The runway used to serve as a backdrop against which designer looks could pop. Lately, however, it is the sets themselves that do much of the popping. The background becomes the foreground in this Chanel 2012 Spring/Summer runway, designed by Zaha Hadid. Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture, is known for the strong, curving forms of her elongated structures. She has designed everything from the National Center for Contemporary Art in Rome to a high speed train station in Naples.
She first teamed up with Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld in 2008 with Chanel Pavilion, a gargantuan, mobile pavilion based off of Chanel's signature quilted purse. Designboom described the piece as incorporating "undulating surfaces and flowing volumes converge, constantly redefining the quality and experience of each exhibition space, while guiding movement throughout."
Her new construction captures a playful side of Chanel not often explored. Candyland icecaps and bleached coral decorate this bubble of fantasy, against which Chanel's classic couture truly does pop. Rather than walk in a straight line, the models mill around in all different directions as if scuttling across the ocean floor. The view seems possible only by opening a clam shell and gazing in at the miniature world in the pearl inside.
Watch below to see fashion and fantasy dressed up in all white.