Prada Re-Edition 1995
East Bund - Minsheng Art Wharf, Shanghai
June 6, 2019
A power of energy, provocation and freedom. The Prada Spring/Summer 2020 men’s collection is animated by a spirit of confidence, of enjoyment, of boundless positivity and possibility. The spirit allows a transgression with and through elegance, exploring the meaning of clothes.
Classics are decontextualised, an evolution of a concept explored in the 2020 Prada Resort collection. Transgression is quiet, optimism posed as an alternative to actuality, utilising contrast and colour to reconfigure. Duality permits the conservative to become rebellious, youth to appear newly sophisticated.
An interplay of proportions, a play on scale, playful. Differing lengths are layered in various garments, creating an arresting affect against the body and challenging the form language of pieces. The eye is encouraged to reappraise: an elongated shirt can readdress the line of a tailored jacket; resolutely proletarian polo shirts and sweatshirts are given macro volume, reality distorted. They force a reconsideration of the body inside.
Color is pure, potent - an empirical means of galvanising appearance. The spectrum is sunny, vibrating with life, comprised of sweet new soft neutrals, soothing pale colour alongside khaki, black and synthetic hypercolor. Juxtapositions again provide energy: sartorial emblems of popular culture mixed with those of high, sleek tailoring shown alongside sports. The notion of exploration and pioneering is underlined with a series of uniform khaki looks with badges and patches placed like abstract trophies.
Technology has become a fetish. Symbols of lo-fi, outmoded tech - cassette tapes, video cameras - are used as insignia, purely decorative having outlived their age and use; the Prada logo is remixed with retro-futuristic mood, imagined new as it may have been in the past.
Shown within a vision of the future in the city of Shanghai, this collection rebels against those confines. The romance of history is a form of transgression: its memory can be a rebellion. Looking backwards, looking forwards, ever-changing.
THE LOCATION & SET UP
For the 2020 Spring/Summer Prada Menswear show, AMO devised a light installation that amplifies the industrial monumentality and rawness of the Silo Hall of Minsheng Wharf.
The colossal and labyrinthine quality of the chamber is augmented with a linear catwalk slicing through the longitudinal axis of the space. Guests are arranged in the central nave of the building in an amphitheater of circular seats that dramatically mirror the shape of the silos above.
An arrangement of neon lights outlines the industrial form language of the hall, enhancing the intricate geometries, generating a glowing enfilade that shimmers in subtle pastel colors. Models walk along a path that expands as far as the eye can see, almost disappearing in the immense architecture of light.
One of Asia’s largest silos – a former storage for wheat and grain – the 80,000-ton silo warehouse of Minsheng Wharf is a powerful reminder of industrial heritage, an unintentional monument. Mindful of its history, at intervals, the installation of the 2020 Spring/Summer Prada Men’s show and events is disrupted by reminders of roughness and industry, embedded in the fabric of the building. These retain the original character of the building, the echoes of a past.
After the show, the guests are invited to the 7th floor of the Silo where an ephemeral venue hosts an exclusive dinner and several music acts and installations. Intended for a one-night-only takeover, the space is organized around different performances that take place on multiple stages and informally throughout the event space.
A lounge bar surrounded by continuous booths in black and acid green eco-leather that run along the perimeter hosts the dinner and an array of musical and theatrical acts before the opening of the club. A dramatic black lacquer 100% recyclable curtain wraps around the venue where a series of neon lights outline the shapes of the room, a reflection of the motif of the showspace below.
After the 2020 Spring/Summer Prada Menswear fashion show and evolving over the course of the evening of 6 June 2019, guests encounter a programme of specially-curated audio and visual performances, comprising dance, music, light and sound installations, occupying seven distinct environments.
Themes of duality, shared identity and reflection unite the disparate and distinct performance pieces, interrupting and disrupting the venue and gradually guiding the audience through in an exploration of the unique, immersive spaces. These ephemeral chambers have been speciallycreated on the 6th and 7th floors of the Silo, entirely mapped with a panorama of light by UVA, for one night only.
The soundscape for each performance piece is curated by Craig Richards, who also performs a back-to-back DJ set with the highly acclaimed Ben UFO in a specially-designed club space as conclusion to the evening.
UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS
London based collective UVA (United Visual Artists) have been commissioned to create a sitespecific immersive light installation. Using projected light, UVA transformed the architecture with ever-evolving geometric compositions and shifting landscapes that transition from the natural to the artificial.
Craig Richards is a British DJ, producer, festival organizer and curator that has been at the forefront of the electronic dance music scene for over two decades. His residency at Fabric in London is one of the most lauded in contemporary club culture and his music and art festival, Houghton is widely celebrated. For the last two years, in collaboration with Fondazione Prada, Craig has been curating the music series 'I want to like you but I find it difficult’, which explores and confronts various strands of electronic music.
British DJ Ben UFO is one of the most technical and wide-ranging selectors of contemporary dance music. He tours globally to headline large-scale festivals and world-renowned underground clubs. His music label Hessle Audio, co-founded in 2007 with Pearson Sound and Pangaea, is considered one of the pivotal forces of recent UK dance music. During the party, Ben UFO played a headline DJ set in the club alongside Craig Richards.
Dana Leong is a two-time Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist and composer, considered the world’s top electric cellist. He has collaborated with some of the most acclaimed artists in the world from a large variety of musical genre and is also a leading innovator in the field of music and technology. During the event, Dana performed live a short solo set, joined by contemporary ballet dancer Katherine Crockett.
Luxembourg-born piano virtuoso, composer, performer and producer Francesco Tristano tours the world performing a wide range of genres, from classical and baroque to contemporary. Francesco performs electronic live sets in some of the most respected halls in the world whilst pursuing his life project of recording all of Bach’s piano repertoire. During the event, Francesco performed a short solo live performance including songs from his new album.
Variety Worldwide, led by creative director David Ley and executive producer Andrew Katz, is an acclaimed immersive production company based in New York. To supplement the music line-up, Variety Worldwide have curated a bespoke program of performance episodes and vignettes.