Coats! Max Mara, Seoul 2017

Migliore + Servetto Architects as Architects

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.


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