Ermenegildo Zegna Couture: artistic director Alessandro Sartori worked with the Swiss artist Thomas Flechtner on a snow-sprinkled show set in Milan’s Bocconi University. Sartori was inspired by Flechtner’s 2002 series SNOW – a powdery patch of artificial snow formed the floor of the catwalk, which was lined with graphic ice blocks.
Centre stage: A/W 2018 menswear’s most eye-catching show venues
Marni: creative director Francesco Risso created a scrapyard-like show set for his A/W 2018 menswear offering. Guests entered a run-down industrial space on Viale Umbria in Milan, to be greeted with a space laid with crunchy, grey gravel and festooned with objects including a disused dodgem car, jerry can, giant giraffe cuddly toy, bags of flour and worn out leather suitcases. These unusual objects formed the seating for the show, and had editors whispering as to whether the flour of choice was gluten-free.
Thom Browne: the brand staged a wintry scene at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, with a set populated with fake powdery snow and leafless birch trees. The centre of the space was lined with sleeping bag-topped ski loungers in the label’s signature red white and blue, appearing like resting stations for explorers at the base of a snowy Thom Browne mountain. At the show’s climax, models in grey all-in-ones, unzipped each sleeping bag and snuggled inside.
Prada: the Milanese brand came equipped with storage solutions for A/W 2018, working with regular collaborators AMO (the research arm of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA studio) on crate stacked show space in a new venue on Viale Ortles. The ‘Prada Warehouse’ came complete with boxes stamped with imaginary Prada logos and visual motifs of the brand, from a banana stamp, stegosaurus and UFO, to the name of the label spelt backwards. Corrugated metal formed the base of the catwalk, while wood-chipped OSB benches and plastic wrapped boxes acted as seating.
Lanvin: artistic director Lucas Ossendrijver created not one but four runways for his A/W 2018 menswear show, held in the Grande Verrière of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. These lengths were lined with foldable wooden seats and populated with long vertical stands holding rows of spotlights, which illuminated the catwalk.
Dirk Bikkembergs: inspired by the many facets of the art world, designer Lee Wood lined his show space with storage crates and featured dilapidated benches and flooring, which evoked the rough and splintered back of a canvas. Distorting mirrored columns brought a sense of depth to the space on Via Compagnoni in Milan, and soft spotlights nodded to those found in museum exhibition halls.
Maison Margiela: creative director John Galliano presented his debut men’s runway show for the Parisian house at the Musée de l’Armée, Hôtel des Invalides. The military museum boasts a collection half a million artefacts strong, spanning from the the Middle Ages to the Second World War. Inside a columned and frescoed hall, Galliano erected a sleek white show set, with a yellow glyph painted at its centre, designed to represent the synergy of a universal language.
Dior Homme: working with regular collaborator Etienne Russo, Kris Van Assche created a show space at the Grand Palais’ salon d’honneur in Paris that was centrally lined with glass boxes filled with coloured fairground lights. The 185 red, blue, green and yellow bulbs were assembled inside three cases over three days and nights. When the show began, each box began to fill with smoke. Photography: Adrien Dirand
Kenzo: designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim presented a live performance piece inspired by Leon’s sister’s LA wedding in the nineties. The set included a dining and living room set up of Leon’s family home, complete with cutlery, a Champagne bottle and discarded clothes, a car with a Californian number plate and a laundromat. Photography: Harry Matenaer
Alexander McQueen: for her menswear shows, Sarah Burton always creates weaving geometric catwalks made from squares of wooden slats, lined with foldable wooden chairs. For A/W 2018, this set up took on a punkish turn, with the wooden runway painted varying shades of washed out red. Photography: Chloe Le Drezen
Berluti: Haider Ackermann is renowned for his exploration of colour and texture, and for his A/W 2018 offering for Berluti, he decided to cover the runway at the Grand Palais’ Galerie sud-est in Paris with a layer of tactile light pink velvet. Erotic and sensual, saccharine and sugary, the set made for a great talking and touching point on the front row.
AMI: Alexandre Mattiussi raised the roof by designing his show to appear as the roof of a cavernous building, the set at Rue de Bercy was lined with tiles, windows and television aerials. A bluish light made the models appear as if they were walking the skyline of a city at night.
Cerruti 1881: the sleek and stark runway set at the Palais de Tokyo was lined with lengths of mirrored gold metal suspended from the ceiling and a row of white lighting tubes held in place by stands on the ground. These lengths of tubular light reflected back into the shining strips, creating a double visual effect for the audience.
Craig Green: at the Workshop in South London, Green created a dark set with graphic lengths of black fabric hanging from the ceiling. The material hung like a suspended maze above the ground, and as the show began, models walked between the grid system they created, illuminated with bright beams of light.
Mackintosh: creative director Kiko Kostadinov’s first fully fledged runway show for the brand was a circular stage set held in a space on the Rue Volney in Paris. The set featured grey felt flooring and curving benches, with a raised sky blue catwalk at its centre. Designed by Thomas Petherick, the set’s colour tones also featured on the brand’s tactile show invitation.