Philippe Parreno, a French artist known for his large-scale installations, designed the stage for Louis Vuitton’s runway show during Paris Fashion Week.
The set, a monumental installation shaped like a blooming flower, was located in the courtyard of the Louvre. It was constructed of red nylon fabric panels to create a circular form that at its highest point rose to more than 90 feet.
Collaborating with production designer James Chinlund and Nicolas Ghesquière, the French luxury house’s womenswear creative director, Parreno said the concept for the installation was inspired by circuses. He also drew on horror classics like King Kong that turn monsters into public spectacles.
In an interview with the Times, Parreno said he used red curtains and mirrors to create a carousel-like atmosphere that plays on those themes. Models dressed in Ghesquière’s designs, replete with gigantic zippers, walked through Parreno’s stage in circles.
Throughout, flashing bulbs provided the lighting in a way that was reminiscent of sculptures produced by Parreno. In 2015, for example, the artist showed 27 of these works at New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
Ghesquière remarked that Parreno’s carnival concept reflects a “nomadic” mode that is typical of fashion weeks, for which hoards of international spectators flock to urban hubs.
Parreno was not the only artist tapped for collaborations during Paris Fashion Week. Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, who’s known for his controversial performance pieces, designed a mud-laden runway for a Balenciaga show that counted Ye among its models. And Yoshitomo Nara designed a color-blocked runway for Stella McCarthy last week at the Centre Pompidou.