Gareth Pugh celebrates "outsider society" with Spring Summer 2019 collection
British fashion designer Gareth Pugh takes inspiration from society's outcasts with his latest collection, which he describes as "uncompromising, anarchic and fiercely confrontational".
Pugh's Spring Summer 2019 collection, presented at the Old Selfridges Hotel during London Fashion Week, features a "riot of print and colour" with geometrically patterned morph suits, exaggerated tailoring and paramilitary boots.
The designer dedicated the show to his friend and mentor, stylist and punk icon Judy Blame, who passed away in February.
"Judy was uncompromising, ungovernable and fiercely anti-establishment. He was a creative extremist," said Pugh.
"He came up in the 1980s and 1990s, where much of culture was moving toward the shallow and the acquisitive. Dumbed-down, debased and dissociated from its primary purpose: creative expression," he continued. "Judy was a counterpoint to that."
In celebration of Blame's outsider style, Pugh has put an emphasis on bold prints reminiscent of the 1980s club scene. He also looked to the idea of renewal, by installing turned earth – "fertile loam for new ideas" – on the catwalk floor.
The opening look featured a semi-sheer bodysuit with a geometric star print in black and red – a reference to Pugh's graduate collection in 2004, which adopted the same pattern.
"This collection and show speaks to the cyclical nature of art, fashion and politics, and places its faith in the cycle of renewal," reads the show notes.
Some models were dressed in intricately tailored suits with cut-out panels, while other looks included metallic pink trench coats and leather hardware.
The closing outfit was a black latex turtleneck and a billowing skirt with dark orange detailing, delivered by a seemingly pregnant model.
Pugh said the collection was "utterly loaded with emotional freight".
Sunderland-born Pugh has developed a reputation for exploring subversive and provocative themes in his designs.
Since bringing his biannual shows back to the UK capital from Paris in February 2015, the designer has shown a collection informed by the "inescapable forces of the cultural landscape" and another featuring dresses covered in coins.
His last range was designed for "women who accept zero bullshit".