I have been obsessed with the work of Gareth Pugh since he came onto the scene in 2005 or so. His work is consistently jarring and uncomfortable, but have this otherworldly allure to them that I am obsessed with. They are beautiful and repugnant and likely unwearable–but, his work is constantly a point of interest. It’s consistently a complete thought and doesn’t need any bells, whistles, or Lady Gaga to push his work over the edge (although, Roisin Murphy did do a very good job at playing his clothes horse on her second album).
This week, Pugh debuted his Fall 2011 ready to wear (ha!) collection in Paris. The results are spectacular and has progressed his work from once being reptilian, inflated, jagged edged clothing to reptilian, color complimented, constricted–yet flowing– clothes. he has pushed his gothic geometry to a new, somewhat obvious, location: church. He has toyed with lines and symmetry in the past–but never crosses. Now, emblazoned on certain tops, are crosses made of gold zippers and matted leather. His neo-futurist look has finally come full circle from vampiric, Rick Owens competitor to an iconoclastic take on the fashion in the forthcoming Hollywood film, Priest.
Additionally, for the first time in his career this collection welcomes color: blue. Along with ubiquitous black and gold (this season’s accent metal for him), he has added in a bright blue (cerulean) to dominate certain looks. This allowance is huge: without black and metallics ruling his wardrobe, he has opened the door to an entirely new world. Of course, blue is a logical step, as it is so close to black. Regardless, it is a large step out of his beautifully dark hell and into the heavens above.
The final leg of his collection is what seems to be decadent gold disco ball apparel. In exaggerated tunics, dresses, coats, leggings, cloaks: disco, disco, disco! You go from hell to heaven to the dance floor in just forty one looks. This can only mean that Pugh has cranked up his fun factor and infused his clothes with lighthearted emotion. Undoubtedly a nameless emotion, it is still an emotion.
I want to note the accessories and cosmetics in his show: all of the models’ fingernails are painted blue, they are accessorized with deadly gold eye jewelry, and finished with a neon blue mouth LED. Take a look through the entire collection and note these details. They are genius.
Gareth Pugh’s Fall 2011 RTW may not actually be “ready to wear,” but it sure as hell is what we all will be wearing in twenty years. Well, at least I hope so.