SHANGHAI — Can a skirt be installation art? Prada's traveling exhibition "Waist Down" posits that it can.
Subtitled "Miuccia Prada: Art and Creativity," the exhibition opened here on May 17 at the historic Peace Hotel on the city's famous waterfront Bund. "Waist Down" made its debut in Japan, and after running in Shanghai until Tuesday it will continue on to New York and a yet-to-be determined city in Europe.
Aldo Gotti, Prada's communication and external relations director for Japan and Asia Pacific, said Shanghai marks the exhibition's international stop in the Far East. "Shanghai is the most exciting city in Asia, in our opinion," Gotti said, adding, "Prada has been very quiet in China so far."
The exhibition runs through several floors of the Peace Hotel, a 12-story Art Deco landmark built in 1929 by British property tycoon Victor Sassoon. In the Thirties and Forties, under its original name of the Cathay Hotel, it was Asia's most prestigious address and the site of Shanghai's most infamous parties. Today, much of the original decor remains intact, including its exquisite Lalique chandeliers.
"Waist Down" starts on the ground floor in a corridor lined with two-dimensional cutouts that are two-and-a-half- times life-size versions of skirts in the chronology of their design. The cutouts, with mirrors on the opposing side, also hang in the hotel's eighth-floor ballroom.
Actual skirts are on display on the Peace Hotel's seventh floor. In the hallway, some on racks wiggle electronically, while others are suspended from the ceiling over mirrors and twirl. The bulk of the display, though, is in three of the hotel's famous nine "national suites," which are decorated in styles deemed Chinese, English, American, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Indian and Spanish. The curators from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the Rotterdam-based firm headed by Rem Koolhaas, set up displays in the English, American and Chinese suites that engagingly mix fashion, interior design and history together with a dose of whimsy.
Surreal, translucent mannequins — wearing skirts, of course — loiter about the suites, "reading" magazines or soaking their toes in bubble baths. Several skirts were laid out on or hung up against stretches of fabric for a camouflage effect. In one case, a special bedspread was made from the green and gold tapestries used in a skirt. A few more sheer pieces were hung simply, but behind spotlights creating dramatic shadows, while others were lit from within.Prada chose the location because, "Mrs. Prada is fascinated with 1930s Shanghai, and loves the movies from that era," Gotti said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty