PICTURES CONTINUE BELOW
This was a show that appealed to my iconoclastic sensibilities, paying homage to Pugh’s friend and mentor, the late Judy Blame, one of the fashion greats and an inspiration to my own personal journey.
‘Judy was uncompromising, ungovernable and fiercely anti-establishment. He was a creative extremist. He came up in the 80s and 90s where much of culture was moving toward the shallow and the acquisitive. Dumbed-down, debased and dissociated from its primary purpose: creative expression. Judy was a counterpoint to that.” A counterpoint that Pugh has continually sought to honour.’
We may think we have moved on from the ‘shallow and the acquisitive’, but I think in a world of fast fashion with cookie cutter and superficial approaches to creativity, Pugh just does it for the ANTI everything, which I really identify with! London is the creative hub of the boundary pushing avant-garde aesthetic and we do merge so many influences so well. This show was the perfect execution of the, ‘celebration of “outsider society’ and ‘of London as a cradle of creative extremism – a place where anything can happen.’
Another key theme for Pugh’s collection was a nod to the Divine Feminine, the nurturing and creative force which runs through all things. The subject of the ‘House Mother’, essentially a legendary figure on the ballroom scene who mentors and cares for the younger members of their house, was also referenced.
The closing look of the collection saw a ‘heavily pregnant’ model in a maternity skirt and skintight bodysuit, alluding to the ability of us all to bring forth life, whether that be literally or through artistic expression. The Divine Feminine speaks to cycles and renewal: birth, death and rebirth. We see this both in art and fashion and the opening look of the Star is actually a print taken from Pugh’s graduate collection.
This was a riot of print and colour and a flat out rejection of conservatism. Uncompromising, anarchic and at times fiercely confrontational, it reminds us that provocation has always been Pugh’s governing principle.
A designer who over the past thirteen years has steadfastly refused to take his place among the ranks of the establishment, preferring to view fashion not as an industry but instead as a vital cultural force, Pugh’s recent work has been subject to an increasingly ruthless commitment to stay the course, and fuck the consequences. So much deep wisdom in this collection! This sings to my soul!