Dezeen Magazine

Gareth Pugh revisits 1980s power dressing with Autumn Winter 2018 collection

Gareth Pugh's London Fashion Week show saw models stomp down the runway in a collection designed for "women who accept zero bullshit".

An exaggerated take on classic 1980's power dressing, London-based designer Pugh described his collection as a "demolition silhouette – structured on top and collapsing into chaos."

This theme of demolition and destruction was apparent throughout the designer's London Fashion Week show, which took place on 18 February 2018.

In celebration of powerful women, an emphasis was placed on the exaggerated female silhouette – pairing colossal shoulders with elongated waistlines defined by super high-waisted trousers and platform shoes.

While the majority of the collection was made in black fabrics, leopard-print and electric blue accents were peppered throughout.

Pugh likened the inspiration behind his collection to the concept of a car-crusher, which he translated into molten plastic and glossy metal sheets folded around the body.

The designer was inspired by the idea of "taking this perfect pristine object, crushing it, and then handing it back, as a new thing – a different thing."

Reoccurring elements of hardware, including nail facemasks and barbed wired garments, were used to accessorise looks.

Models were also dressed in heavy-duty PVC over-the-knee boots and slick black gloves, intended to be reminiscent of protective demolition wear.

Pugh's Autumn Winter 2018 collection was presented in London's Ambika P3 exhibition space, a vast warehouse space with steel fixtures and concrete floors.

When describing the setting for his show, Pugh referenced artist Michael Landy's infamous performance piece Break Down, which took place in the windows of Selfridges department store in 2001.

During the performance, Landy destroyed every single one of his possessions in the view of the public eye – crushing and dismantling everything he owned ranging, from his flat screen TV to a sheep-skin coat handed down by his father.

Pugh's collection was debuted during this season's London Fashion Week, which took place from 16 to 20 February.

Since bringing his biannual shows back to the UK capital from Paris in February 2015, the Sunderland-born designer has shown collections including a range that pulled together references from across Britain, a set of disco-themed garments inspired by London's Soho district, and pieces informed by the "inescapable forces of the cultural landscape".

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