Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Gareth Pugh - LFW

(all photos from Vogue.co.uk)

The one, the only, Gareth Pugh... back from Paris to London after 7 years to celebrate the 10th year his brand. I always find Pugh's shows more like a performance than a catwalk/runway show. The inspiration for his collection had derived from the love of his roots - Britain. The show began with a short film by cinematographer Ruth Hogen of a model, stripped almost bare, in a mysterious and eerie red light - reflecting both love and danger - cutting off her long blond hair and painting the St. George's cross on her face and body. This theme followed with the obvious and powerful hand painted St. George's red crosses on the faces, and less commonly, bodies of the models making a significant opening to the collection. For me, if the collection wasn't so impressive, would slightly detract from the garments themselves. Pugh is clever and cunning enough that his fierce collection isn't undermined by this bold make up (in collaboration with Alex Box) choice and makes even more of an impact. I feel like this collection collects all of the history of Britain and spits it back out, Pugh style. 

According to Pugh, "This city is where everything started for me, my entire creative family are here, so it's in everything I do, it's my home." and the notes stated that "Britannia heralds the onslaught, a weaponised woman, hardened and battle ready. In the past, Pugh has described his work as modern armour, and this collection is totally informed by this ideal." This obviously translated into the armoured theme going on in the collection, clearly an emphasised twist on the Roman's helmets, shields and weapons previously used in Britain. 

According to Matthew Stone, a long time collaborator with Pugh, being Pugh's home town, "the Sunderland football chants [which made up a part of the soundtrack] were Gareth's idea. He told me at one point he was worried that his dad would join in with the chants. The rest of the track I built from scratch and it was supposed to be something that was totally uncompromising. Over the years, I think that we've developed a language with the music that we’ve made. It's sort of this like slow techno, EBM and Belgian new beat infused thing. And so, in that sense, there’s definitely a mood to start from. In a way, tonight was so different to things that we’ve done in the past, and I think that was important. But then it's still this very serious show soundtrack, and then a really fun finale. I think that is very much part of Gareth's world and I think it’s a very good way of understanding his work, and a metaphor for his work, because it’s this big vision, and it’s other-worldly; it is Gareth’s world, and the music has to reflect that. But then also, there’s just this little reminder that he does have a sense of humour, and that he knows what he’s doing and he’s fully aware of what he’s doing. And I think that it’s nice to try and be able to try reflect that in music." 

Pugh often delves into the unknown when it comes to fabrics for his collections. This season, his garments were covered in thousands of hand-cut black straws - unusual, no? You wouldn't expect to see straws on the garments at the likes of Vera Wang, would you? The texture, or aesthetic quality it gave was similar to that of scales or feathers, which makes sense as they were apparently used to be "birdlike and reptilian". This created garments which shifted awkwardly when models walked due to the stubborn panels attached to some of the garments whether that be dresses with oversized shoulders or bodices. The collection also featured leather, fur, the hems of dresses or skirts were generally floor length or massive padded coats, which resemble duvets and actually look super comfy compared to the other pieces within the collection.

Pugh almost stuck to his trademark white and black, monochrome colour palette but this collection, only stuck to matte black, which was cut up by the red of the make up. There was a feminine feel, (due to the use of sequins, padding and fur) to the entire collection, although the main theme running throughout was the military. The mix of these two ended in a collection which signified the power than a female holds.

What was your opinion of the show? 

Gee x

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