Traveling from show to show in Paris is more than taxing. But certain shows pique enough curiosity that you will go the extra mile or two to experience them. Today, for example, it was rue Japy for Rochas, then over to Palais de Tokyo for Hakaan’s first Paris outing, then back over to Bercy for Gareth Pugh, which is almost the outer limits of Paris (though not the extent of Galliano or McQueen).
So it’s always a bit disappointing to realize that you won’t be seeing a live show at all but, in Gareth’s case, a fashion film, directed by Ruth Hogben for Showstudio.com. Scale plays a big part for Gareth—which is clearly evident in his clothes—and here there was an enormous floor-to-ceiling screen, complete with grainy static on which to contemplate until the entire audience of the committed were present.
The film began with a 3-D metal cube hurling toward the audience, followed by a series of moving sequences with larger-than-life model Kristen McMenamy. Geometric, super-wide trousers and folded origami-like shapes were created as Kristen bent and twisted, forms that were repeated, wallpaper-style, in a mirrored kaleidoscope. Most memorable was a bodysuit series, a variation on his black-and-white checkerboard print, and finally mirrored squares that repeated to mosaic effect. The only newish look in Gareth’s repertoire was a sleeveless, pillow-like, quilted jacket, but it was really too similar to Martin Margiela’s duvet coat.
The scale was reminiscent of Helmut Newton nudes, but despite the looming size of the screen, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the clothes. It seemed as though they were not there to really be viewed, perhaps because it felt I’d already seen these silhouettes, both at his house and now overlapping with Rick Owens’. And Kristen, while fantastic, has already been the muse at Givenchy and Viktor & Rolf. Above all, perhaps the biggest letdown was the style of fashion video, which, by the end, seemed all about quick effect, more style than substance.