Inflatable Stool von dem dänischen Designer Verner Panton.

Inflatable stool at Prada

Behind the setup of a fashion show hides a lengthy, complex and nerve-racking process. At the end, the extract, the essence, the show, light and flowing, perfectly staged and with a big wow effect on the audience – these are the fashion shows of Miuccia Prada.

The main role in the Prada Men Fashion Show Spring 2019, of course, played the fashion. However, the literally most supporting role, this time, was an inflatable stool, the Inflatable Stool. After a design by the Danish designer Verner Panton from the 1950s, the Inflatable Stool was first produced in a small series in the 1960s. Also this time, the production took place in a signed small series, exclusively for Prada. Made of transparent plastic, the Inflatable Stool gave a clear view on the Prada logo, the sign of designer Verner Panton and the logo of manufacturer Verpan.

Following a coordinate system, the Inflatable Stools were lined up in the impressive Prada production hall in Milan. The Inflatable Stools seemed like clouds of nothing. Due to their transparency, the huge industrial backdrop appeared even more impressive, even magnificent. American Vogue once described a Prada fashion show as “a particularly diabolical crossword puzzle that should never be solved.” The Inflatable Stool series supported the excellent description. Accurately arranged, the Inflatable Stools looked like boxes, whose solution required the correct sequence of letters.

Designer Verner Panton’s Inflatable Stool as a symbol of the POP (popular) Art stands for the discovery of new materials and the use of flexible materials, such as plastic, which bring furniture outside previously known limits. The 1960s are synonymous with the great
departure, the urge for independence and flexibility. This maxim gives the Inflatable Stool a shape. Easy to stow without air, carry with you everywhere and, of course, comfortable – these are the advantages of the Inflatable Stool. However, since the manufacturing methods in the 1960s were not quite as limitless as the material, the Inflatable Stool was not produced long in Pantone’s time.

The Inflatable Stool fell into oblivion and has now been rediscovered and revived by Prada. Just like the Cloverleaf sofa years before, also from Panton and also forgotten until Prada built it for its flagship stores around the world and had it sourced with prada-green velor. The Cloverleaf Sofa is now available again and can be configured at Verner Panton specialist Tagwerc. The Inflatable Stool will come back, too. Soon. Very soon. If you are interested, we will gladly inform you.

The setup of fashion shows and furniture development sometimes have something in common. Behind it lies a lengthy, elaborate and nerve-wracking process, of which, at the end, the extract, the essence, the show stands – light and flowing, perfectly staged and with a big wow-effect on the audience.

Text by Bianca KILLMANN
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Verner Panton’s Inflatable Stool at the SS19 Prada Fashion Show in Milan.