OMA/AMO take the Spring/Summer 2021 Prada womenswear show digital

Emilee Geist

With a global pandemic still raging and international design and art festivals shuttered, it makes sense that the Spring/Summer 2021 Prada womenswear show would move to the digital realm. Of course, even though spectators weren’t present for the September 24th spectacle, the fashion house still tapped longtime collaborators OMA and […]

With a global pandemic still raging and international design and art festivals shuttered, it makes sense that the Spring/Summer 2021 Prada womenswear show would move to the digital realm. Of course, even though spectators weren’t present for the September 24th spectacle, the fashion house still tapped longtime collaborators OMA and their research think tank AMO to design a stage for the virtual event.

The result was what the OMA/AMO team labeled a “futuristic Haute Couture Salon” in the project description, a 52-foot-by-52-foot enclosure hemmed in with golden drapes. Similarly colored carpeting covered the floor, central column, and even appears to “climb” up to the ceiling as well, creating a soft, tactile space that naturally dampens unwanted sound. Housed in the Deposito on the Fondazione Prada campus in Milan, an intentionally austere concrete space, the brightly colored fabric carves out an intentional contrast.

A yellow curtained area inside of a concrete arts space
Outside of the runway area was the stark, exposed concrete of the Deposito. (Agostino Osio/Courtesy of OMA)

The theme for the Spring/Summer 2021 Prada womenswear show, a first-time collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, touched on the ways technology both separate and connect us, and exploring that duality. As such, the clothing on display was as pared down as the space it was shown in, with simple uniforms and large swaths of fabric that require a human touch to cinch. In total, 40 different looks were on display, each exposing a “dialogue” between the human body and the usefulness of the clothes themselves, according to Prada.

Architecturally, that translated into what OMA/AMO describes as “chandeliers,” arrangements of black cameras and screens that descend into the runway area and intrude on the softer human space. However, far from just decorative, each arrangement was used to both record the show and display related didactics, including each model’s name as they presented—literally acting as dividers and obstacles for the human models, but providing vantage points for the virtual viewers.

The entire Spring/Summer 2021 Prada womenswear show is available online here.

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