If Gareth Pugh had been alive when Star Wars was released in 1977, the British designer would most certainly have been selected to design the costumes. Just picture Princess Leia sauntering through the galaxy in one of his technology-inspired designs.
And although the ready-to-wear collection he showed in Paris on Wednesday seemed slightly muted and calm compared to his earlier, more theatrical work, his recurring theme of softer romanticism continued.
There was a simplicity to some of the cuts -- they were clean and asymmetrical -- and Pugh’s favorite color scheme of black, white, and gray resonated, giving a more modern feel. Feminine silhouettes from yesteryear -- seen in long, figure-hugging silk gowns with trains -- were coupled with more architectural jacket, and collars were thrown open or sculpted into a semi-arc above the shoulders like the body of an insect, all liberating the female form.
The designer introduced only subtle bits of color into the collection. The opening look combined a light turquoise, slinky evening gown with a mauve headpiece. Silver, and what looked like PVC, came into play for some of the most sci-fi looks in the form of a long swishy skirt, which hugged the body and swirled around the feet, and a metallic short-sleeved top that resembled a soldier’s tunic.
Giving a bit of edge were leather bodices worn over long slinky skirts and silk dresses that swirled around the feet. Many of the looks, like a bodice worn with a figure-hugging pencil skirt, remained seductive and sexy despite its muted colors.
The most theatrical, most Gareth Pugh part of the collection were the over-sized headpieces, which resembled playful versions of the fluffy tall Bearskin caps worn by the British Military at the Changing of the Guard. Underneath the hats, the models's make-up included a play on big gray eye-shadow exaggerated with a plastic-looking panel that covered the eyebrows.
Princess Leia would have done well to score one of the final looks: a super-galactic, black knee-length coat with sci-fi rounded shoulders, worn with black leather leggings and high heels, and what looked like a reptilian-inspired dress. And if the Changing of the Guard were a female night-time affair, then the final look -- a serpent-like, figure-hugging black dress -- worn with a black furry headpiece, would have been just the ticket.