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

mail-11-359x540

 

Deeper

  • “I live a hope despite my knowing better”: James Baldwin in Conversation With Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

    Born in Berlin in 1931, editor and writer Fritz J. Raddatz relied on food delivered by African American GIs after the death of his parents. To Baldwin he was an “anti-Nazi German who has the scars to prove it.” Debating his return to the USA after 25 years, Baldwin explores the political climate in America at the end of the 1970s in a conversation at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.More
  • House as Archive: James Baldwin’s Provençal Home

    For her new book, Magdalena J. Zaborowska visited the house Baldwin occupied from 1971 to 1987 “to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity”. Here, she narrates her early journeys to Baldwin’s home and proposes a salve for its recent loss: a virtual presentation of Baldwin’s home and effects.More
  • Where are the real investments? Theaster Gates on James Baldwin

    The Chicago-based artist talks to Victoria Camblin about materializing the past, the house as museum, and preserving black legacies. Social and artistic engagement, Gates suggests, may allow the contents and spirit of Baldwin’s home, and others like it, to settle in lived experience.More
  • SECOND ACID WINTER: The Roots of Fashion’s Rave Revival

    References to late nights and chemically-induced collectivism are woven throughout recent fashion history with London's Sports Banger, Gucci, and adidas's Spezial unveiling acid-tinged collections and campaigns. It's not unusual for brands to mine the counterculture seeking inspiration, but the parallels between early 90s rave and the present are not purely aesthetic, but political too.More