Gareth Pugh: A Retrospective


As my renewed obsession with Gareth Pugh will be a whole week old in about 6 hours, I thought I’d round out the week with one more Mr. Pugh-centered post. And as I’m fairly set on what piece I will buy if money drops out of the sky, I’d like to feature not another available piece to drool over, but rather what first drew me to this unbelievable designer, being his noir showmanship. Sure, from the very first mention of Gareth Pugh here on kOs, you might not think that his runway aesthetic ‘attracted’ me, per se. But to that I would say ‘au contraire, mon ami,’ providing the following as an indirect explanation: one particular band who frightened me beyond anything I had experienced became a central point of my undergrad life, and one particular person who I used to describe as ‘scary’ has been my better half for 13 years. So, if my initial scaredy-cat-ness around Mr. Pugh’s runway presentations was developed in the same vein, it only signaled the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Anyway, I think my original timidness around the Pugh runway was matched by many of those who witnessed his first few LFW shows (2006-2007), given the reviews that spoke of him as a lad whose future was questionable given his ‘defiantly ridiculous’ tone,* and the perhaps unwearable nature of the pieces he sent down the runway. I’m sure that if Alexander McQueen wasn’t in fine form at the time (as, in Pugh’s early LFW years, McQueen presented ‘The Widows of Culloden’ with the floating hologram of Kate Moss, ‘Sarabande’ with the dress made of fresh flowers, and ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Howe, Salem, 1692’), and if Lady Gaga had already arrived back then, Gareth Pugh would’ve sold something far before his first wearable collection, F/W 07. But having such a rocky start gives Mr. Pugh a mythology that makes him even more interesting and his effect on the fashion world much more enduring. I swear, one day there will be a Gareth Pugh retrospective at the Met, and I will be there.


*See Sarah Mower’s review of the F/W 06 show.

(Photos via; top row – F/W 06, 2nd row – S/S 07, bottom row – F/W 07)