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  • Gareth Pugh fall 2015 collection

  • Gareth Pugh fall 2015 collection

  • Gareth Pugh fall 2015 collection

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Gareth Pugh’s female warriors take over London Fashion Week

Marking his ten year anniversary in fashion and, at the same time, his long-awaited return to London Fashion Week after showing during seven years in Paris, Gareth Pugh’s presented last weekend his fall 2015 collection, which caused much stir among critics, fashion lovers and unconditional fans that had gathered at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The show started with a mesmerizing video projection, directed by long-time collaborator Ruth Hogben, which showed model Aymeline Valade participating in a ritual that included cutting off her long blond hair, smearing the red Saint George’s cross on her face and body, and finally getting engulfed in flames as if she were a modern version of Joan of Arc.

The apocalyptic fashion film set the tone of the medieval-inspired, all black collection that featured a clan of female warriors ready to sacrifice themselves, according to the designer, to something bigger than they are. The collection was full of gothic glamour and drama, playing with the idea of transformation and catharsis. It included a series of amazing armor-like breastplates, oversized skirts and puffer jackets, sculptural gowns, double breasted coats and belted capes, worn with sleek rubber boots and helmet-like headpieces decorated with chains. A series of impressive coats and dresses made of black, drinking straws raised more than an eyebrow and put a touch of humor in an otherwise overly dark show.

The soundtrack, which was supervised by Matthew Stone, included faded chants from the Sunderland Football Club, establishing a connection between football subcultures and patriotism, accentuated by the fact that the models’ faces were painted with the red cross of England’s patron Saint George. “People need to sometimes feel like they can transform into somebody else, and that in a way is a type of armor. I think that fashion is based on fantasy and a lot of that is getting away from a reality that we know, so it’s protection from a lot of different things,” said the designer after the show. Inventive and almost mystical, Pugh’s fall 2015 collection was the comeback that everybody was waiting for.