When it comes to the modern-day fashion show, the internet has fundamentally changed the way audiences interact with models and designers, say OMA/AMO, arguing: "The assemblage of recorded impressions and digital reactions inserts itself into the once autonomous narrative of the fashion show. The statement of the collective spreads. The mass of fragmented instant data is uploaded and critiqued by a multitude of voices."
With their latest fashion show design for Prada, which was used to showcase the designer's upcoming fall/winter menswear collection in Milan yesterday, the firm sought to enhance this sense of public judgement. "This consumption of images is like a public trial, a contemporary transposition of the Auto-da-fé," explains their press release, referring to the ceremonies of public penance which took place in the Portuguese and Spanish Inquisitions in the 15th-17th centuries.
OMA/AMO's spatial layout for the Prada catwalk features certain similarities to contemporary depictions of Auto-da-fé ceremonies, with tiered galleries surrounding the catwalk and a raised viewing platform in the center of the space. Completing the metaphor, the models' route around the edge of the room mimics the procession of the condemned heretics.
The structures themselves are constructed of OSB, a move which the designers say "counters the simplicity of the structures" as the dramatic lighting of the space brings out the material's texture. The design also extends outside of the building into the urban realm, with the entrance to the show marked by a ceremonial gateway.
"Guests gather on the balconies, tribunes and central platform in crowds according to a series of spatial hierarchies," explain OMA/AMO. "No longer bystanders, they become active participants in the ritual unfolding around them."
Design Team: Giacomo Ardesio, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (Partner), Giulio Margheri