‘Ascension‘ explores rebirth and renewal and features Gareth Pugh S/S 15 garments and an original piece of choreography by Wayne McGregor.
Gareth Pugh caused a stir for S/S 15 by eschewing his usual slot on the Paris Fashion Week schedule and kicking off New York Fashion Week with an immersive live experience, made in collaboration with Lexus. The event featured three short films that combined Pugh’s designs with performances by models, choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Filmmaker and artist Andrew Thomas Huang served as creative director. SHOWstudio is proud to exclusively release the films – Megalith, Chaos, and Ascension – alongside a gallery of images that show off Pugh’s S/S 15 collection in detail.
The collection is informed by an obsession with British folklore and its many rites and rituals. ‘The handwork, the ceremonial aspects, the playful and sometimes outlandish practices, and the unnerving notion of an outsider society, all deeply resonate with me,’ explains Pugh. To him, the Lexus Design Disrupted event offered the chance to, ‘connect the audience with not only the collection itself, but the emotion that went into creating the clothes.’
The opening installation – a stylized Stonehenge – made up of 8 monolithic LED screens, presented an imposing cast of characters traditionally found throughout British folklore. The second installation, represented a darker more menacing vision: a Pagan anarchy, illustrating the oppositional forces – black and white, positive and negative, chaos and control – that are all signature to Pugh’s work. Here a live tornado – created by artist Daniel Wurtzel – consumed the space, while dancers performed before a huge screen of swirling chaos. The final installation in the series, Ascension, was perhaps the most profound in Pugh’s mind. The set opened with an original piece created by McGregor, and ended with the image of the phoenix, a timeless icon of rebirth and renewal.
From the delicate chiffon ribbons referencing summer rites and the raising of the maypole and the hard graphic lines of pentagram harnesses that call to mind pagan ritual, to the tailoring pieces adorned by mother of pearl appliqué – a reference to Pearly Kings and Queens – this season the fabrics have a handmade quality. Sackcloth hessian, deconstructed cotton, and a specially woven linen jacquard come together to form a collection that is rooted in the visual codes of British folk tradition and the needlepoint philosophy of ‘make do and mend.’ Revist the S/S 15 collection here.