadow and expressive, handsome features, to Monroe’s archetypal blonde bombshell beauty, each of these women had radically different ways of performing their femininity and all of their interpretations were equally valid. Miuccia’s model muses may have been going on a journey, but Mrs Prada herself was the one travelling – into ideas and expectations of femininity, into the varied and complex nature of woman.

This found its footing in the prints by artist Christophe Chemin, which went from depicting what you might call A Room of One’s Own to surreal mountainous landscapes dotted with female figures. Then, the little objects in the collection – tiny diaries and charms – both decorated and commented on the way women themselves are often reduced to decoration (and made you wonder what secrets the models might have been scrawling in the gilded books). Corsets, a torturous symbol of constraint employed to force the female body into unnatural and yet desired silhouettes, were tied loosely over the top of tweedy jackets; trousers were not on the menu. Keys were worn on thick metal rings around the neck – a paradoxical, slightly kinky visual of both knowledge and imprisonment. Still, perhaps more than anything, this collection felt like a statement of strength in the feminine – these women were weather-beaten but proud, adorned with rose details which looked pretty, but came carved from steel. Backstage, Prada said succinctly that women simply have more facets than men. After all, they have to be mothers, lovers, workers, daughters and sisters – perhaps most importantly, they are supposed to be beautiful. The expectations of

Still, perhaps more than anything, this collection felt like a statement of strength in the feminine – these women were weather-beaten but proud, adorned with rose details which looked pretty, but came carved from steel. Backstage, Prada said succinctly that women simply have more facets than men. After all, they have to be mothers, lovers, workers, daughters and sisters – perhaps most importantly, they are supposed to be beautiful. The expectations of woman. Is there a more ‘Prada’ topic for a collection than that?

Fall 2015 Menswear Style.com
Comme des Garçons

January 23, 2015

A Comme des Garçons show can often seem like an arcane ritual, whose meaning is ever so slightly out of reach. For her menswear show today, Rei Kawakubo might have been deliberately courting the notion of secret ceremonies. The scene was set by Frederic Sanchez’s standout soundtrack, which mixed the eerie liturgical drone of Jocelyn Pook’s music for the masked ball sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut with the electronica of Italian musician Alessandro Cortini. The clothes were a similar blend of the disciplined and the unhinged, a florid second skin designed by tattoo artist Joseph Ari Aloi, aka JK5, underpinning conservative suitings that had been sliced and reconstituted on the diagonal to create the vertiginous sense of a world slipping sideways.

In a season where word play on clothing has become a major fashion subtext, JK5’s messages seemed particularly pointed, when they were decipherable. “Born to Die” was recurrent, so were statements about beauty, and the exhortation to “Fight Off Your Demons.” To this viewer at least, the ceremonial aspect felt like something to do with the passage of young men to war (an impression that was scarcely lessened by the helmetlike hats some of the models were wearing). The presentation journeyed from somber tailoring through the chaos of JK5’s imagery to a series of jackets articulated almost like armor to a closing passage of pure white pieces literally overlaid with animal print, and bearing on the back some of South African photographer Roger Ballen’s profoundly disturbing images (unfortunately unviewable in the 2-D world of catwalk record). A nod to the beast without? Or an angelic ascension? Layers of meaning are fundamental to ritual: what is seen, what is sought. Kawakubo is almost alone in her ability to apply such layers to fashion.

style.com

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