A WEARSIDE designer was given the festive honour of creating a Christmas tree for one of the world’s most famous museums.
Gareth Pugh, who launched his career as a student at Sunderland College, and has gone on to work with Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Rihanna, is behind the Victoria and Albert Museum’s festive display.
The installation, named Ceremony, is made of wood, fabric, acrylic and LED lights and stands at more than four metres high, mirroring the shape of a traditional Christmas tree.
It is made up of nine tiered pyramids clad in gold. They collect around a light, said to represent an abstract nativity, with the arrangement designed to suggest a gathering and a community at the heart of the festive season.
Gareth, who has already exhibited his work in the museum’s Wedding Dresses exhibition, which runs until March, said: “The V&A is a true British icon and a guardian of our cultural heritage.
“It was an honour to be invited to take part in its festive celebrations. “I hope our installation might provide a moment of reflection for those who visit over the next month, and perhaps even contribute a little to the magic of the season.”
Jane Reed, head of department for visual and performing arts at Sunderland College, said: “Gareth is an exceptionally talented fashion designer and the Christmas tree installation he has created for the Victoria and Albert Museum is beautifully striking.
“Gareth demonstrated an incredible aptitude for art and fashion design while he attended Sunderland College, and it has been an absolute delight to watch his meteoric rise in the fashion industry.
“We are all very proud of Gareth and his achievements over the years. We continue to follow his work closely, and he is an inspiration to our fashion and clothing students who aspire to work in this industry.”
“We are very passionate about teaching and learning, and we are committed to ensuring our students leave the college with all the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing Gareth started his fashion education at Sunderland College, where he developed his natural flair and talent.”
Gareth later studied at London’s Central Saint Martins and now lives in the capital. He has shown his work at Paris Fashion Work for the last six years and is now for creating clothes described as wearable sculptures.
He has previously exhibited at the V&A through its Fashion in Motion series in 2007.