Acne Studios: Creative director Jonny Johansson opted for a runway reversal for S/S 2018, with guests entering the presentation’s catwalk space at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie from the back entrance. Arriving in the space via its catwalk, guests were greeted by models seated on foldable wooden chairs, elevated on a raised platform. In a role swap, they voyeuristically watched the guests as they entered the show space.
Prada: Working with regular collaborators AMO (the research arm of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA studio) and New York design studio 2x4, Miuccia Prada created an illustrated runway set at the brand’s Milan HQ, inspired by graphic novels. Featuring comic book narratives by the the illustrator James Jean and Belgian graphic artist Ollie Schrauwen, the walls of the space were covered with unsettling black and white graphic illustrations, interspersed with splashes of colour.
Marni: For his second menswear collection for Marni, creative director Francesco Risso presented his S/S 2018 collection in a vast industrial space in Milan. Rows of seating were created from long wooden benches, cushioned with retro-hued panels of leather. With a touch of beachside flair, the benches sat on long inflatable rows of clear plastic.
Paul Smith: The designer presented his show at the Lycée Carnot in Paris against a backdrop of multicoloured screens. The prismatic colours of the runway set, which also featured a lilac runway, nodded to the London-designer’s decision to partner with Instagram and paint the west wall of his famed LA store with a rainbow flag in honour of June’s LA Pride Parade. Photography: Sonny Photos
Ami: Alexandre Matussi transformed Ami’s runway space in the Cité de la Mode et du Design into a beachside landscape. The designer was inspired by Paris-Plages, the temporary beach that is set up each summer along the River Seine in the French capital, featuring deckchairs and volleyball pitches. In an otherworldly spin, the creative director dyed the sand a vibrant shade of pink. Photography: Yann Deret
Philipp Plein: For his #Fast&Glorious show in Milan, the German-designer created a Grease-inspired showset. In the brand’s typically ostentatious style, the runway show featured 15 supercars hurtling at break neck speed across the space, accompanied by a group of performers singing a rendition of the musical’s soundtrack.
Comme des Garçons Homme Plus: For her disco-themed runway show in Paris, Rei Kawakubo erected a raised platform illuminated with an array of colourful spotlights. Enchancing the disco-inspired mise en scène, models danced and cavorted on the square catwalk to a soundtrack produced by the renowned producer Frédéric Sanchez.
Craig Green: For his first show in a private venue, London designer Craig Green sought out the spooky railway arches near Southwark underground station. Models walked within the cavernous rooms of the space, the cracked stone runway illuminated with spotlights, and the rows of seating shrouded in darkness. Photography: Amy Gwatkin
Lanvin: Head of menswear Lucas Ossendrijver recruited Villa Eugénie to create a lighting focused runway set at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. Strip lighting and floodlights were suspended from the ceiling of the space and from podiums on the runway, evoking the illuminations used at sports stadiums and open air music venues. Photography: Daniel Sims for Villa Eugénie
Thom Browne: The American designer presented his eponymous S/S 2018 show at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The designer created an enclosed show space, lined with grey fabric and wooden foldable chairs, in contrast to the classical location, its walls lined with mosaics and marble statues. At either end of the catwalk were two vitrines, one featuring a pair of flat gold brogues, and the other a similar version with 2in high heels.
Hugo: A guest designer at Pitti Uomo 2018, the German brand held its men’s and women’s S/S 2018 show in a vast disused cigar factory. Working with Villa Eugénie, designers Bart de Backer and Jenny Swank Krasteva created a concrete catwalk sprayed with carpet-like graffiti, the nighttime show illuminated with hundreds of candles suspended in the air. Photography: Mathieu Ridelle for Villa Eugénie
JW Anderson: The London-based designer’s debut show as a guest at Pitti Uomo 2018 was held at the splendid Villa La Pietra in the foothills outside Florence. Created in collaboration with Laura Holmes Production, the grassy runway featured seven fabric sculptures by the Loewe Craft Prize finalist Anne Low (Anderson is also at the creative helm of the Spanish house), and was lined with classic figurative sculptures and white monogrammed pillows.
Moncler Gamme Bleu: Thom Browne presented a landscape that simultaneously spoke of alpine adventures and beachside downtime. The deck-chair lined catwalk of the Via Solari space in Milan, featured a neutral catwalk that evoked both sand and snow. One half was lined with tropical palm trees, and the other lined with rows of snow-sprinkled pines.
Birkenstock: The German shoe-brand made its fashion week debut in Paris, erecting a tent inside the Tuileries Gardens for its first runway show. The verdant runway space featured was transformed into a luscious plant filled greenhouse. Eighty female and male models walked a curving catwalk that meandered amid the shrubbery.
Dior Homme: Kris Van Assche worked with regular collaborator Etienne Russo of Villa Eugénie on a grassy show set with a dynamic ceiling resembling a starry night sky. Nearly 1,000m worth of fluttering black streamers hung from the roof of the Salon d’Honneur in the Grand Palais, draping in lengths of 90cm, evoking a dark night sky glinting with stars. Photography: Adrian Dirand
Salvatore Ferragamo: The brand’s minimalist all-white runway set at Milan’s Piazza Affari, featured featured undulating stacked seating at its centre, resembling gently curving islands. Surrounded the catwalk were sprawling vases of greenery with leaves extending to the ceiling, lending the space a greenhouse-inspired aesthetic.
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture: Artistic director Alessandro Sartori held his second runway show at the helm of the brand, in the courtyard of the University of Milan, a space he spent time relaxing in during his chilhood. Sartori created a futuristic garden, which guests entered through a maze lined with mirrors and screens projecting video’s of the brand’s artisans at work. The exterior courtyard was littered with tangerine gravel and mirrored steps, a single tree placed at its centre.
Alexander McQueen: In a showspace located in l’Orangerie du Sénat in Paris, Sarah Burton created a weaving geometric catwalk constructed from squares of wooden panels. The beams of the grid-like catwalk were lined with gravel and interspersed with golden wooden chairs.
Kenzo: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon held the brand’s S/S 2018 show in the grounds of the Lycée Camille-Sée in Paris. Opened in 1935, the school’s concrete, pink granite and marble debris exterior acted as the backdrop of the show, and its mosaic floor the runway. Throughout, acrobats positioned on the school’s windows, abseiled dramatically down its frontage. Photography: Yang Wang
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