Gareth Pugh showcased his Fall Winter 2018/19 womenswear collection during the ongoing London Fashion Week. With a focus on Pugh’s demolition silhouette, the collection features molten plastics, razor sharp tailoring, and architectural outerwear.
Speaking about the intended mood of this evening’s show, Pugh makes reference to the scorched earth policy of Michael Landy’s infamous Break Down – the British artist’s 2001 performance piece in which he commandeered the derelict C&A department store on London’s Oxford Street in order to build a ‘reverse production line,’ and set about destroying all his worldly belongings. Indeed, in a collection that obliquely references the art of demolition – where hyperreal looks rendered in glossy sheets of metal fold about the body as though sport cars mid-collision; where flocked plastic garments are lashed together in what Pugh describes as a “cut-and-shut,” and where exaggerated silhouettes read like chunks of tumbling masonry – a sense of explosive catharsis is palpable. So too is an anti-capitalist undercurrent that runs like a thread of barbed wire throughout. Drawing parallels – pound by square inch – between the hydraulic compaction of a car crusher and the concept of creativity cradled within the mechanics of an industry, the designer describes this collection as being about “the idea of taking this perfect pristine object, crushing it, and then handing it back, as a new thing. A different thing.” Perhaps in direct response, this season we find Pugh accelerating – at maximum velocity – toward his most uncompromising instincts. What emerges from the wreckage is a seething, life-affirming energy. – from Gareth Pugh
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