Gareth Pugh recreates sun motifs from opera costumes for Spring Summer 2017

British fashion designer Gareth Pugh has based his latest collection on costumes he created for a sun-themed opera, using golden triangles and black stripes to depict rays of light.

Pugh's Spring Summer 2017 runway show took place in London on Saturday evening, within 24 hours of the opera's opening night at Palais Garnier in Paris.

Gareth Pugh SS17

He designed over 60 costumes for Eliogabalo, originally written by Francesco Cavalli for the 1667 Venice Carnival.

It follows the story of a child emperor in imperial Rome, who proclaims himself as a sun god and is ultimately overthrown.

Gareth Pugh SS17

"The opera is essentially about an empire eating itself – so it feels alarmingly relevant," said Pugh.

Gareth Pugh SS17

"I knew that this was where we had to start this season, exploring those themes, reframed against an urgent and contemporary backdrop."

Gareth Pugh SS17

The sun became a key motif for the garments, formed using golden disks and rays made up of faceted triangles.

Gareth Pugh SS17

These shapes were also deconstructed and used to cover shoulders and bustiers in a more overlapping, haphazard arrangement.

Gareth Pugh SS17

"In one way the sun is a symbol of creation and warmth – an explosion of power and life – but it can also represent tyrannical power and destruction," Pugh said.

"So I wanted to explore that duality, to show two sides of the same coin, but for grace to triumph over nature."

Gareth Pugh SS17

The opening look was based on a black sun, which also referenced 20th-century artist Francis Bacon's portrait of Pope Innocent X.

Its dark round form was based on the pope's gaping mouth in the painting, while flowing white and purple garments shown later on the catwalk were influenced by the colours of his robes.

Gareth Pugh SS17

Structured silhouettes were gradually replaced by softer shapes – reminiscent of the opera's narrative, in which bureaucrats are overrun by the populous.

Gareth Pugh SS17

The sun and ray imagery returned at the end of the presentation, using a softer golden tone between black stripes.

Pugh's collection was debuted at Brewer Street Car Park during this season's London Fashion Week, which takes place from 16 to 20 September 2016.

Gareth Pugh Spring Summer 2017 fashion collection

Since bringing his biannual shows back to the UK capital from Paris in February 2015, the Sunderland-born designer has shown collections including a range that pulled together references from across Britain and a set of disco-themed garments inspired by London's Soho district.

He has previously created costumes for a ballet called Carbon Life, which premiered at the city's Royal Opera House in 2012.