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Monday, September 19, 2016

#LFW: Gareth Pugh Spring 2017

Exceptional fashion is operatic. Designer Gareth Pugh has combined them both. He designed 60 of the costumes of the recently debuted Eliogabalo in Paris for the Venice Carnival Festival. Written by Francesco Cavalli, the opera tells the story of a tyrannical child emperor who declared himself the Sun God. Aside from the costume work, the production inspired much of Pugh's Spring 2017 collection. "He's an agent of chaos, a crowded anarchist, emerging amid a climate of greed and narcissism. It's essentially about an empire eating itself - which felt alarmingly relevant." With the American political climate the way that it is, you would think he was talking about our election.

How did this muse influence the fashion collection specifically? The first group of looks consisted of dramatic silhouettes around a gold and black sun. The black sun represented a gaping void as a reference to Francis Bacon's Innocent X. According to Pugh, it was the "ultimate symbol of insatiable hunger and consumption". The beautiful gold mosaic embellishments symbolize the fractured idea of wealth and chaos.

The second group makes way for the most commercial looks of the show. Monochromatic  purple, white and black looks were draped and twisted beautifully onto the body. The effect was like a contemporary Goddess. It was relaxed and flowing. I would be happy to fill my entire close with these looks.

The third group saw the gold and black sun evolve into an earthy sunburst. The graphic pattern now stood for the idea of renewal, mysticism, and fertility. The silhouettes here were cocoon-like as opposed to the rigid, structured shapes of the gold mosaic group. The sun's rays worked its way into a stripe on some of the looks.

The Gareth Pugh Spring 2017 was one of the shows I was most looking forward to when I knew I would travel to London. I didn't know if I would see human harnesses, intellectual Goth or a cocktail dress made of straws. I just knew it would be impressive and unexpected. I am happy to say I was not disappointed.
All photos by Mariana Leung

Also on Ms. Fabulous:
The Tutu Project
Exclusive Interview with Costume Designer Colleen Atwood

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