Moving ceiling and art-deco chandeliers form setting for Prada menswear show

AMO, the research and creative studio of OMA, added a retractable ceiling to the Fondazione Prada that moved to reveal a series of art deco chandeliers for Prada's Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show.

Situated within the Deposito, a vast, concrete-lined warehouse-style space at Milan's Fondazione Prada, the Autumn Winter 2023 show took place during Milan Fashion Week on Sunday 15 January 2023.

Interior image of the Prada Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show
Prada's Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show was presented during Milan Fashion Week

"For the Prada Fall Winter 2023 menswear show, AMO has conceived a scenography that transforms while the audience attends the show, altering the perception of the space inside the Deposito at Fondazione Prada," said AMO.

"The room is left bare, filled only with rows of benches rendered with concrete."

Image of models at the Prada Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show
The set was designed by AMO

Before the show began, the room looked like a dimly lit, concrete bunker, measuring 2.7 metres tall and decorated only by rows of concrete benches.

As models entered the room, the dropped ceiling began to raise slowly revealing a haze of glowing light from a number of square openings in its surface.

Photo of the set at Prada Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show
A levitating ceiling revealed three-tiered chandeliers

From here, three-tiered chandeliers, made from translucent ribbed polycarbonate sheets, were revealed from within the openings in the ceiling and brightened the concrete art storage space as the ceiling continued to raise higher.

The moving ceiling functioned as a result of a series of chains attached to motorised systems that raised and lowered the false ceiling from box trusses across the Deposito's original ceiling.

At its final height, the ceiling reached nine metres tall and showcased 16 art deco-style chandeliers suspended above the runway, Prada's latest Autumn Winter 2023 menswear collection and its audience.

The chandeliers revealed the entirety of the room and the orange-painted structural beams that flank the walls of the Deposito as well as the tape and installation-marked floors from the sets of former Prada shows, such as its Spring Summer 2019 show, and various exhibitions.

Image of the Prada Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show
The ceiling was raised to nine metres tall

After peaking at nine metres tall, the ceiling began to return to its initial height restoring the concrete room to its cold, barely-lit bunker form.

"During the 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."

"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."

Image of the rig system at the Prada show
The set nodded to Prada's Spring Summer 2016 show

The set also nodded to AMO’s previous sets for Prada.

It drew parallels from AMO's 2015 set for the Italian fashion house's Spring Summer 2016 show, which saw translucent "stalactites", similarly constructed from translucent sheets of polycarbonate, suspended above curving rows of concrete seating.

Photo of a model
The collection was designed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons

Prada is headed by Italian designer Miuccia Prada and Belgian designer Raf Simons who joined the house as co-creative director in 2020. In 2022, Simons unexpectedly announced the closing of his 27-year-old namesake label.

At this season's Paris Fashion Week, Saint Laurent showcased its Autumn Winter 2023 menswear show at the Tadao Ando-renovated Bourse de Commerce.

The photography and video are courtesy of OMA.


Project credits:

Partner: Rem Koolhaas
Associate: Giulio Margheri
Team: Alex Tintea, Luisa Carvalho, Laura Martinelli

More images