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Fashion brand COS teamed up with California based artist, Phillip K Smith III, to create

an altered reflection of the city at the heart of Milan Design Week. The immersive

site-specific installation combined nature with the built environment, employing light

and space as materials.


Difficult to follow their award winning collaboration last year with Studio Swine, the

British fashion label enlisted Smith to create an exhibit that would surpass

expectations at this years event. A considered move from COS, as the artist has already

sustained an impressive following, with previous works commissioned for public events

including  L.A’s Coachella festival.





Centred in the courtyard of Milan’s 16th century Palazzo Isimbardi, a shining crown-like

structure appeared in the form of a 14 metre wide beacon, reflecting the historic

architecture of the palace and the open sky above. Comprised of faceted panels in a

semi – circle formation, the mirrored surface served to reconfigure an alternative vision

of its surroundings, one angle at a time.


Each visitor was afforded their own unique experience of the work depending on

their viewpoint, the angle of the sun and subtle changes in light and colour

throughout the day.




Moving through the central space and into the palace’s adjoining gardens, the view

opened up to reveal five smaller scale sculptures bouncing back vistas of the

immaculately manicured greenery surrounding them.




Those unable to visit Milan could still get a taste for the concept in a series of smaller

installations, placed in the windows of COS stores around the globe – each reflecting

views of the surrounding city.






Phillip K Smith Smith III has a history with architecture, having completed a Bachelor at

Rhode Island School before moving on to study fine art. An affinity with the built

environment is clearly something that has stayed with him and continues to inform his

visual vocabulary.


By: Jennifer Ring

Images: COS



One thought on “Milan: COS X Phillip K Smith III

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