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“Coats! Max Mara, Seoul 2017” Coats! A journey into Max Mara Heritage

Exhibition details Location: DDP – Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Area: 3000 mq Exhibition Design by: Migliore+Servetto Architects Duration: 28th November – 12th December 2017

Migliore+Servetto Architects once again designed a new, innovative, digital exhibition for Max Mara to narrate the heritage of the historical fashion company. Starting from the 28th November 2017, an additional special Korean edition of the retrospective “Coats!” will be added to the previous stages in Moscow (2011), Beijing (2009), Tokyo (2007) and Berlin (2006).

In Seoul, an impressive architectural structure takes shape at the centre of the spacious Art Hall 1 of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid. An imposing cupola, supported by seven irregular volumes emerges from the dark, sculpted by the play of light and shadow, entering into dialogue with the architecture of the DDP. Inspired by the utopian monoliths of the French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée, the purely geometrical lines of great symbolic value define an open, extremely permeable structure which can be crossed in any direction, offering each visitor their own personal pathways through the exhibition.

Its interior is formed of a large vault, which has been conceived to allow it to be dematerialised like a vast planisphere to give life to a dynamic, pulsating narration, evoking the artistic sensitivity and attention to detail of Max Mara. The young Korean artist Yiyun Kang was asked to interpret the exhibition theme with a digital work to be projected onto this space, enveloping the observer with a poetic narration in which images of fabrics, volumes and bodies emerge.

This striking dome, which is brought to life by the artist’s work, towers 13m high over a large piazza where a selection of garment representing each of the decades takes shape. Skilful light effects foreground the value of the coats, launching the narration of the seven wunderkammer.

Sequential stages unfold in a journey of discovery that explores the evolution of the famous fashion brand, from the 1950s to the present day, as the spectacular “cabinets of curiosities” outline and punctuate the pathway through the exhibition. Like seven exquisite treasure chests, each one opens up to reveal a spectacular scenario specific to each decade, conceived to establish a relation between the coats and the rich collection of objects, historical images and theatrical evocations. Every room is characterised by a carefully researched collection of sounds, music, scents and tactile experiences that complete the narration, creating unique microcosms with a fully immersive atmosphere.

As such, the exhibition in Seoul aims to strike at the heart of the Max Mara’s heritage, revealing the strong artistic value and constant innovation that have always characterised the production of this iconic “made in Italy” brand.

“We believe that the value of experiencing a place is increasingly important today. Our intention is therefore to construct this exhibition as a coherent narrative whole that can only be fully experienced in all its purity in this place at this time. It is an intricate system of spaces that combines fashion, art and design within the embrace of a large cupola.” Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto

Wunderkammer images captions:

1_The founder. Achille Maramotti and the dream of the coat (1950s). The flair of the 1950s is evoked by dense full height bookcases packed with historical objects, while in the background a small scenic set recreates the studio of Achille Maramotti, the founder whose imagination gave rise to the dream of the Max Mara coat.

2_Creative study. The democratic coat, the designers and pop (1960s). The 1960s bring the visitor into the fashion label’s creative studio, which has been reinterpreted in a pop style. A large animated board reveals models, pictures and sketches representing the brainstorming at the heart of the creative process.

3_Colorama. The technicolor coat and the art of experimentation (1970s). An explosion of colors, lively shades and various materials defines the Max Mara collection from the1970s, exhibited with a specific chromatic scale to emphasise its variety.

4_The icon. The magic of the coat and Italian know how (1980s). In contrast with the versatility of the previous decade, the 1980s are dominated by the warm camel tone, enhanced by the famous coat 101801, designed by the famous haute couture designer Anne-Marie Beretta. This iconic garment is replicated infinitely by a system of mirrors that covers the whole room.

5_The set. The representation of the coat and the perfect image (1990s). A rich photographic exhibition extends along the walls of the room dedicated to the 1990s, which host famous snapshots taken by Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Arthur Elgort and others. Richard Avedon’s famous photographic set is reproduced in the centre space, rendered spectacular by the light of a camera flash reverberating against a white limbo which contrasts with the deep red of the dark chamber, playing on light and contrasts.

6_The Max Mara women. The journey of the coat and the female universe (2000s). In the first decade of 2000s, dynamic, digital projections outline the globe on the walls to frame the famous “Whitney” designed by Renzo Piano, and the Atelier coat collection.

7_The fashion show. Runway glamour and new trends (last decade of the 2000s). Entering the decade of 2010, visitors find themselves immersed in the middle of a runway. Flashes and lights bring the catwalk to life, while the backstage is represented in all its bustling vitality.


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