Gareth Pugh F/W 2012: A No Frills, Thrill
Gareth Pugh is making his name an eponym for the future of fashion design. He is constantly demonstrating that fashion doesn’t have to be full of frills to be thrilling. Fashion- often at it’s best, is very serious, deep, intellectual, full of wonderment, and possibly, full of melancholy. In Pugh’s recent Fall/Winter collection he strayed away from the more clean, sleek likes of in favor of something he dubs more “quite primitive or quite raw,” as he described it. The deep and somber color palette is ideal for Fall and, although we’ve seen so many grayscale collections, the imposing designs quickly dispelled any possibility of rehashing. This is, after all, Gareth Pugh.
Dense layers of rope and fur flowed in their own distinctive and overpowering garment forms or textural layers seemed to grow from leather bodice constructions. Several garments employed the use of innumerable amounts of small strips of leather pieced together horizontally. These garments were a major highlight of the show as they appeared so intricate, brilliant, and chic that these could easily be the coveted items come fall. One particular coatlike dress with a large bell skirt seemed to have Daphe Guiness’s name written all over it and she surely took notice from the front row. Pugh evidently has a firm grip on the concept of the “it-girl” coat, as there was a frequent appearance of devastatingly striking coats. These pieces truly represented works of art in their own right.
Tim Blanks of Style.com amusingly described the models as emulating the idea of a “high priestess of a techno death cult,” and that they undeniably were. Adorned with leather or transparent headbands which encircled their foreheads, the styling of the collection emphasizes that these garments belong to the future. There was a subtle and captivating hint of religious subtext throughout the collection. Although not overtly obvious, Pugh mentioned that the lines and the cuts of priest’s garments were an inspiration source for him but was coy about elaborating further. It is something to be pondered and guessed at, as the religion aspect is quite understated.
Gareth Pugh definitely creates a character for his ideal customer. She is fearless, strong, and competent. She is unafraid of judgment. This collection represents for me, everything about the intrepid, modern woman, with a macabre sense of humor and a deep, almost reverent appreciation for the avant-garde.
By Sarah Humphries