For the Summer Spring Prada 2024 menswear show, AMO has reimagined the space of the Deposito as an environment of liquid partitions intertwined with elements of industrial architecture.
Confined to a height of 3,3 meters by a suspended ceiling, the space of the Deposito transforms into a sterile cage, clad with modular, perforated metal panels. The clinical aesthetic of the room is amplified by uniform lighting from a perimetral ring of sky panels. During the show, a cascading flow of green organic liquid descends from the ceiling, forming fluid linear ‘walls’ that change the perception of the space. The translucent walls provide a dynamic backdrop for the fashion, creating an organic and ever-changing interaction between models and guests.
For the Prada Fall Winter 2023 men’s and women’s shows, AMO conceived a scenography that transforms while the audience attends the show, altering the perception of the space inside the Deposito at Fondazione Prada.
The room is left bare, filled only with rows of benches rendered with concrete. During the menswear show, the ceiling rises, revealing an array of three-meter-tall chandeliers – designed to reference a classical shape with an industrial materiality – and then withdraws to its initial position. For the womenswear show, white lily flower arrangements adorn the orange columns. The proportions and atmosphere of the room change almost imperceptibly from a dark low-ceiling room to a warm, monumental salon-like space, and back again. The transformation takes place multiple times during the show, changing the way the audience perceives the collection.
For the Prada Spring Summer 2023 menswear show, AMO has designed a set in the shape of an abstracted paper house.
Ten-meter-high rolls of white paper unfurl from the ceiling of the Deposito creating a space that is at once domestic and industrial. Oversized doors and windows, like from the drawing of a child’s ideal home, create an interplay of scales giving the feeling of being inside a gigantic mock-up space. Laying bare paper’s raw expression, the design explores its potential as an architectural element – taking a folded paper model to absurd proportions in the entire space of the Deposito.
Work is a state of reality - a vital component of life.
Designed by AMO, a bare concrete tunnel that blends with the materiality of the Fondazione Prada's Deposito leads to the spacious olive green-hued room where the Prada Fall Winter 2022 Menswear show takes place. Sci-fi-like tunnels of metal grating lit with neon light take the models into the large and soft showspace. Inside, olive green theatre chairs organized according to an orthogonal grid create a zig-zag runway space, as spotlights follow the models emphasizing the uncanny relationship between the theatrical and technological atmospheres.
2022 FW Prada Men’s and Women’s Show
For the Prada show at the Prince Shuncheng Mansion in Beijing, AMO proposes a scenography that invites guests to gradually discover the 400-year-old former royal compound. The fashion show is hosted in the Yin An palace, situated in the center of the compound, from which visitors move towards the palace’s courtyard for an informal dinner, followed by an afterparty in the pavilions around the ponds of the back garden.
AMO’s design creates visual continuity throughout the venues by inserting a layer of lighting elements that reinterpret the pattern of Chinese paper lanterns. Bright ceilings and vertical partitions made of three-dimensional triangular modules, casting the spaces in a soft pink light, create a warm ambiance amplified by the reflection in the ponds. In contrast to the carefully crafted lighting elements, the floor and the seating areas are covered with treadplate metal sheets, which act as another mirroring surface, further amplifying the atmosphere.
For the 2022 Spring Summer Prada Women’s collection, AMO designed a show that takes place in Milan and Shanghai simultaneously, bringing the expanded Prada community together. One live event straddles across two different time zones. Digital ‘windows’ project the content from the other city, allowing guests to immerse in an expanded experience.
By imagining a continuous environment, AMO created a three-dimensional landscape that spreads in the two locations.
At Fondazione Prada’s Deposito, guests sit freely in a cartesian landscape of grey rectangular shapes and freestanding videos screens. In Shanghai, on the 5th floor of the former Jardine Matheson Building – a listed national heritage structure on the Bund – a succession of parlors painted light peach create a sinuous trajectory in contrast with the orthogonal arrangement of the displays. In both locations, the audience experiences the collection both in person and digitally.
The two places become one entity that blurs the boundaries between physical and virtual reality.
For the Prada SS22 Menswear Show, AMO imagined an uncanny summer escape, concluding in a space where nature and artifact interact.
Walking down a meandering red tunnel, we are brought to a new yet familiar environment. Lying in the sand among granite boulders, or floating on the clear sea, seemingly stranded red objects enjoy the pristine landscape – a surreal encounter with nature, seaside infrastructure of another kind.
The Prada SS22 menswear show was filmed in Milan at the Fondazione Prada’s Deposito, as well as in Sardinia, Italy.
For the Prada FW21 show – the first Men’s and second Women’s show presenting the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons – AMO has created a set-up to be broadcast and not to be experienced by a live audience.
The design draws on the idea of the passage of time. A sequence of spaces evokes different intimate moments experienced throughout the day: a voluptuous night, a mellow morning, or a lazy afternoon. The fashion on display engages in a dialogue with the spaces, as the model moves smoothly from one room to another, through what seems to be a never ending route.
Each room has a distinct shape allowing the viewers to see the space from a multitude of angles. The walls and floors are cladded with a combination of soft and hard materials like fur and marble. The textures add a sensorial touch to a space that otherwise spectators can only experience digitally.
For the Prada SS21 show, the first show presenting the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, AMO Insert in a portion of the Deposito / Fondazione Prada a futuristic version of a Haute couture Salon.
