Yves Saint Laurent commissioned Doug Aitken to create a reflective Forest-scape catwalk

July 16, 2021



Geewel Fuster


Fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent has commissioned artist Doug Aitken to design a runway stage, and the result is nothing short of fantastic.

Green Lens is a 10-pronged pavilion made of reflective aluminum panels and filled with foliage. Walking through the kaleidoscopic archways, one has a sense of falling upwards into a world that blends the industrial with the natural. The stark, ultramodern panels evoke a futuristic urban landscape, which nevertheless encloses and reflects the backdrop of a lush, untamed wilderness.

Although Green Lens was primarily created for Saint Laurent’s menswear spring-summer 2021 show, the installation will be available to the public until the end of July. According to Aitken, the installation is intended to be an inclusive work, giving visitors a space to remain grounded in the present while contemplating the future.


Aitken’s Green Lens is probably one of his most significant and universally relevant works today. Known for his large-scale, site-specific art installations, he has been dominating the contemporary art scene since his first solo exhibition in New York back in 1994. His multidisciplinary approach to art and design, using a wide spectrum of media, makes him a pioneering advocate for forms of art that evoke fascination and profound human experience of unpredictability.His masterpieces unexpectedly teaches observers the wonders of the arbitrary and the need to pay more attention to the world around us. Many of his celebrated works are produced by synthesizing interactive media with a site’s surrounding architectural context.


Given the frequently ephemeral nature of art and fashion shows, it seems surprising that this speculative installation would aim to create a lasting presence in the Venetian island of Certosa, where it is currently being held. But its creators are planning to do precisely that. The foliage used in the exhibit will be replanted in the area and become a part of the ecosystem. Saint Laurent has also dedicated itself to reforestation efforts, as well as the reconstruction of cloister ruins on the island.

“We wanted to create something that would bring life back to the island.” said Aitken.

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