Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Future is...


This season, British designer Gareth Pugh - famous for his preference of goth-influenced looks - made a statement by completely relinquishing to have a catwalk show for his spring/summer '11 collection. He replaced his live show with a 11-minute film that was shown yesterday, 29th September 2010 in Paris. Let me rephrase that - "film" does not quite do it justice. We are talking about an artistic masterpiece displaying his collection in a virtual framework that would put a considerable number of sci-fi films and music videos into place.

Director Ruth Hobgen, who, as part of Nick Knight's SHOWstudio - also in charge of imagery of Lady Gaga's Monster Ball World Tour - created this stimulating short film, featuring supermodel Kristen McMenamy and male dancer Jonathan Baker.

The film conveys the emotion and the vision of Gareth Pugh, which is habitually sinister and slightly outlandish. The captivating piece of virtual artistry, which was created in collaboration with ingenious SHOWstudio was projected on a gargantuan screen in the Parc de Bercy sports stadium in Paris instead of a classic runway show.
By abandoning the catwalk for a virtual spectacle instead of merely complementing his show by film material, Gareth Pugh is taking the virtual marketing efforts of fellow designers and fashion brands one step further. Clearly taking sides of advocates for immediacy and overall accessability of fashion, the video was simultaneously accessible on the SHOWstudio website and youtube for thousands of aficionados worldwide.

The elaborate black and white video displayed an alienating yet beautiful composition of Japanese-inspired sharply tailored clothing, some androgynous futuristic shapes as well as some rather unexpected soft and delicate flowing garments. Also, the shades of this season were dominated by silver, grey and white, some monochrome graphic prints but still featured some of the designer's signature dark goth/fetish-inspired looks. 

Following - of what feels to be - the footprints of Alexander McQueen, who smoothed out the way with his cross over show "Plato's Atlantis" on year ago in his last show for spring/summer '10, Gareth Pugh took over the sceptre of virtual fashion showmanship. Certainly as resource consuming as any fashion show, the designer took full control of the representations of his designs.

It feels like this season, we are clearly witnessing a shift towards both ends of the spectrum.
Fashion accessibility, immediacy and ubiquity versus intimacy, luxury and elitism.


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