The showspace is designed as a room within a room: a 16x 16m space with yellow carpet floor and ceiling, concealed with semitransparent yellow curtains, generating a strong contrast with the austere concrete of the Deposito. Inside the soft space a series of technological clusters with multiple functions hang from the ceiling resembling futuristic chandeliers.
The chandeliers with their unknow yet familiar design move vertically in the space, mitigating the relationship between the fashion and the guests, being the medium from which the fashion show is filmed and the décor of the room at the same time.
The uncanny design of the showspace combined with the domesticated use of technology stand as a reflection on the current time.
For the 2020 Fall/Winter Prada Menswear show, AMO transforms the grand hall of the Deposito, the multifunctional venue for performances that is part of the Fondazione Prada complex, into a set of imaginary piazzas that manifest the abstract energy of the public arena.
After ascending a grand staircase, guests enter the show space on a raised platform overlooking two identical voids, each containing the same fictional outdoor space. The scene is bare: a series of portals organized symmetrically around the courts mark a threshold between a public space and an enigmatic porch, concealed behind the architecture.
An abstract statue takes the center of the space, providing a focal point and a three dimensional axis. Sharp projections of the statue on the floor, mimicking the long shadows of a Fall afternoon, define the squares and enhance their graphic composition. Behind the sequence of openings on the porch, a strong red light provides depth to the configuration marking the transition in the space.
The relationship between the fashion on stage and the audience gathered above is simultaneously detached and voyeuristic. Models wander through the space, appearing and disappearing, following invisible trajectories that blur the boundary between the exposed and the concealed.
For the 2020 Spring/Summer Prada Womenswear show, AMO designed a vibrant and colorful geometrical pattern enfolding across the hall of the Fondazione Prada’s Deposito, infusing it with a summery glow.
The audience enters the showspace by ascending a stepped platform: an architectural device that serves as balcony and belvedere overlooking an installation that for the first time occupies the entire grandness of the hall. The space is invaded by an intricate ornamental geometry, composed of a multitude of colored ceramic tiles that defines the stage. This field of pixelated gloss is surrounded by a wall running along the parameter, mediating the industrial character of the hall.
A zenithal light washes the scene, magnifying the reflections from the tiles and illuminating gold leaf details on the columns. The warm glow spreading into the room evokes the magical atmosphere of a summery outdoor space through a sequence of lit spots and long shadows.
Guests are accommodated in an intimate setting composed of a series of square-shaped seats interwoven with the floor motif. All together they define a series of terraces overlooking each other. The models follow the Cartesian trajectories of the floor pattern, emerging from the public that is gathered in the balmy light of an indoor sunset.
For the Prada 2020 Resort Show, AMO takes over the Piano Factory, Prada US’s headquarters, and reinterprets it as an intimate setting for social gathering. The set for the show, conceived for the seventh floor of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed building, is devised as a tactile interior to contrast with the industrial character of the architecture. A series of lounging areas fill the space, providing a sense of comfort and coziness, an ‘endless’ camel-toned carpet covering both floor and integrated seating elements. All other aspects of the set, from coffee tables to columns, are characterized by a gloss pink coating, the panorama bathed in the glow of pink neon, transforming the utilitarian inside into a fantasy of summer outside.
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.
For the 2019 Fall/Winter Prada Men’s and Women’s show, AMO has created a theatrical field of lights in the grand hall of the Deposito, the multifunctional venue for performances that is part of the Fondazione Prada complex.
Spectators are seated along the perimeter of the room, occupying several architectural devices – a terrace, newly built stages and a balcony – that give shape to the show space and surround a rectangular void in the center. A platform stippled by a regular grid of light bulbs, balancing between a performative landscape and bygone scientific experiments by Nikola Tesla, shimmers in the darkness of the room.
The models walk, distanced from the crowd, through an artificial terrain made of dimly lit glass and soft spiky foam; evoking a mysterious and uncanny atmosphere, reminiscent of a scene from a science fiction movie. A series of dramatic spotlights enhance the spectacle adding an intimate dimension to the performance, which contrasts with the vastness and industrial character of the Deposito.
For the 2019 Spring/Summer Prada Womenswear show, AMO transforms the Deposito, the most dramatic space of the Fondazione Prada complex, into a multifunctional venue for performances.
Through a series of architectural interventions, the design reinterprets the classical spatial repertoire of the theatre with a Terrace, Parterre and Balcony, and uses these to activate the hall for the fashion event. These elements offer different ways for the audience to experience the show, while simultaneously defining a perimeter within the room, sparking a dialogue with the industrial character of Deposito.
The (acid) green terrace, strikingly punctured by the sculptural white beam that acts as counterbalance for the recently opened Torre, is the first structure you encounter when entering the room. A passage through the tribune leads you onto the center parterre marked by a graphic grid that organizes seating and defines the catwalk. The theatrical nature of the event is articulated through the monumental scale and dramatic framing of the main space, which is visually concluded by the balcony – an assembly that extracts and reinterprets the orange structural system lining the perimeter of Deposito – establishing a visual and material synthesis between the permanent and provisional.
The inflatable stools by Verner Panton – an exclusive re-edition of the 1960s piece, produced by VERPAN for PRADA – expand the set’s material palette, vanishing in the dim lights that outline the plastic carpet of the parterre - the same 100% recyclable clear plastic sheet on set at the Prada Menswear show in June - creating an uncanny and dreamlike atmosphere.
A project with AMO
Photography by Agostino Osio and Alberto Moncada