A languid, turquoise bias-cut gown worn with a headdress of purple ostrich feathers opened Gareth Pugh’s spring show.
Once the initial shock of seeing not only two happy colors, but a classically feminine dress — plus the inherent whimsy of feathers — passed, it sunk in: Gareth Pugh, heir apparent to Rick Owens’ dark throne, has been going glam lately. Not just in a neo-Gothic way (though he got to that soon enough with molded plastic bodices and jackets that were cut into an arch around the shoulders), but the slinky bias-cut skirts worn with sculptural jackets with nipped waists and exaggerated collars smacked of classic, grand dame style.
There were notes of Galliano and Carolina Herrera in the structured jacket and dramatic skirt story. Even the separates — architectural wrap coats, crisp wide-leg pants and a simple cement-gray shift — seemed to descend from the go-to garb of polished uptown gals who want to dip their toes in the dark side.
In some ways, that made for a wearable distillation of Pugh’s experimentalism, yet it felt like an unnatural pitch to an unlikely audience.