A look inside Prada's timeless exhibition at Harrods
The retrospective Prada exhibition will take place exclusively at Qatar-owned Harrods throughout May
Throughout the month of May, the Prada “takeover” of Qatar’s Harrods will include a retrospective exhibition developed exclusively for the luxury department store. The showcase will catalgue the multifaceted activites of the powerhouse – from fashion and accessories to architecture and cinema. The month-long celebration of the brand which includes 40 window displays, a pop-up store, multiple screen displays, and a Marchesi café. The exhibition titled “Pradasphere” traces the company’s multivalent obsessions—from fashion and accessories to art, architecture, cinema, sport and beyond. Housed on the Fourth Floor of Harrods, Pradasphere is a collection of archival objects arranged to reveal the complex, often intertwined obsessions of Prada, from fashion and accessories to art, architecture, film, and culture. Pradasphere’s core ideas—beauty, taste, embellishment, gender, vanity, and power— are repeatedly reworked through diverse channels. The six towering showcases combine ensembles from multiple collections to demonstrate the recurrent concepts present in the products. In addition, the exhibition includes: heritage items from the Prada archives; shoes and bags from past collections organised by theme. A Prada history wall that links the design collections with all of the extracurricular projects, from Fondazione Prada to Luna Rossa; a screening room presenting short films from directors such as Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott, and Yang Fudong; architectural projects from Rem Koolhaas/oma and Herzog & de Meuron; and a library of publications, both physical and digital. A private lounge is adjacent to the exhibition space. The walls and ceiling of the intimate room are wrapped entirely in deep green velvet that matches the Clover Leaf sofas—a revival of Verner Panton’s modern classic reproduced exclusively for Prada—that furnish the space. The 130m2 Prada pop-up store features an iconic black-and-white-chequered marble floor, slim polished-steel and crystal display shelves, black marble portals, steel and crystal display counters, and lilac velvet ottomans. The boutique showcases women’s leather goods, accessories, jewellery and eyewear. Harrods’ windows represent Prada’s multifaceted identity. The hybrid approach is evident in the recurrent themes and motifs combined in each tableau. The windows serve as an index of classic store elements, from marble floors to green ‘sponge’ walls. The windows also reference Prada’s contributions to popular culture, art, architecture, and film, revealing the complexity of the company’s approach to fashion. Directly alongside the Pradasphere exhibition, is the Marchesi café, patisserie, and restaurant. Marchesi is a legendary Milanese patisserie founded in 1824, renowned for its wide range of pastries, chocolates, and Panettone, the traditional Milanese Christmas cake. The original architecture of the balcony room, with its exquisite boiserie and subtle lighting, has been preserved for the temporary café. The wallpaper covering the bar counter features exact replicas of the details and decorations found at the original Marchesi patisserie, and the bar mirrors display images of its early 20th-century. Opposite the bar, a wall with mirrors and crystal-lined alcoves presents a selection of Marchesi products and a display of boxed delicacies. Pradasphere at Harrods is a collaboration between Prada and 2x4 New York and will be open from May 2 – 29, 2014 at the famous Knightsbridge store.