Gareth Pugh, one of London’s most celebrated provocateurs, staged his spring 2019 show as an ode to his hometown and to “outsider society.”
Set in a dimly lit space of the Old Selfridges hotel and to the blasting sounds of industrial music, Pugh revisited some of his signatures, to deliver a powerful, high-voltage spectacle.
The show opened with a cry in the dark — Freddie Mercury singing “Why can’t we gives ourselves one more chance” — which made everyone’s hair stand on end. It was followed by a parade of models who stomped down the runway, strutting their stuff in punk, high platform boots that made them look like otherworldly creatures.
The clothes inspired the same punchy attitude. There was a strong focus on tailoring with an array of blazers and tuxedo dresses featuring big shoulders and spliced sleeves, while other signatures like funnel necks and sharp, voluminous trenchcoats in metallic leather were also peppered throughout the range.
Pugh also brought back a graphic red and orange star print — splashed all over coats and bodysuits — that was first introduced in his graduate collection.
It was a fierce, riotous collection that was reminiscent of a time when fashion was more about a purist, creative expression and less about clicks and likes.
In line with his rebellious streak, Pugh also presented his own, darker take on beauty, with models wearing prosthetic lips, plasters all over their faces and masks.
He said his ultimate reference in this journey of creative experimentation will always be the late Judy Blame: “Judy was uncompromising and fiercely anti-establishment. He came up in the Eighties and Nineties, where much of culture was moving toward the shallow and the acquisitive — he was a counterpoint to that.”