Wednesday, 29 February 2012

PFW A/W2012: Gareth Pugh in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

If you've read my blog before then you might well be aware of my Gareth Pugh fetish. I have been known to refer to him as 'God' and mean it. With no further introduction other than my space-age title, here's his latest offering from Paris Fashion Week.

 [Images from and collaged by me. Here's some of Pugh's trademark heavy black].

Volume is one of those things that we rave about in haircare and we long for with music. Pugh certainly turned things up a notch with this collection, which included stand-out pieces using multiple tassels, intense laser cutting and thigh-high boots worthy of the love child of Dick Turpin and a dominatrix. In a bad light, some of these pieces might look a bit like lampshades in their bell-like forms, but I really like how they stand out as labours of love in terms of craft. There were also a lot of fur-based pieces, but I preferred these more original and time-consuming outfits that felt more like works of art than fleeting fashion statements.

 Trapeze coats and handkerchief hems went to extreme lengths.

Looking at these examples of outerwear, my lowly grey New Look coat with its hanky hem felt a little outgunned. Still, when I wear it I do like the drama that comes with too many layers of fabric, and that's what Pugh has achieved, along with a sleek dose of space-age minimalism. I'm not sure the face guard/collar will catch on, but it would be bloody useful on a cold day (and probably highly hygienic in terms of keeping you away from the common cold - NHS, you might want to start a campaign with this one).

There's always an element of the unexpected in a Pugh collection. 
This season it was intergalactic quirks - Spock-style pointed collars, Dulux dog coats and Star Trek tops.

What Gareth Pugh does is to take an idea and run with it much further than others would. At the point where mainstream designers would panic about commercial appeal and wearability, he tells them to sod it. The models wore thin headbands in grey or black and their boots were tied up at various stages, rendering them like space goddesses (or maybe just neatly packaged parcels). Proportions were played with and the body became a blank canvas from which he created shapes and statements. 

All along the show also felt very feminist. Pugh does not design for a woman who panics about what a man thinks. He does not design for those who act as wallflowers or doormats. Even if you look like you've walked off the set of Star Trek, you are dressing for yourself, and that's what counts. 

Yet again, there are so many ideas to take away from a Gareth Pugh show. I can't wait to see where he takes us next.

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