Jan 31, 2013

The Ideal House at Prada

What would one do without a good runway show or two? Even though a primary objective of fashion shows are to bring focus on the clothes, there is no denying the necessity of a captivating runway set to generate press and interest. Who can forget Chanel's runway sets for instance, that are frequently elaborate and memorable (from gigantic glacier to oversized carousel to humongous Chanel No.5 perfume bottle), or, Dior's flora-infused walls during Raf Simon's debut for A/W12 haute couture show? 

The relatively recent Prada menswear A/W13 runway set has left me (and many others, I believe) in awe, as far as runway sets are concerned. Thanks to the genius work of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas' OMA and AMO, which have been collaborating with Prada since over a decade ago, the think tank have created a succession of memorable backdrops for Miuccia Prada's men's and women's collections. Debuting at the S/S04 menswear show, OMA first designed a series of posters to line the runway in the Prada Fondazione. The collaboration subsequently evolved into a Bauhaus-style decor for men's S/S07, a spiralling orange structure (men's A/W07), an underwater world (men's S/S08), a metal elevated stage (S/S11) and foam cars (women's A/W12).

This time around a retro-futuristic feel of the inside of an apartment is taken as an inspiration for the stage set. Low-slung furnitures in the combination of metal, wood, stud-shaped foams and Plexiglass adorn a make-believe apartment. Manifestations of every day life are also incorporated with items like stereos, laptops, telephone and books that seemed to be spray-painted in bubble gum colors, play as part of the decor. And there's an adorable life-like graphic cat on the window pane as well... 

Of course, not all runway sets require theatrics and all the bells and whistles. There are times when the subject supposed to be highlighted is solely the clothes, where details matter in the first place. Inevitably sets like Yohji Yamamoto is well-known for being starkly simple. But that, is a different ball game altogether.

Words and images by Hafidzudin Zainal

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