Identity is purely a concept, socially constructed, and walking through the backstage area of Gareth Pugh’s SS16 show definitely reflected that notion. Models appeared like mannequins donning skintight white latex leggings, and tan-colored stockings covered their faces blurring the line between reality and fantasy. Stars were placed over their eyes and big shaggy wigs in red, white and orange evoked a sense of somewhere at the intersection between Kraftwerk, Nania and punk-rock. While we were weaving our way through the crowd shooting the models, we sensed that this was going to be a top show.
Before the models hit the runway, the front of the house began filling up with faces from the worlds of fashion and entertainment – amongst them were Dazed and Confused co- founder Jefferson Hack and actress Lindsey Lohan.
The space itself – the Car Park at Brewer Steet, Soho – couldn’t have been more apt for the show. Pennies were strewn either side of the runway giving the area a real industrial feel and nodded towards the designer’s obsession with copper. House music pumped out of the speakers and dim red lighting swirled around and bounced off the walls and floor. The atmosphere was beautifully seedy and, perhaps, a nod to the Soho of yesteryear .
And when the models made their entrance, a dazzling appearance it was. Pugh’s SS16 collection spanned everything from Red and white stripes, clear see-through, feathered and fur coats, 1960s black and white mosaic patterns, tasstles, red sequinned tops and costumes made from pennies.
The designer’s experimental, punkish aesthetic is a mash up of PVC, Perspex, luxury silk and fur and references British culture in its most diverse forms.
Words by Ray Kinsella Photos by Ki Price