Spreading his wings: Pugh creates living folklore in fashion ritual

08 : 09 : 2014 NYFW : Gareth Pugh : Folklore

New York – For his first New York Fashion Week event, designer Gareth Pugh staged a multimedia spectacle that paid homage to British folklore and fantasy.

Gareth Pugh S/S15, New York Fashion Week Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Gareth Pugh S/S15, New York Fashion Week Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Gareth Pugh S/S15, New York Fashion Week Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com Gareth Pugh featured at Lexus Design Disrupted. Photographer: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

The Lexus Design Disrupted event, billed as a ‘live immersive fashion experience’, took place at Pier 36 in downtown Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighbourhood, on an industrial waterfront far from the uptown glitz of the Lincoln Center.

Dancers clad in caps and futuristic undergarments writhed in front of screens projecting even more ethereal imagery. To explain, Pugh distributed a note to the crowd: ‘From the opening installation, a stylised stone circle, we travel through a Pagan anarchy, referencing the oppositional forces – black and white, positive and negative, chaos and control – that are all signatures of my work.’

Pugh closed the show with a video of a woman wearing long white robes that flared out like wings. ‘It is the final flourish that is perhaps the most profound: the image of the phoenix, a timeless icon of renewal,’ explained the note.

More designers this season are creating immersive spectacles rather than typical runway events. At a time when nearly everyone sees collections first on the internet, designers are making the most of what live events can offer by incorporating immersive, multi-sensory elements.

For more on why fantasy and myth are exerting a greater influence on popular culture, read our Neo-Tolkienism macrotrend. 

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