Making a scene: the most eye-catching venues of the S/S 2018 womenswear shows
Chanel: Last season, Karl Lagerfeld blasted-off to the cosmos, with an interstellar space-station runway set. For S/S 2018, he presented a more down to earth show space at the Grand Palais (Paris), an immense set up that recreated the Verdon Gorge, a spectacular river canyon in southeast France. Models strode a narrow wooden walkway, surrounded by cascading waterfalls, verdant cliffs and grassy foliage, all of which were reused after the show. Photography: Olivier Saillant
Akris: A gathering of oversized and kaleidoscopic painted dolls greeted guests in the basement of the Palais de Tokyo (Paris). The wooden dolls, in painted states of perplexity, were designed by the renowned artist, interior designer and architect Alexander Girard, whose figurative creations were also replicated in colourful prints across the Swiss fashion house’s collection.
Anya Hindmarch: The London-based brand worked with regular collaborators Inca Productions on a S/S 2018 show set inspired by 1970s suburbia. Hindmarch erected a life-size house on stage, plastered with Anaglypta-inspired wallpaper. At the climax of the show, the label raised the roof to reveal a giant disco ball, which was propelled towards the ceiling of Lindley Hall.
Christian Dior: Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri erected a hall of mirrors in the gardens of the Musée Rodin (Paris). The designer was inspired by the French-American artist and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, and her twinkling show set, created over 20 days using 80,000 shards of glass and produced by Bureau Betak, evoked Phalle’s grotto in the Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover. Photography: Adrien Dirand
Givenchy: Creative director Clare Waight Keller held her debut show at the helm of the French maison at the the Palais de Justice (Paris). This was the first time that the imposing arched space in the Île de la Cité – the oldest arrondissement in Paris – had been used as a show space. The venue, lined with rows of futuristic mirrored benches for S/S 2018, will host the Givenchy show exclusively for the next three years.
Jil Sander: For their debut offering as the joint creative directors of the brand, Lucie and Luke Meier held an open air show at CityLife, a futuristic Zaha Hadid-designed residential complex in northeast Milan. The show was presented against a stark concrete backdrop, framed by distant treetops and the gently setting sun. ©CityLife. Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
JW Anderson: The London-based brand switched up its Yeomanry House show space in Bloomsbury for S/S 2018, with a set made of mundane plastic chairs spiralling in concentric circles. At the centre of the snail-like seating arrangement stood a curated domestic interior, featuring a a circular handwoven grass mat by Anthea Hamilton, a plinth of three abstract and figurative paintings by Isamu Noguchi, Nicholas Byrne and Franz Erhard Walther, and a smiling, pillow-inspired sculpture crafted from timber, also by Byrne.
Rick Owens: The brand held its open air show in the courtyard of the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) – the same setting as Owens’ S/S 2018 menswear show, which featured models striding along an immense elevated catwalk constructed from scaffolding. Height, too, was on the label’s mind for its womenswear show: black ponchos were placed on the rows of seating around the courtyard’s fountain, to protect guests from jets of water soaring high into the sky. Courtesy of OWENSCORP
Prada: For the brand’s S/S 2018 menswear show, Miuccia Prada plastered the walls of her brand’s runway set at its Milan HQ, with graphic novel-inspired illustrations by James Jean and Ollie Schrauwen. For its spring women’s offering, Prada worked with AMO and swathed the immense Via Fogazzaro space with colourful works by eight female graphic artists: Brigid Elva, Joëlle Jones, Stellar Leuna, Giuliana Maldini, Natsume Ono, Emma Ríos, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples, plus archive illustrations by Tarpé Mills.
Marni: For creative director Francisco Risso’s S/S 2018 Milanese menswear show in June, guests sat perched on sleek wooden benches upholstered in retro hued leather. For his womenswear offering, Risso reimagined this seating arrangement, with benches inside a large industrial space swathed in soft panels of red, white and cream leather and ponyskin.
Miu Miu: For the brand’s S/S 2018 show at Palais d’Iéna (Paris), designed in collaboration with AMO, guests were seated on rows of mundane plastic chairs topped with pastel cushions. The set aimed to subvert the formality of the venue, which was lined with a spectrum of plastic screens and featured piles of tiles at its centre – like those you might expect to see on a construction site or used to pave a suburban garden patio.
Loewe: Holding the brand’s show at its regular space in the Marcel Breuer-designed UNESCO building (Paris), creative director Jonathan Anderson imagined a set with intimate ovular seating. The space’s walls hung with silkscreen prints of the brand’s Steven Meisel-shot campaign images, plus a host of 19th and 20th century photographs, woven into fabric by artisans from the French town of Limoges. Photography: Kevin Tachman
Moncler Gamme Rouge: Creative director Giambattista Valli got his groove on with a S/S 2018 show set in Paris, that twinkled with an array of disco balls. Huge glinting versions appeared at the centre of the show space, while rows of mini disco balls twinkled from the ceiling, both nodding to the dance-inspired theme of the collection.
Roksanda: The London-based brand showed its latest collection inside this year’s Francis Kéré-designed Serpentine Pavilion. The Berlin based-architect’s saucer-shaped design features a wooden latticed disc elevated on plinths, enclosed with a blue, chevron-striped lattice wall. Guests sat in concentric circles within the disc structure, and in rows of enclosed seating which stretched into the Serpentine Gallery.
Louis Vuitton: Last season, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière staged the brand’s womenswear show in the IM Pei-designed Cour Marly of the Louvre (Paris). For S/S 2018, he descended deeper into the foundations of the museum, holding the brand’s spring show in its subterranean Pavillion de l’Horloge. The space, which opened in 2013, boasts a medieval moat, and made a sublime setting for the brand’s history-focused collection.
Gucci: For the brand’s S/S 2018 show, at its Piuarch-designed Gucci Hub in Milan, creative director Alessandro Michele created a space inspired by both an ancient map marking the country house location of the Roman poet Horace, and the graphic wayfinding system of the city’s Metro service. Around the set were 37 arches, pillars and statues, including carved Pharaohs, an Egyptian mummy and a variety of omnipotent Roman deities. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Alexander McQueen: For S/S 2018, creative director Sarah Burton took inspiration from the gardens of Great Dixter – hotspots of horticultural splendour created between 1910 and 1912 by architect Edwin Lutyens. The brand’s showspace at the Orangerie du Sénat in the Jardin du Luxembourg (Paris) featured a runway paved with bricks and lined with wooden pergolas. The frames were painted in bright hues and their canopies embroidered with a multicoloured foliage of fabric blooms and trailing flowers.
Hermès: At the brand’s S/S 2018 show at the Palais de Chaillot (Paris), guests were greeted with a pamphlet containing a text titled Hermès Colors, penned by Jarvis Cocker. The colours in the check-heavy collection included dark purple and nude, and these shades were replicated in graphic stripes across the sleek runway space.