Fashion week, whether it’s in London, Paris or Milan, is a dizzyingly high-speed spectacle of shows, clothes, and names. Once a look has been photographed, throw it in the trash – it’s done. This year, Prada looked back as far as 200 BCE to find an answer to the rapid cycles of seasonal trends. ‘Graphic Rooms’ are the latest stage in evolution for the Italian fashion house’s modular design project, which was inaugurated last December in the Harrods and Monte-Carlo Prada stores. In the Paris Avenue Montaigne store, the ‘Graphic Room’ takes inspiration from traditional Chinese folding screens which can be used to divide and shape a space in endless functional configurations.
Folding screens date back to the Han dynasty of ancient China, but Prada makes particular reference to a painting from an original 18th century Chinese screen. The painting has been reinterpreted and modernized with a contemporary palette representative of the brand, its floral designs – a classic motif for spring – highlighted with stencilling in white and turquoise. At the same time, clouds of pink smoke soften the strong graphic theme, blurring and lifting the landscape up to the ceiling, and making use of every surface of the store.
Like a Chinese screen, the modular design provides functional adaptability, through a system of interchangeable elements which can be updated as and when new products are introduced in-store. The enveloping atmosphere of the ‘Graphic Room’ has also been rolled out to the Old Bond Street store in London and the Monte Napoleone store in Milan.
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