Formafantasma bases Sportmax catwalk on medieval paintings by Giotto

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Amsterdam studio Formafantasma designed a set inspired by the architectural elements in paintings by Italian artist Giotto di Bondone for Sportmax's Milan Fashion Week show (+ slideshow).

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The studio, which recently hosted a solo exhibition at the Peep-Hole Contemporary, constructed four foam structures depicting the cloisters and towers seen in Giotto's works.

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Giotto di Bondone – known as Giotto – was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is considered one of the first artists of the Renaissance.

Each of the six-metre-tall towers that were dotted at various points along the catwalk were built from colourful blocks of industrial foam supported by a steel base.

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma

Existing walls within the space were covered up with cotton fabric in order to allow the towers to "dominate" the room.

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma

"The design is based on a very restricted selection of materials: industrial foam, pine wood, cotton fabric and steel," said the team. "The room is dominated by four towers made of industrial foam in subtle and warm nuances of colours, while the back is entirely covered with textile."



"The foam towers are conceived not only as a scenography but also as a sound-insulating element to create a sense of intimacy and warmth," they added.

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma

The impermanence of the installation influenced the studio's choice of materials, and each of the foam blocks was borrowed from a supplier and returned at the end of the presentation.

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma

"The whole presentation lasts no more than 15 minutes," said the designers, who previously created a catwalk installation for Sportmax made from terracotta panels and loops of translucent PVC.

Formafantasma's preparatory drawing of the set design
Formafantasma's preparatory drawing of the set design

"We were interested in this ephemeral component and designed accordingly," they told Dezeen. "Last time we used very mundane materials such as PVC colourful films, while this time we established a collaboration with a producer of foam in such a way that all the material used will be returned and back to the market."

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma
Formafantasma's preparatory college of the set design

"We are planning to apply this way of thinking to other projects, where the material for the catwalk or window design are either unprocessed or a derivative from the waste industry," they added.

Sportsmax catwalk by Formafantasma
Giotto's Annunciation to Saint Anne, 1303-05

Sportmax – an offshoot of Italian fashion house MaxMara – presented its Autumn Winter 2016 collection at the Salone dei Tessuti in Milan on 26 February 2016.

Giotto's The Expulsion of the Demons from Arezzo, 1297-99
Giotto's The Expulsion of the Demons from Arezzo, 1297-99

Also for the Autumn Winter 2016 season, London designer Sadie Williams put a spin on vintage winter-sports attire with metallic textiles, and a model sashayed down the catwalk dressed in a two-tiered crystal chandelier during Moschino's Milan Fashion Week show.

Photographs courtesy of Indigital/Alessandro Garofalo.