Gareth Pugh’s AW15 collection is a powerful tribute to his homeland. The reference to Britain was ubiquitous. Britannia came to life in a fashion film by long time collaborator Ruth Hogben, featuring Aymeline Valade cutting her long blond hair short, then painting her face and body with the red cross of Saint George – England’s patron saint. “Britannia heralds the onslaught, a weaponised woman, hardened and battle ready”, read the notes issued at the show.
Composer Matthew Stone once again set the mood of the collection; an uncompromising EBM track laid over Sunderland Football chants – the team of Pugh’s hometown. One dress featured a tall bearskin hat, the ceremonial military uniform of the Foot Guards – best recognised in their posts outside the Buckingham Palace.
Having previously used strips of bin bags for his AW13 collection, this season Pugh debuted garments made from thousands of hand-cut black drinking straws. The straws were used to create reptilian dresses that moved and shifted as the models walked down the runway, their faces hiding behind the Saint George cross. Leather bodices with V-shaped hemlines were paired with floor-length skirts, while long leather gloves and shiny rubber boots accompanied the various paneled dresses.
The collection is a stunning tribute to the designer’s homeland. Pugh returned to London after 7 years of Paris, celebrating the brand’s 10th year anniversary. He stated; “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.”
All images are courtesy of © Team Peter Stigter 2015