Ever wondered what it would feel like to live inside the mind of filmmaker Wes Anderson? Bar Luce, the cafe-cum-art installation at Milan’s laudable cultural institution, the Fondazione Prada, lets you find out, for the price of a cappuccino.
The man who gave the world The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom turned his iconic aesthetic on Bar Luce, lending it his signature style of equal parts kitsch, quirk and colour. The space is awash with pastel-hued formica – mint, rose, teal – and vintage 1950s and ’60s touches (the era that inspired the auteur’s Bar-Lucian-vision), like the juke box, booths, and the pinball machines. The latter, it should be noted, is Life Aquatic themed, another of Anderson’s films. And, in a nod to the bar’s location in one of Europe’s fashion capitals, the ceiling of the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping arcade is replicated in wallpaper on the high, vaulted ceilings.
Bar Luce isn’t the first collaboration between the Fondazione Prada and Anderson; they’ve worked together previously on commercials and the 2013 short film Castello Cavalcanti. But this stage of their relationship shows how sympatico the two juggernauts are together; Bar Luce, while an atmospheric place to sip on campari or nosh on a croissant, is just as much a piece of art as any you might find in the Prada complex.