When visitors took their seats for the Spring 23 Prada runway display on Sunday, they found that they had been sitting on chairs created of durable cardboard planks. The seating was organized inside of a mock home, with outsized doors and window cutouts all through, and enormous white sheets of paper hanging from the ceiling. The floors, brown and effortlessly textured, appeared destined for the recycling bin. The complete point looked like an architect’s design blown up to monumental dimension.
The set was the newest collaboration in between Prada and Rem Koolhaas, the 77-12 months-previous Dutch architect. Since 2004, Koolhaas has masterminded the conceptually wealthy areas in which Miuccia Prada displays her function, an intriguing partnership between two of the most influential designers in their respective fields. Mrs. Prada is an intellectual whose collections invite loving contemplation, and Koolhaas, who has intended well known properties like the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, intends for his spaces to do the very same. More than the course of his 18-12 months partnership with Mrs. Prada, whom he satisfied in 1999 when she asked him to redesign her stores, Koolhaas and his organization OMA have applied demanding creative imagination to the runway. Alongside one another, they have: produced modular and dispersed seating preparations to concern the entrance row pecking get projected phony ads driving the catwalk and developed some of the COVID era’s most immersive and shocking video clip-show sets.
A week prior to the display, Koolhaas, together with OMA job architect Giulio Margheri, allowed GQ a rare peek into their inventive process—which, as they explained, in essence operates in parallel with Mrs. Prada’s (and now Raf Simons’s) have. Right before Koolhaas and Margheri commenced performing on the Spring 23 place, they have been informed that the themes of the time were “naivety, childhood and simplicity,” as Margheri place it in a Zoom call. Which is how they located their way to paper, the duo explained in a follow-up electronic mail: “Paper is a easy materials, but it permits us to articulate an intention it is the essential surface on to which we express our strategies. In this job we needed to check out its traits as an architectural ingredient, virtually like children would give shape to their imagination.”
Like Mrs. Prada, Koolhaas sees his imaginative follow as intimately related to politics and social movements. The use of humble and 100% recyclable products this time, he reported, grew out of a “particular sort of resistance to luxury.” Which could appear to be ironic, looking at the styles strode out donning trim wool suiting and very small leather shorts which will retail for a lot of thousands of bucks. But Koolhaas is not in the business enterprise of selling outfits he’s in the company of, as he and Margheri set it, “conveying a mood, projecting a mentality.” They elaborated: “We’ve always shared with Prada a specific resistance to waste in the structure of the show spaces…Now, additional than ever in new moments, the plan of luxury finds by itself at odds with the soaring expenditures of gasoline, food stuff and building supplies. In a entire world wherever aggression is getting more and more existing, we wished to build a place that conveys softness and modesty.”