Pushing what others have dubbed his wearable sculptures to an entire immersive experience, British-born designer Gareth Pugh showcased his spring/summer 2015 collection last night through a three-part installation at Pier 38. While he has shown in Paris for the past eight years, Pugh made his New York debut as part of Lexus Design Disrupted and Milk MADE.
As fog filled the space and the lights dimmed, guests made their way toward the first of three settings: a rotunda of large screens. The screens soon played films of models donning Pugh’s elaborate and structural garments, including pastel floor length gowns as well as geometrically black and white tailored coats and statement making hats. The designs and show itself reflected Pugh’s interpretations of British rites, rituals and folklore—men wearing horns acted as an interpretation of Abbots Bromley, characters whose function are to help make women fertile.
When the films concluded and screens darkened, guests, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Amber Valletta, Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, and Coco Rocha, then migrated toward a stage equipped with more fog and flashing lights. Here, dancers instead of models emerged wearing a small selection of Pugh’s garments. The orderly structure of the film quickly turned to utter chaos. Dancers moved vividly and poignantly. There wasn’t a moment of stillness.
At the end of this performance, guests were directed toward the final stage, where dancers bore hardly any clothing and performed a melodic and calming finale. From the structured and guided beginning, to a hectic middle story, and an ascension upward at the end of the show, the idea of rebirth permeated throughout the performance. While spectacle provided only a small glimpse into Pugh’s spring/summer 2015 collection, it allowed for a deeper understanding of the creative’s mind and thought process. The designer says he believes in always pushing forward and through this show, he did just that.