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Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

United States Architecture News - Oct 29, 2019 - 12:49   10772 views

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

Canadian designer Willo Perron, the creative director and designer, who works with famous singers like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake and Rihanna, has created a Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's Fenty x Savage runway show at New York Fashion Week.

In addition to her musical career, Rihanna - rising as a businesswoman in the fashion and design industry - introduced her latest collection of new lingerie brand in Brooklyn on September 10 on an architectural stage featuring landscape elements in it.

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

Called Fenty x Savage, her collection includes white lace bralettes, bodysuits and silk camisole dresses - Perron was inspired from the photo shoots of the brand, which was shot in Morocco. Perron wanted to elevate the soul of the collection in a more entertainment-like stage. 

"At that time, it was the only real visual," Perron told WWD. "We said, ‘How do we start treating this more like entertainment, versus a fashion show?’," he added.

"When you’re doing a club night, it’s lights and a DJ. The thing that you had that was a visual was the flyer."

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

In design process, Perron and his team started by looking at what the Savage brand itself was doing in its advertising and marketing campaigns. Much of the Savage campaign was shot in Morocco and his team's idea was to create a set whose design was inspired by architecture styles in the country.

"For the photo shoots, which is where we took a lot from, the look was North African, Mediterranean, the very southern points of Europe, so if you look at a lot of the architecture of the scene, it kind of feels like it could be set in some sort of Mediterranean landscape," Perron added. 

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

In addition to the Mediterranean inspiration, Perron also took cues from Hollywood's musical performance pieces. 

"There’s a huge choreographed component to this. A lot of the verticality of the set has to do with being able to see as many people and dancers in one frame versus doing this flat, conventional runway show," he added. 

"If you look at the vertical wall with all the arches in it, it could be something out of a Busby Berkeley [film]," Perron continued, giving a reference to the American director known for kaleidoscopic choreography during dance numbers.

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

Perron also said that Rihanna was always involved in the whole design process. They come together for several meetings where Perron showed her 3-D models and renderings of the stage design.

"She’s super involved," he added. "She looks at everything we do. We back-and-forth everything with her."

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

Regarding a comparison of his show with Victoria Secret's runway shows, Perron said he has never watched the full shows of Victoria Secret, an annual show sponsored by and featuring Victoria's Secret, a brand of lingerie and sleepwear. 

"It’s not a runway, it’s not solely model-focused. In my part of it, which is really scenic and the look and feel of the show, it’s kind of contrarian. It doesn’t have video, it doesn’t have a lot of the confetti, laser video that maybe a VS show would have," he explained. 

"I think the message is completely different also. The message for Savage x Fenty is it has a broader breadth in its inclusion and seeing beauty in a wider spectrum."

Willo Perron creates Mediterranean landscape-inspired stage for Rihanna's runway show

Willo Perron, who runs his company Willo Perron & Associates in Silverlake, previously worked with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake and Rihanna. 

He’s designing Roc Nation’s new offices, and is creative directing the 2019 Pornhub Awards. Perron is also designing a couch for Kanye West’s Yeezy offices in Calabasas, or putting together a show for 19,000 people at Barclays Center. 

All images © Antony Boyle

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