PRADA’s Larger-Than-Life Props for WES ANDERSON’s Detail Fetishism

Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, premiered at the 64th Berlinale in the German capital this week, and it’s being lauded as the apotheosis of the director’s rich pictorialist aesthetic. The trademark obsessive nostalgia and the gloriously rendered faded glamour are so perfectly contained that it might as well be a snow globe. It’s like a fantasy mirror world of the Belle Epoque, the rise of facism, and the influence of communism.

To view a case study of this attention to design, you can head to Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, where the Prada store has installed an exclusive set of custom-made suitcases and trunks that the brand designed for Anderson’s film. Fabricated after the brand’s own vintage models from the 1920s and 30s luggage (when Prada was founded in 1913 it was a leather goods shop that sold steamer trunks and handbags), the artist Mieke Casal has added the hand-painted initials of the film’s lead character, played by Tilda Swinton: Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis  (Mdm. C.V.D.u.T). The pieces are antediluvian: the have no wheels and won’t fit in the overhead compartment. Instead, they are larger-than-life props for Anderson’s detail fetishism.

This is the third collaboration between the Italian brand and Anderson, who directed the video advertisement for the brand’s Candy L’Eau fragrance—a three-part tale of a threesome starring Léa Seydoux. Anderson then made Castello Cavalcanti, a F1-inspired short film, starring Jason Schwartzman, about a struggling race car driver who crashes in a small Italian village only to discover it is home to his ancestors.

The Grand Budapest Hotel window display is on view until February 16, 2014, at Prada, Berlin

Prada Store Berlin
Kurfürstendamm 186
10707 Berlin

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 12.39.11

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The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson