Couture for the colonisation of Venus: super/collider’s Chris Hatherill on Gareth Pugh
Is there life on Mars? The very latest findings from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory seem to suggest the answer is negative, with virtually no trace of methane – a key indicator of lifeforms – detected by the agency’s sophisticated robotic rover, Curiosity. Along with the next nearest world in our sky, Venus, it looks like the red planet, long associated with masculinity and war, could likewise be devoid of living things. Confirmation might be disappointing for biologists, but without delicate local flora to worry about, it would clear the way for complete human colonisation of our closest neighbouring worlds.
So where to? Male-dominated Mars is a world of OTT natural features, with two moons crossing its night sky, ravaging dust storms, the solar system’s highest volcano and its deepest, longest canyon. You can almost imagine National Geographic filming extreme survival shows there in the year 3000, with Bear Grills’ distant descendants (or clones?) repelling down vertiginous cliff faces in hardened, military-spec suits. Venus, in contrast, is more subtle and mysterious. Shrouded in swirling sulfuric clouds, its forbidding surface lies hidden to us from earth and orbiting ships.
Pugh has provided a wardrobe for the planet’s new citizens, with sleek monochromatic greys for future administrators of cloud cities and lava-buried bunkers – think Imperial Japan meets Imperial Stormtrooper
Down below, the lifeless, volcanic plains of this dead world call for something altogether more beguiling, exciting and elegant to offset the sweltering, sterile conditions. Cue Gareth Pugh’s SS14 collection, which arrived yesterday in a temporarily hot, tepid and chlorinated atmosphere created for the occasion inside Paris‘ Palais de Tokyo – reminiscent of what we’d find deep beneath Venus’ dense cloud cover.
Let’s leave Mars to the men, then, and create on Venus the fertile and female-oriented world of ancient imagination: a fashion-forward planet of vast tropical greenhouses lit by bright white fluorescents, calm artificial seas and monolithic mountain temples. Pugh has provided a wardrobe for the planet’s new citizens, with sleek monochromatic greys for future (all-female) administrators of cloud cities and lava-buried bunkers – think Imperial Japan meets Imperial Stormtrooper.
Popping against simple grey and white, vivid nail and swept-up eye colours maintain a feminine feel for everyday occasions, while a series of shimmering aquamarine looks and metallic silver armbands provide options for power lunches and political receptions overlooking the central peak of Ariadne Crater.
Billowing feathered headpieces form the centrepiece for sacred, ceremonial processions down vast white hallways deep beneath the surface
Pugh’s slick, signature F-117 Stealth Fighter Black makes an appearance in the form of a commanding, high-collared coat for Venusian Amazons – also available in PVC-laced white for a less imposing occasions.
Billowing feathered headpieces form the centrepiece for sacred, ceremonial processions down vast white hallways deep beneath the surface – and with Matthew Stone’s ethereal soundtrack, the stage is truly set for a new civilisation.
Chris Hatherill is the founder of creative science agency super/collider.
Cover image: backstage at Gareth Pugh, photography Luc Braquet, and Venus in Transit, photography Wolfgang Tillmans