Back when Coco Chanel was starting out, she set up a modest catwalk in her own Paris atelier. The sole focus was the clothing. While that didn’t prevent her from becoming a legend, Karl Lagerfeld of today’s Chanel isn’t the only one now looking to runway shows as a way to heighten a label’s personality. (He’s created a faux supermarket and, most recently, a rocket ship.) Creative directors are employing set designers and architects or commandeering significant buildings and interiors in the quest for elaborate stagecraft. Even museums mounting costume exhibitions are getting in on the action.
1. Louis Vuitton
Es Devlin’s show for Louis Vuitton. Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton.
Set designer Es Devlin’s resort-wear show at the Oscar Niemeyer’s Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro.
2. Thom Browne
The New York warehouse that served as a stage for Thom Browne. Photography courtesy of Thom Browne.
The same converted New York warehouse as a stage for stacks of men’s fall-winter suits or transformed into a ceramic-tiled swimming pool for spring-summer womens wear.
3. Cristobal Balenciaga“Balenciaga, l’Oeuvre au Noir” at the Museé Bourdelle in Paris. Photography by Pierre Antoine.
At the Museé Bourdelle in Paris, Antoine Bourdelle’s sculptures alongside “Balenciaga, l’Oeuvre au Noir.”
4. AltuzarraThe felt runway at New York’s Spring Studios. Photography by Natalie Fong.
Raúl Ávila’s installation, covered in lichen and moss, in the middle of the felt runway at New York’s Spring Studios.
5. Museum of Arts and Design“Counter-Culture: Handmade Fashion in American Counterculture” at the Museum of Art and Design. Photography by Jenna Bascom.
Vintage clothing on display with artwork during the New York museum’s “Counter-Culture: Handmade Fashion in American Counterculture.”
6. PradaPrada’s men’s and women’s fall-winter Milan shows were divided by a wooden partition. Photography by Agnostino Osio/Office for Metropolitan Architecture.
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s women’s and men’s fall-winter Milan shows divided by just a wooden partition, with domestic furniture as seating on both sides.
7. ACNE Studios
A ceiling installation at ACNE Studios’ show. Photography courtesy of ACNE Studios.
A ceiling installation descending down the back wall of Paris’s Pavillon Cambon Capucines for the women’s fall-winter show.
Modules at Matteo Thun & Partners’s Milan flagship. Photography by Fabio Tempestini.
Matteo Thun & Partners’s modules clad in painted bamboo at the retailer’s Milan flagship, a former cinema.
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