The invitation—a black-and-white photo of boiling clouds—cued the elemental spirit of Gareth Pugh's new collection. Aware of how often he's been stuck in a sci-fi box, the designer stressed, "This is not from a spaceship, it's from under the ground. I wanted it to feel earthy." If the palette—black, gray, and hematite, the color of oxidized iron—was of this earth, it was definitely somewhere way down inside. Matthew Stone's soundtrack, which used a piece of the Krzysztof Penderecki music from The Shining, compounded the mines-of-Mordor mood.

Pugh presented his new looks in mesmerizing video form. And in that context, his clothes made perfect sense in a way that they haven't always on the runway. While the 2-D format meant it took a visit to the showroom to appreciate the texture of Pinhead outfits carpeted with fine spikes like a lethal fur, it did allow for a chance to see the clothes in movement, whipped into aerodynamic shapes on screen by an elemental wind. The designer's new silhouette—falling away in a pleated-back A-line from a small shoulder—was the direct inverse of the triangular shape that made his name. It gave a swirling, capelike volume to coats and jackets. The new trouser shape—high-waisted, with a full pant that covered Pugh's platformed footwear—also amplified the volume moving around the body. (The shoes themselves looked like snub-snouted devil dogs; they almost seemed to be grinning evilly.)

Otherwise, the collection followed on very closely from the menswear Pugh showed in January (he is also selling those clothes in women's sizes). That was particularly apparent in detailing like the triangles that patterned an ornately worked mink jacket or the hooded, pointed-hem leather coat that is his signature piece. When other designers imagine a complementary couple in their collections for men and women, it's usually as boyfriend and girlfriend. Pugh sees a brother and sister in his clothes, siblings ruling his tragic kingdom. There's something appropriately Jacobean about such a notion as it applies to fashion's most theatrically dark designer.