Prada SS18 Women's Fashion Show, Milan

Designed by: 2x4 and AMO
For client: Prada Floor area: 1672.25 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Set Design of the Year

Public Score
3.51 Function
3.49 Innovation
3.52 Creativity
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About the Project

In developing the strategy and conceptual direction, 2x4 researched and commandeered a stable of pathbreaking female graphic novelists and comic book artists to create the show’s large-scale environmental graphics. By framing the runway show with their artwork, our design helped Prada recognize and celebrate the contributions of women artists in a male-dominated field.

Contributors include the genre’s rising stars, including Hugo-Award-winning artist Fiona Staples and Brigid Elva, along with more established innovators like Natsume Ono and Trina Robbins (the first woman to draw for Wonder Woman). The space also uses images from the archive of the late Tarpé Mills, a prominent early female comic book artist and the creator of action hero Miss Fury.

Rather than simply present their work within the show space, our design embeds the runway space within the visual language of the comic book. A collage of artwork adorned the walls and seating areas, while the catwalk featured a design based on graphic effects that convey motion and excitement. Black border detailing along the edges of stairs, columns, and other architectural elements served to visually “flatten” the visual aspect of the experience creating a show space that achieves visual and conceptual unity.

What’s unique about it

Prada uses fashion as a vehicle to explore the dialogue between culture, identity, and the built environment.

For the Spring/Summer 2018 Womenswear show, 2x4 collaborated with Prada to celebrate female empowerment. Responding to the cultural moment, our show space explored a series of dualities: high and low visual culture, 2D and 3D, masculine and feminine.

For the show, 2x4 created a total, immersive environment from the work of female graphic novelists and cartoonists — images of women by women. Illustrated panels adorned interior and exterior wall space, while floor illustration and edge detailing worked to blur the distinction between graphic and built elements.

The featured work came from the archive of Tarpé Mills, creator of the first female action hero, as well as emerging and award-winning graphic novelists such as Fiona Staples and Trina Robbins. In addition to adorning the showspace, their heroines inspired the overall styling of the show, integrated into textiles and accessories throughout the collection.

The net effect, aptly stated by Steff Yotka in Vogue, resulted in “one of [Prada’s] most complex statements about femininity yet,” presenting a “middle ground between girlish and tough, with a dash of superhero power shot through it.”

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