Editor's pick technology

Gareth Pugh turns to video game designers for interactive costume exploration

3D virtual renderings of Gareth Pugh's Antigona opera costume designs
3D virtual renderings of Gareth Pugh’s Antigona opera costume designs

Gareth Pugh has created a digital experience to celebrate the launch of his costumes for the Opera Antigona, which opened at Staatstheater Kassel, Germany on June 10.

A means of showcasing and previewing the costumes in virtual form, the interactive project guides users through four acts related to the opera flow itself.

The key however is in the user experience. Pugh worked with a team of video game designers from a young London-based digital art studio called Werkflow, as well as Turner-Prize-nominated artist, Goshka Macuga, who is creative director across the opera, to create the platform.

There’s a distinctive video game quality to it as a result – users can pinch, scroll, click and drag on their devices (it’s optimised for mobile and desktop), in order to zoom into the 3D virtual renderings of the garments and orbit each scene. Clicking on a circle in the first scene sees an explosion of light; tapping on the pulsating icon at the bottom right of the screen in each, then takes you to the next act.

3D virtual renderings of Gareth Pugh's Antigona opera costume designs
3D virtual renderings of Gareth Pugh’s Antigona opera costume designs

Each scene is anchored by one of the opera’s key characters: the king Creonte, the two warring brothers Eteocles and Polynices, and finally Antigona herself. The story itself is a reinvention of the original baroque tragedy by Tommaso Traeto, reframed against a science-fiction-inspired backdrop.

Said Macuga: “To imagine this production having a second life – using the tools created by Werkflow – feels like an opportunity to illustrate a technological step in our advancement, as well as a chance to explore a change in our relationship with issues of creative intimacy, or a sense of reality and truth.”

Tom Wandrag, co-founder of Werkflow, added: “As a studio, we like to see how far we can push unconventional ideas using emergent digital technology. We often discuss the use of the ‘game space’ as a theatrical space, so the concept of reframing Antigona against a futurist backdrop seemed to us like a perfect opportunity to work toward taking Gareth and Goshka’s ideas beyond what is possible on stage.”

This is not the first time Pugh has worked on stage costumes – he did so for the ballet Carbon Life, which opened at the Royal Opera House in 2012, and for the opera Eliogabalo, which opened at the Palais Garnier in Paris in 2016.

digital snippets film Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Karl Lagerfeld, Bergdorfs, Nike, Mr Porter, Gap

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:


  • Selfridges launches The Film Project with Alexander McQueen (as above), Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Gareth Pugh, A.F. Vandervorst and Rick Owens [Karl is my Unkle]
  • Karl Lagerfeld launches new content-driven website [WWD]
  • Bergdorf Goodman partners with magazine app Zite to push brand-relevant lifestyle content [Marketwire]
  • Mr Porter launches global augmented reality fashion hunt [Mashable]
  • Nike showcasing ‘future of retail’ with pop-up Nike+ FuelStation in London [Creativity Online]
  • Gap launches new campaign integrating geo-fencing technology [PSFK]
film Uncategorized

Gareth Pugh on preserving concept through the art of fashion film

In a recent interview with Dazed & Confused magazine, Gareth Pugh talked about fashion film as an add-on to a collection rather than a substitute. I love his thoughts around how it can capture concept and box up emotion beyond the existence of the line itself:

I think to have both is what I want to do next [published before his weekend showing in Paris] – so you’re communicating with an audience through a live show, and you have a film that is more about the world in which those clothes exist, which can be seen anywhere online. Show images exist online forever, but the idea that went behind that show is lost, and at the end of the day it’s bar-coded, it’s shipped out and it’s available to everybody. With the film, an emotion can live on forever.

His spring/summer 2012 film, created with Ruth Hogben and starring Crystal Renn, was shown in Paris this weekend, fused with the live catwalk show. Watch it here:


In the same interview, he also touched upon information-overload in the digital age:

I already feel quite separated from the generation below us because of things like Facebook, Twitter and blogging, which we didn’t have as teens. I don’t really get it. I think it’s too much, it’s an overload, and I don’t like that aspect of it. It means the way we live now is so much faster than it used to be. Before, with monthly magazines, a magazine would define what that month was. That’s the great thing about magazines – they are little bookmarks in time, whereas now, there’s no time to bookmark anything because it’s all happening in real time. But now you have so much choice, so much information – there’s so much to absorb. You just have to look at someone like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber – it’s just a phenomenon of the world in which we live, and it would have never happened before, but it’s amazing that things like that can happen at all. It’s like that stupid video on YouTube with that little kid biting that other kid’s finger – funnily enough, I was watching that video the other day, it has over 350 million hits. It bothers me that that can happen, but that’s just the way it is.

film Uncategorized

BoF – top 10 fashion films of the season

The Business of Fashion has revealed its top 10 fashion films of the season, with Prada’s spring/summer 2011 campaign leading the charge.

Also featured is Tom Ford’s spring 2011 show; Chanel’s robots in Here Comes The Beauty Pack; Gareth Pugh’s film from Pitti Immagine created by Ruth Hogben; and Seven Henrietta Street by Kate Spade New York.

Anatomy of Change for House of Mugler Menswear takes the number six spot – featuring tattooed “zombie” Rick Genest, with a soundtrack by Lady Gaga.

And rounding off the top 10 is Vanessa Bruno’s Miracle; Spying on Kate Moss, a film from on the set of the autumn/winter 2010/11 Balmain campaign featured on NOWNESS; Miu Miu’s The Powder Room; and Net-a-Porter’s Bag Guide.

Check them all out alongside the BoF’s full write up, here.

1. Prada S/S 201