Fashion

Four years since Prada Foundation established a permanent arts venue in an 18th century palazzo in Venice comes the opening of the epic new Fondazione Prada Milan venue, opening this weekend.

Previously a century-old distillery, the new arts venue has been carefully converted via an articulated architectural configuration combining seven existing buildings with three new structures; including the ‘haunted house’ clad in 24-carat gold leaf and a cinema camouflaged by mirrors – all masterminded by Miuccia Prada’s go-to architect, Rem Koolhaas of OMA.

Through fashion Miuccia consistently translates her passion for art to the catwalk, her engagement with multidimensional mediums forms an intricate part of the brand’s DNA; rather than merely dipping her toe in, she dives in headfirst.

The new Milan space mirrors Miuccia’s practice. The inaugural programme features an exhibition on classical sculpture – exploring seriality and copying in classical art – and a special screening of Roman Polanski: My Inspirations, a documentary conceived by Polanski exclusively for Prada tracing the director’s influences. Pieces from Prada’s private collection – including seminal works by Damien Hirst, Donald Judd and Jeff Koons will also be permanently exhibited.

And here’s the absolute clincher, the venue also features the addition of a cafe designed by film maestro Wes Anderson, named Bar Luce it comes adorned with Anderson’s synonymous kitschy aesthetic, like one of his sets rendered in real life.

“I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in,” explained Anderson in a release. The bar’s wallpaper on the ceiling and walls takes cues from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – an iconic Milan building – whilst Formica furniture and terrazzo floor pay homage to Italian movies of the 50s and 60s.

And if you ever decide to exit the cafe (doubtful, we know), there are a myriad other exhibitions showing at the Milan venue and kicking off this weekend: An Introduction, an exhibition emerged from a dialogue between Miuccia Prada and Germano Celant; In Part, curated by Nicholas Cullinan and Trittico, a dynamic display strategy devised by the Thought Council (Shumon Basar, Nicholas Cullinan, Cédric Libert).

Want more? Trip to Venice where Prada’s established venue is hosting a parallel new exhibition also kicking off this weekend. Go on then.

Fondazione Prada Milan opens 9th May and is at Largo Isarco 2, 20139 Milan. The exhibitions ‘Serial Classic’ (Milan, from 9th May–24th August) and ‘Portable Classic’ (Venice, 9th May–13th September) join the two Fondazione venues in celebration of the Milan venue opening. Also at the Milan venue: ‘An Introduction’ and ‘Trittico’ both run until 10th January 2016 and ‘In Part’ runs until 31st October 2015.