Scene-stealing runway sets from the S/S 2019 menswear shows
Prada: after a season showing away from its HQ, Prada returned to the Via Fogazzaro with a purple-hued show set-up resembling a blueprint of a building, inspired by the strict grid system of Cartesian coordinates. The brand worked with regular collaborators AMO, fitting transparent cube seats inside square outlines. The chairs were an exclusive recommission of a 1960s design by Danish furniture designer Verner Panton. The plastic of the seating was complemented by the shrinkwrap which was used to line the walls of the show space.
AMI: last season Alexandre Mattiussi imagined a runway set high on the rooftops of a city, but for S/S 2019 he transported guests back to the rolling fields of his rural upbringing. Undulating sheaves of wheat spread across the catwalks, like golden ears lining the Normandy hills. Models strode among the rustling grasses, as if walking in the amber haze of a countryside evening. Photography: Stephane Deroussent. Show produced by OBO.
Maison Margiela Artisanal: for the brand’s debut Artisanal menswear offering, creative director John Galliano invited American artist (and previous collaborator) Tony Matelli to present his series of vanitas sculptures on the runway of the brand’s atelier in Paris. The four Greco-inspired concrete and marble pieces appear as if scattered with fruit, but in fact the limes, watermelons and oranges are cast in bronze and painted as if freshly picked. Read more here
Marni: inside Milan’s cavernous underground parking lot Torre Velasca, Marni’s Francesco Risso had working out on the mind, erecting a retro underground gym runway set. Guests sat upon gym balls coloured in green and black. Inviting and infinitely toning, they bounced in clean contrast to A/W 2018’s scrapyard-esque show seating, made up gasoline cans, vacuum cleaners and bags of compost.
Hermès: The French maison didn’t air its dirty laundry in public, instead it hung out crisp white vests and shirts on washing lines for all to see. The garments, suspended within the walls of the maison’s Paris headquarters, had front rowers fretting about their suitcases of spoiled clothing, from day after day spent at fashion week. Photography: Villa Eugénie
Craig Green: the Boboli Gardens might be a familiar scene for Florence natives, but when it acted as the location of Craig Green’s S/S 2019 menswear show at Pitti Uomo 94, something seemed a little strange. The shadowy shapes of models began to drift into sight in the darkness, with deliberately displaced cloth dividers and glitchy hues, adding to the mind-bending sense of mystery. Photography: Scintilla Design
Dior: for Kim Jones’ debut show for the brand, the newly appointed creative director erected a 10m cartoon effigy of the maison’s founder in the midst of a circular runway. Designed by American artist Kaws, the wood and polystyrene sculpture was covered in 70,000 peonies and roses, and was a green-fingered nod to the gardens that surrounded Christian Dior’s garden childhood home in Granville. Watch the behind the set video here. Photography: Adrien Dirand
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture: in 1968, Oscar Niemeyer began construction on the Mondadori headquarters outside Milan, the same year that Ermenegildo Zegna began presenting ready-to-wear. For the brand’s S/S 2019 show, a catwalk ran the distance between the two pools facing the historic building. ‘It is the perfect place to unleash the Zegna crew of individuals,’ said the brand’s artistic director Alessandro Sartori.
MSGM: in line with the sporting sensibility in Milan, MSGM held its show in a secondary school gymnasium filled with colourful volleyballs. Guests took their seats in the bleachers to watch the show: an imagined creative showdown between Milan and Rimini (where creative director Massimo Giorgetti grew up). Game, show-set, match.
No 21: plastic sheets danced in the wind as guests arrived at the headquarters of Milanese brand No 21. The plastic, which was made from the same vivid red, blue and white PVC used in the quilted trench coats, envelope bags and shirt details in the collection, reflected a kaleidoscopic hue into the stark, concrete space. Photography: Mathias Wendzinski for EYESIGHT.
Rick Owens: at the brand’s usual Palais de Tokyo location in Paris, billowing clouds of coloured smoke swathed Rick Owens’ open-air runway setting. Guests received face masks with their invitations to protect them from the smoke fumes, the sense of unease and danger inspired by the Tower of Babel, a building which was once designed to reach heaven, but led to chaos and confusion, and visions of the world as foggy as the blue, red and green smoke which filled the air. Image courtesy of OWENSCORP
Cerruti 1881: densely crisscrossing wires webbed over a dimly lit runway in the Grand Palais. Blinking traffic lights transported guests to the urban bustle of Tokyo neighbourhood Shimokitazawa and nodded to the Japanese textile design which inspired the S/S 2019 collection. Photography: OBO & Stephane Deroussent
A-COLD-WALL*: guests were asked to don plastic goggles, ear plugs and dust masks as they entered the stark Old Truman Brewery space in London, which housed A-COLD-WALL* S/S 2019 runway show. LVMH finalist Samuel Ross’ collection explored man’s relationship with brutalism, and as the show began, the brick rubble strewn on the catwalk was thrown into the air by huge fans, leaving audience members feeling as if they were slap bang in the midst of a building site.
Sacai: in an industrial venue underneath Rue Béranger, similar to a stylish lock-up, Chitose Abe presented her latest co-ed show in Paris, Models made their way through a maze of piled stereo speakers, roped and tied off as if they were ready for shipment. Photography: Stéphane Aït Ouarab for La Mode en Images
Louis Vuitton: for Virgil Abloh’s debut show as the creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, the designer erected a 200 metre-long rainbow runway inside the Palais-Royale gardens in Paris. The catwalk was created from large swathes of canvas, and its kaleidoscopic detail recalled the Wizard of Oz soundtrack ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ a film which inspired Abloh’s inclusive ready-to-wear debut.
Alexander McQueen: for her menswear shows in Paris, Sarah Burton erects weaving geometric catwalks constructed from wooden slats in varying shades. For S/S 2019 she swapped timber for something for synthetic, constructing a catwalk from a grid of grey plastic slats, lined with the label’s usual foldable wooden chairs.
Kenzo: artistic directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon were musically minded for S/S 2019, creating a jazz club-inspired music venue at the Maison de la Mutalitié in Paris. Ensembles of musicians (dressed in head-to-toe Kenzo, of course) set a soundscape filled with swinging melodies, while dancing spotlights lit the runway. Huge hanging blooms which were suspended from the ceiling, lending a lush element to the concert scene. Photography: Yang Wang