Following INSENSATE, his phantasmagoric film collaboration with SHOWstudio, Gareth Pugh presented his fall '09 RTW collection as a large format video projection rather than a traditional runway show - not that Pugh has ever done anything traditional.
While the 2-D format meant it took a visit to the showroom to appreciate the texture of Pinhead outfits carpeted with fine spikes like a lethal fur, it did allow for a chance to see the clothes in movement, whipped into aerodynamic shapes on screen by an elemental wind.
Aware of how often he's been stuck in a sci-fi box, the designer stressed, "This is not from a spaceship, it's from under the ground. I wanted it to feel earthy." If the palette—black, gray, and hematite, the color of oxidized iron—was of this earth, it was definitely somewhere way down inside. Matthew Stone's soundtrack, which used a piece of the Krzysztof Penderecki music from The Shining, compounded the mines-of-Mordor mood.
One attendee aptly describes his aesthetic as "Dark euphoria."
Pugh himself says, "People are worried about the future, but I think it's a good time for creativity." [That's a sentiment I couldn't agree with more!]