Willo Perron is the set designer behind the Savage x Fenty Vol .3 show, which premiered on Amazon Prime last week. Perron, who also worked on the first and second editions of the show, has worked with others to help Rihanna realize her vision and turn the Savage x Fenty shows into major events that merge fashion, performance, and art.
For the third show, Perron focused on The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, a structure in downtown Los Angeles that was designed by John C. Portman Jr. in 1974. Perron says his goal was to showcase the beauty of the architecture without adding a lot of bells and whistles.
“Well, the beauty of this building is that there’s this inherent grandiosity,” says Perron. “It would have been easy to add projections and video and like, all these kind of gags. My thing was just to always pull back from people being like, ‘Hey, let’s add pyro.’ But I felt like we needed to just let the space and architecture kind of be and focus on these sort of subtle things like the deeply saturated colors.”
Here, Perron, who is known for his work with artists including Kanye West, Drake, and Jay-Z, talks about what he wanted to do differently for the Vol. 3 show, how Rihanna challenges him, and the importance of reinterpreting references (instead of copying them exactly).