Fashion and architecture have always had a close relationship—the daring shapes imagined by talents like Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid can often be seen re-created on runways. Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands have staged presentations at incredible sites around the world, from the famous attractions in New York, Paris, London, and Milan to less familiar locations in Brazil, California, and Korea. Designers use iconic buildings to take a political stance, reference history, or just to create a juxtaposition with the clothes, proving that sometimes the biggest statement can be made without words. Here are some of the most important buildings around the world that have housed fashion shows.
Architecture and Fashion Shows
Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace was the backdrop for Dior’s Cruise 2016 collection. The legendary home overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France. The house was designed by the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, and built between 1975 and 1989. It was built for a French industrialist, and was later bought by the fashion designer Pierre Cardin as a holiday home.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Oscar Neimeyer designed this Rio de Janeiro landmark, which sits on a cliff with views of the beach. Louis Vuitton used the modern saucerlike building as the location for its Cruise 2017 show.
Located on the Champs-Élysées, Paris’s historic shopping mecca, the exhibition hall was a favorite of Karl Lagerfeld. The creative director has transformed the open space into different themes: as an airport terminal (2016 Couture), a grocery store (Fall/Winter 2014), and a carnival (Fall 2008 Ready-to-Wear). For the Chanel Spring Summer 2019 runway show presented at the Grand Palais in Paris, the venue was transformed into a dream beach. However, Chanel SS2020 rooftop runway is our favorite!
Central Park, New York
To debut the Polo for Women Spring 2015 collection, Ralph Lauren created an unexpected event in the heart of New York’s Central Park, presented as a ‘4D holographic show’. The runway event uses a water-screen projection that towers above Manhattan’s Central Park, and fuses fad clothes, art and technology.
Fontana di Trevi, Rome
FENDI celebrated 90 years anniversary with a spectacular event in Rome – and sealed, once more, its profound and long-lasting bond with Rome, by choosing its hometown to celebrate the 90 years anniversary of the Maison. The brand went full on Lagerfeld, transforming Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain with an ethereal, translucent runway that gave the illusion like models were walking on water.
Prada Fashion House
Prada collaborated with AMO (OMA’s parallel design studio) for its Men’s Spring/Summer 2019 Show, establishing a set that is industrially elegant with a touch of psychedelic. Located within the fashion house’s Via Fogazzaro space in Milan, the exhibition space is treated as an architectural field divided into a series of squares labelled with geographic coordinates that define the positioning of the show’s guests.
Savage x Fenty at Barclay’s Centre, New York, USA
Like everything Rihanna does, her 2019 show was nothing short of a spectacle. The performer and designer took over the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and made it a fully immersive experience, complete with dancing and music that brought the design to life. The event revealed a contemporary burlesque-style show, where models stood on white platforms of varying heights amid moody lighting.