COSxPKS3_OpenSky_04 copy


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.


Tasked with surpassing last year’s award-winning collaboration with Studio Swine, the

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

expectations. A considered move from COS, as the artist has sustained an impressive

following online, 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. He has maintained an affinity

with the built environment, that 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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