Scene-stealing runway sets from the S/S 2020 menswear shows
Loewe: Creative director Jonathan Anderson often amalgamates artworks into his show venue designs. For his S/S 2020 men’s show at regular runway venue Maison de l’Unesco in Paris, the designer collaborated with agency Laura Holmes Production, and populated nine monitors, mounted on vertical chrome columns and trolleys around the space, showing filmic tableaux by the London-based artist and Turner Prize nominee Hilary Lloyd. These included the hopping strobe-lit ‘Easter Bunny’ (2016). Photography: Manuel Braun
Nanushka: For Sandra Sandor’s first fully fledged menswear presentation in an open courtyard in Paris, the Nanushka founder and creative director collaborated with set design supreme Bureau Betak on a series of dark wood, amber mirror graphic stone sculptures which lined the space. Models posed insouciantly next to the forms, like figures in a sculpture garden, and guests lounged on striking furniture in the sun.
Acne Studios: There was an organic élan behind founder Jonny Johansson’s show venue concept for the Swedish house. The brand’s S/S 2020 show space, held inside Maison de la Radio in Paris, was inspired by an outdoors landscape of rolling hills. Here – in collaboration with production agency Eyesight – undulating benches populated the minimalist space, swathed not in moss but in textured carpet, an allusion to the materials used to line the shelves and display features in the brand’s global stores.
Sunnei: Founders Lors Messina and Simone Rizzo headed to a Milan highway bridge in the Rubattino neighbourhood on the outskirts of the Italian capital for the label’s S/S 2020 show. The 4000 sq m venue – which was painted stark white for the occasion – forms part of the brand’s ‘Bianco Sunnei’ project, a space which will play host to multidisciplinary events and exhibitions. ‘We wanted to do something that changes the city, something that we see happening in London and Paris but is often so hard to do Milan,’ Messina and Rizzo told Wallpaper* backstage after Sunnei’s show.
Dior: Artist collaborations have been high on men’s artistic director Kim Jones’ show venue design hitlist. His debut show featured a towering floral effigy of Monsieur Dior, created by American designer and artist Kaws and his Pre Fall 2019 show featured a 39-foot female cyborg designed by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama. Jones enlisted Daniel Arsham for his S/S 2020 show, and the American artist created ‘Dior’ lettered sculptures in his idiosyncratic calcified cement. These were positioned on a monochromatic pink catwalk inside the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Photography: Adrien Dirand
A-Cold-Wall*: The printing industry inspired founder Samuel Ross’ immersive S/S 2020 runway show. The designer decamped to Printworks in South East London, the former printing factory for the Metro and Evening Standard newspapers which was once Western Europe’s largest print facility. Here, inside its main multi floor dance room, a 30-metre runway was erected, which in true form to Ross’ exploration of urban identities – was sprayed with clay mist and water as the show progressed.
Etro: In an unexpected twist, the Italian label presented its S/S 2020 show inside an industrial garage space in Milan. The show space, created in collaboration with production agency Eyesight, nodded to the label’s travel-inspired heritage, and featured a colourful world map on its raw runway, created from colourful grains of sand.
Lanvin: Creative director Bruno Sialelli made a real splash for his debut menswear show for the Parisian house, presenting his eccentric offering inside the Piscine Pailleron. The swimming pool was built in 1933 by Lucien Pollet, an architect who had a penchant for pool design. It was restored in the 2000s by architect Marc Mimram. The label is synonymous with the colour blue, and the hue was heavily featured in the summery space, from the azure benches which populated two balconies, to the bright blue shade of the pool itself.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin: Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s Centre Pompidou has inspired many a show set. Take Louis Vuitton’s A/W 2019 women’s show, which featured a recreated version of the museum erected outside the Louvre, or Vetements’ A/W 2017 catwalk, which featured models descending the escalators on the space’s ground floor. For Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s third runway offering, the burgeoning Paris talent held his show on one of the outdoor terraces of the Centre Pompidou’s fifth floor, a space never before used as a fashion show location. The space’s shallow pool sublimely evoked the wet-n’-wild inspiration behind the collection.
Marni: Creative director Francesco Risso created a deep blue-inspired show set for S/S 2020, transporting guest from Milan’s sunshine-flooded streets far below the ocean’s surface. Guests entered the brand’s regular industrial venue – which has in recent seasons been populated with exercise balls or stacks or bass-pounding speakers – and stood as if treading water under the surface of the sea. Above them – in an allusion to the harmful impact of plastic waste on the earth’s marine ecosystems – 37,000 pieces of plastic were suspended in heaving fishing nets. A S/S 2020 show space with socio-political impact.
Louis Vuitton: Inspired the poetic beauty of Paris’ streets, Virgil Abloh held Vuitton’s S/S 2020 show outdoors at the Place Dauphine. Guests lined cobbled streets, sat on forest green LV monograph branded park benches and garden chairs. Adding an element of outdoors enjoyment, a Louis Vuitton branded bouncy castle was also positioned amongst the scene, getting guests jumping for joy.
Off-White: The natural world often inspires the show venues of the label’s runway shows, from the spindly beech trees and crispy autumnal leaves that lined the brand’s A/W 2017 women’s catwalk to the mossy forest floor that formed the backdrop to its A/W 2019 men’s offering. At Carreau du Temple in Paris, Abloh got green fingered once again for S/S 2020, with a catwalk bordered by two flower beds of blooming white carnations, complete with a cheeky pointy hat-clad garden gnome.
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture: For A/W 2019, Alessandro Sartori held the Italian brand’s catwalk show inside the bustling entrance of Milan’s Milano Centrale train station. For S/S 2020 he had something a little more dilapidated in mind, holding the label’s show inside industrial shell of Area Falck – once the foundations of one of Italy’s oldest steel companies. The space has become an overgrown wasteland, and after playing host to the fashion world, it will soon be turned into a hub for health and science, architecturally conceived by Renzo Piano.
Rick Owens: In recent seasons, the designer has positioned a burning pyre at the centre of the brand’s catwalk on the terrace the Palais de Tokyo, but for S/S 2020 Owens opted to include in his show the black wire bronze by British artist Thomas Houseago erected in the outdoor location’s drained fountain for the artist’s ongoing retrospective. Houseago also allowed Owens to use an image of one of his wall sculptures as the brand’s invite art, and mounds of grey clay from his LA studio framed the catwalk. After the show, this was donated to students at The École des Beaux-Arts.
Thom Browne: In recent seasons the American designer has wrapped his show sets in bubble wrap and recreated a children’s book garden scene, complete with wendy houses and garden gnomes. For S/S 2020 Browne turned his show space at Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris into a Versailles country club. Chairs were covered in sleek white sheets, topiary trees were deconstructed and created in stark stripped back forms and in the centre of the catwalk, Browne alluded to American sporting traditions with an empty fountain filled with red and blue stripe basketball.