MIND GAMES: Selfridges London on Tuesday night launched Monolith, a virtual reality experience by the designer Gareth Pugh where the action took place within a tessellated tardis located in the first floor men's wear department. Part of the store’s Festival of Imagination, visitors stepping inside and donning a Pugh-created black headpiece could take a two-minute journey into the designer’s imagination. The immersive experience was based on an outfit Pugh created last year for a Royal Ballet production called "Carbon Life" — which he described as “a little fairground attraction” aimed to transport the viewer into a world where said outfit might exist. Selfridges creative director Alannah Weston, one of the first to test the virtual waters, pronounced it “incredible as it expresses what Gareth is all about — there’s something quite futuristic and something quite Gothic but very precise and clean at the same time.” So what’s it like being inside Gareth Pugh’s imagination? “It’s intense,” she said, “it’s hot [referring to the mask itself] and the music [artist Matthew Stone masterminded the soundtrack] is awesome.” She revealed that the store is currently touting a 300 million pound, or $500 million, yacht by architect Zaha Hadid — via a virtual tour (by digital agency, Inition behind Monolith itself) that employs similar technology. “It’s not quite as creative though,” she admitted ruefully.
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