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Prada's Shanghai Expo

The Italian super brand shows off the staff uniforms Miucca have designed for the Shanghai Expo 2010

Since the legendary 'Great Exhibition', the first World Expo that took place in London’s Hyde Park in 1851, universal expositions have given the chance to different countries to present their art, culture and design and explore at the same time new technological developments. Fashion was indirectly presented at the various exhibitions through the staff’s uniforms. Created by prominent fashion houses and designers, the uniforms often incorporated elements that recalled the architectures and colours of the pavilions where the staff worked, while also referencing current trends. At the Montreal Expo 1967, for example, the Mary Quant-inspired mini-dresses of the UK stewardesses caused a fashion chaos influencing a raise in the hems of the other girls’ uniforms. Designed by Prada, the uniforms worn by the Italian pavilion staff at the Shanghai Expo 2010 will probably spark new rivalries.

The Italian fashion house created both men and women’s uniforms, opting for a casual yet elegant approach. The uniforms, in faille and poplin stretch fabrics and combining bright colours including fuchsia, white and steel grey, are accessorised with Prada’s nylon and leather sneakers and with iconic “piattine” bags in steel grey fabric. The organisers hope the uniforms will complement the look of the Italian pavilion, designed by architect Giampaolo Imbrighi, conceived as a journey through “Made in Italy” architecture, art, culture and technology, and with a room entirely dedicated to craftsmanship, fashion and design. In celebration of the Shanghai event, Prada also launched new window displays inspired by Expo theme, “Better City, Better Life”. The displays – launched in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Singapore and San Francisco – mix contemporary architecture, such as Shanghai’s iconic Pearl Tower, with an imaginary wonderland.

Shanghai Expo 2010, 1st May – 31st October 2010, Shanghai, China.