Fashion Show
November 4, 2022
Project Leaders: Leonid Slonimskiy, Bertrand Van Dorp
HEAD – Genève, Geneva

The scenography for HEAD's 2022 Défilé (Fashion Show) was developed by the Department of Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève, continuing the interdisciplinary collaboration initiated between the school’s departments. Digital technology and its role in nocturnal events were key issues, as reflected by the project. The dictionary defines a totem as "a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe." Placed in the center of the fashion event, the vertical accumulation of flickering screens raised questions about the role of digital imagery in today’s society and what it means to be real nowadays for a so-called nocturnal tribe.

The installation juxtaposed and merged virtuality and physicality, the presence and absence of human bodies in the material world, and, conversely, the interaction of avatars in virtual spaces. However, it was far from decorative or purely symbolic. The layout of the screens, strategically positioned around the totem, was employed to broadcast live, interact with, and display details of the students’ creations to the audience.

Due to the transient nature of fashion shows, the project was designed for easy disassembly, utilizing reusable or rented materials. The installation, devoid of welding, relied on bolts and lightweight aluminum profiles, enabling the core structure to be effortlessly stored and repurposed for future events. In contrast to the multi-armed digital totem, three 250 kg rocks from the summit of Mont Salève served as robust reinforcement for the vertical pole. The totem's construction involved available technology, including aluminum profiles, LED screens, and electrical cords. Each component aimed to reveal not only the visible design but also the underlying skeletal structure, screen cables, and rock support straps.

Scenography: Department of Interior Architecture, HEAD – Genève
Head of Department: Javier Fernández Contreras
Scientific Deputy: Valentina de Luigi
Project Leaders: Leonid Slonimskiy, Bertrand Van Dorp
Photography: Guillaume Collignon, Raphaëlle Mueller