CULTURE

Gareth Pugh’s Spring 2017 Show is Not For the Faint of Heart

The former costume designer for the National Youth Theater in London showed a collection inspired by opera.

Written by Helen Holmes
Photographed by Shaun James Cox

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Shaun James Cox / www.shaunjamescox.com / @ShaunJamesCox

Gareth Pugh has always been invested in complicating the theatrical. This year, he was responsible this year for outfitting the actors performing in Eliogabalo, an opera being staged in Paris – he also provided some of the the looks for Rihanna’s September cover of W – and it’s clear the clothes he made for the stage deeply informed his Spring 2017 collection: the collection was characterized by clean, blockish lines — you’ll find no frilly ruffles or dainty bows in a Pugh collection — but accessorized with golden headdresses that would put Cleopatra to shame. The kaleidoscopic, fan-like stripe and square prints which spread out across Pugh’s sheath dresses and terrifying gowns gave off a feeling of both pure, destructive energy and undeniable malice. The blacks, whites, and golds shot through with royal purple seemed to articulate a cautionary fable about an evil queen on Mars. Whatever the case may be, this collection is not for the faint of heart.

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Photo by Shaun James Cox.