STAGE DIRECTIONS: Gareth Pugh is doing double duty this fashion season. Ahead of parading his spring collection in a central London parking garage tonight, Pugh unveiled more than 60 costumes on the stage of Palais Garnier in Paris, where “Eliogabolo” debuted on Friday night.
“The opera is essentially about an empire eating itself — so it feels alarmingly relevant,” according to Pugh, noting that the piece, written by Francesco Cavalli in 1667, also influenced his signature collection. “I knew that this was where we had to start this season, exploring those themes, reframed against an urgent and contemporary backdrop.”
According to the Paris Opera, the piece “focuses on the perverse young emperor who neglected affairs of state in favor of sensual pleasures. Systematically overturning accepted morals, Elagabalus dresses men as women, and names women to the Senate, favors sinning servants and humiliates generals.”
Pugh calls the main character a “crowned anarchist.”
Performances run through Oct. 15.