Prada Mens FW16 Catwalk Show
Prada showcased a nostalgic menswear collection for Fall/Winter 2016 partnering with French artist Christophe Chemin to create a series of original drawings that set-out to question the history of the world.
The four iconic prints ‘Banquet Thieves’, ‘Impossible True Love’, ‘The Important One’ and ‘Survival Utopia’ inspired by iconic art and cultural references from 2320 BC right through to a 2015 Playstation game adorn shirts layered under nautical style coats, capes and rustic knitwear to create a feeling that’s both romantic and contemporary.
The Space by AMO
The Prints by Christophe Chemin
Color pencil on paper, 2015
With ”Banquet Thieves”, we have a typical banquet scene, inspired by traditional “Still Life” genre and “Vanitas”, in elegant and attractive shades of sweet and warm colors.
A Classic archetype in Art History.
First, a weird table, with a complete wrong perspective after Giotto, covered of a tablecloth that is slowly sliding down.
A twisted image that has something to do with the way people nowadays are obsessed with food: how they like to take in picture what they are about to eat and share it immediately online.
But our “Banquet image” features uninvited guests.
Hungry animal thieves, that are about to take away all that is on the table in front of your eyes.
And a couple of black strawberries (a visual invention) that gives to the scenery a mysterious and poetic sensation.
Impossible True Love
“Once upon a time”, there was… a Kiss.
A couple kissing passionately.
The kiss being the absolute « kitsch » (as in representation) of Love, and something that completely project you out of time for a while.
In “Impossible True Love”, an ironical take on such a romantic genre, not only is the love impossible but the whole situation – even though it all looks here like a realistic situation or a simple staged kiss scene coming directly out of a movie.
Let’s say, if this is a poster for an Historical movie… then the director of « Impossible True Love » would certainly be the German movie director : R.W. Fassbinder – in Hollywood !
Or maybe… this intimate captured moment is happening off set, behind the projectors, in front of a background that was rejected and is laying now in the corner of some American studios.
A glamorous actress playing the goddess Isis is romantically kissing an army boy that could be a young Elvis.
This moment of projection, faked or true, is like in a dream – stars are falling from the sky, two different opposite cultures are reunited, and like in dreams it all floats forever in time. As Balzac once wrote: “Love is like the wind, we never know where it will come from.
The Important Ones
If History is years, it is also faces – famous faces.
One might remember Heroes. Good people, people of Justice.
Inventors, fighters, creators.
The ones that did something for Humanity, something to go forward – those are eternal in our minds and are important.
In “The important Ones” we assist to the reinterpretation of a classic Renaissance Battle genre that is almost transformed into an absurd “Dance Tableau”.
A Baroque blue toile de Jouy, or a battle of the new Gods dancing for Eternity.
It has to do with the ego of people nowadays, and how much anybody wants to be important, titled, treated as important, and how much they forget that you need to do important things to be remembered as someone unique and special.
You might recognize:
Hercules wearing Hulk fists,
Sigmund Freud holding a huge stick,
The Greek Goddess Athena with a thunder bolt,
Julius Caesar and a laurel branch,
Saint Francis of Assisi and a bird,
Nina Simone wearing boxing gloves,
Joan of Arc holding Maracas,
Geronimo holding a golf club,
Che Guevara holding an Oscar
and Pier Paolo Pasolini holding… nothing!
All reunited forever.
Finally with “Survival Utopia” we move away from humans to focus on animals and revisit a myth of historical incoherence: Noah’s Ark.
Animals that once existed, exist, or never existed both gather through an industrial almost utopian landscape, a human deserted city.
Some of them are wearing high heretic hats that refer to the Great Inquisition, a dark moment in Human History, others are wearing Japanese human Kabuki masks, some help each other by carrying the others on their backs.
All going by couples – except a dove, and a crow.
It seems they saw something and they are leading somewhere, but where?…
That’s a beautiful mystery.