Why Prada took its Men’s Autumn/Winter Show back to the industrial

Milan – Last year, AMO – the research and design arm of renowned architecture firm OMA – placed Prada in the bedroom, advocating for a return to the intimate and the personal with its Continuous Interior concept. Now, AMO goes even further in its rejection of the glitzy and the hyper-technological with its design for Prada’s Men’s 2018 Autumn/Winter Fashion Show, contextualizing the runway in a warehouse to reference the creative contributions of architects and industrial designers in the collection.

AMO exposes the rough edges of the multifaceted brand, with Prada having invited Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Herzog & de Meuron and Rem Koolhaas himself of OMA to contribute to the 2018 A/W line of menswear. The rough edginess of the resulting asymmetrical apron, button-down shirt, and angular portfolio – all made of black nylon – are reflected in the raw structure and the OSB crates, plastic-wrapped packages and metal flooring that delineates the runway.

For a luxury fashion house to embrace nylon – a cheap thermoplastic textile that emerged in the war-torn 40s – seems in line with the daring choice to invite creatives from the furniture design and architecture fields to create couture. The collaboration gives the collection a distinct edge, which is unmistakably enhanced by the setting in the depositories of the Viale Ortles space. Surreal lighting adds ambiance to the raw, unfinished surfaces while the logos and branded graphics on the wooden crates hint at more luxurious contents. The setting provides a common ground for all creatives involved by recreating an aesthetic that underlies the work of the disparate disciplines.

Rem Koolhaas’s front-worn backpack repurposes the textile as a sort of human cladding, lining the body in a boxy form as if it were a three-tiered façade.

The industrial setting is an easy answer to adding contemporary edge to any aesthetic discipline, but the creative collaboration between architects, furniture designers and fashion brand make it a natural choice for the show. The venue also places Prada within the modern movement of adaptive reuse, where the built environment of the economic past is repurposed for present needs. Emphasizing the architectural slant of the collection, the set design and choice of location reinforces the Prada’s multifaceted brand position within interdependent creative disciplines.

oma.eu

Billboard: Simon Architecture Prize
Billboard: Simon Architecture Prize

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