Nestled in an old railway station between the Huangpu River and downtown Shanghai, the Start Museum’s usual metallic exterior has been transformed overnight into a light green Prada bag. Inside, Pradasphere II.
The first Pradasphere — an exhibition displaying clothing that best portrayed the central themes of Prada’s work since 1913 — took place in 2014, engulfing a whole Harrods London floor with large glass cases. This time things are a little different, and it’s less about the shopping and more about the history of Prada.
The museum exhibition — curated by co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons — opens to the public on Thursday and is free of charge. Staged as a high-end warehouse, Pradasphere II features over 200 looks; 20 of the most significant archival Prada bags, including the Cleo and the Galleria; re-creations of Prada store displays; never-before-seen documents and artwork; and more. For movie fans, there’s a cinema presenting the brand’s collaborations with Ridley Scott, Wes Anderson, and David O. Russell. For the historian, there’s a re-creation of the original Fratelli Prada store in Milan. For the environmentalist, one section displays the brand’s iconic re-Nylon bags and explains the circular use of the material. For the foodie, there’s a café serving coffee and cocktails that’s layered in velvet. And of course, for the OG Prada fans, there’s a one-of-a-kind gift shop.
Designed in a collaboration between the creative directors and 2x4, a New York City– and Beijing-based design studio, the exhibit will run from early December to January 21, with celebrities, designers, and other guests celebrating the exhibition on opening night with plenty of great outfits. For the superfans who can’t make it to the museum, there is a collector’s book. Gift it this holiday season. Or even better, buy them a handbag if you’re feeling extra generous.
Here are some fabulous guests who showed up: