Kaleidoscopic Vision

In those last years I discovered another great stylist: Gareth Pugh, his style is really particular and just for this fact I love it. As everyone of you knows I studied fashion in high school but I’ve never been a fashion victim and I’ve always loved more weird and unusual catwalk than the classical ones and there are really a few of brands I would to kill for… Gareth Pugh is actually one of them! And this is his spring/summer collection

Perhaps the ideal protagonist for the still to be developed medium, Gareth Pugh showed his collection through a short digital presentation, directed by regular collaborator Ruth Hogben and styled by Katie Shillingford.

His galactic, cyborg warriors were, this season, showcased in suitably dramatic style – yet, somewhat perversely the pieces were characterised by an unexpected softness, as Pugh nodded to commerce for the first, obvious time.

The nod was more than intentional – with a limited edition run of 100 pieces available to purchase via the SHOWstudio.com Shop.

The collection itself reconciles a surreal, kaleidoscopic vision with a futuristic fetish slant, as Pugh explored dramatic op-art prints that dizzy the eye. A move towards uncharacteristic softness – flowing chiffons over structured, panelled leggings, dresses with trailing, curved hems lined with a paler version of the geometric motif – was as beguiling as Pugh’s usual Samurai warriors. Top-to-toe molten silver looks are bound to draw comparisons with Mugler and Iris Van Herpen, yet cinched-at the waist silhouettes and body-con mini-dresses accentuated the shape of the female form, and were surprisingly wearable. Grey rubberized neoprene, sculpted into architectural planes, interlocking panels recalling the structural qualities of the armadillo. Pugh’s sci-fi moniker seems intact, yet he remains the right side of avant-garde, reassuring the faithful that branching out does not equate to selling out.

You had to wonder quite how the models were going to make an entrance onto Gareth Pugh’s runway, what with that giant white rubber balloon blocking the door. Then, with a big pop, the thing exploded, and on came an individual with a glittery cube for a headpiece and a top-to-toe outfit in Swarovski crystal mesh. This time round, there seemed less of the screamy reaction that usually greets his high-camp performance pieces. Maybe fewer of Pugh’s club-kid fans had fought their way in. Or is this the start of a post-novelty cooling-off phase, as all and sundry are left to contemplate how this dedicated enfant terrible is really going to earn a crust?

From the runway pieces, it’s quite possible to see how his dark-side coats, with their giant fringe-bristling shoulders, might find certain takers in the rock industry. As one-offs, they could fill the stage of any stadium. A stole made of white mink mice, complete with red eyes and tails? It could work for an encore. Or as window-dressing, come Halloween, perhaps. Real world, though? Hard to imagine many female customers for his ribbon-leather body dresses, no matter how much slaving it takes to sew them. Perhaps the conundrum will be solved when buyers travel to Paris to see Pugh’s collection up close under Rick Owens’ roof. Owens’ wife, Michele Lamy, who has a stellar reputation as a manager, is overseeing Pugh’s production.

Maybe there are moderated designs in the works. There need to be, unless Pugh is quite happy to continue, hand-to-mouth, relying on the indulgence of sponsors, and the diminishing returns as newer designers come up.

Thoughts? I’m really in love with those kaleidoscopic and cyber vision of fashion and then black and leather can’t miss in my wardrobe also in this season!