In One Word. ASTOUNDING! Gareth Pugh's Spring 2014 collection was one of those collections in which you are grabbing a Thesaurus looking for new superlatives to hurl at it! It Defied all that had come before it for Pugh and was Punishingly Strict and Futuristic and Icily Glamourous! It was a Beguiling amalgam of "The Fifth Element" and Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and "The Terminator" all rolled into a Intoxicating and one has to say, Slightly Disturbing Cocktail! The Alexander McQueen/John Galliano school of design was clearly the wellspring from which this collection bubbled forth. From the Armor like Plastic bodices and Wide belts as well as the Curvilinear construction that was very much McQueen to the Kimono Shapes and Liquid-y Bias cutting that are the hallmarks of Galliano. However, that in no way diminishes the Impact or the Majesty of Pugh's own craft!
As much as the Twin British gods of Modern Couture were hanging about, Pugh is most arrestingly a Singular and Unique voice in the fashion Firmament. One that is sorely needed and one that like his British Compatriot, Giles Deacon, is speaking in a Avant-Garde language that has the Heart of a Romantic and the Soul of a Poet! This showcasing of Pugh's talent was all the more stunning for it's Hard, Cyborg like Futurism but communicated with an aching sense of Fragility, Fragile to the point of Brittle almost.
The show opened with a Statement of Drop-Dead Awesome Scale! Sasha Luss sashaying her Willowy form down the runway in a Bias-Cut Silk gown of the most Devastating Blue. Now, I have heard that Pugh called it "Teal" and many editors were dubbing it "Aqua" from my perch, looking at the Video... It's Cyan! So, I wil go with that henceforth. Atop that Cyan slink of a gown was a Colossal Ostrich feather headdress, Equal parts Vegas showgirl and Star Wars!
The following Exit showed more romance and grandeur with a Portrait neck cropped jacket and long skirt in a luminous combination of Palest Moonlight Grey and Marble White. That same colour combination at Exit No.8 was a Space Age Masterpiece! A Short Kimono sleeve A-Line Coat worn with Stiff wide leg pants! Just Ferocious!
There was so much on display here of an order that words cannot efficiently explain that it's dizzying in scope. This wasn't a collection that was meant to be taken lightly but was achieved with a Steely Whimsy that felt as comfortable in the Fetishistic as it did in the Futuristic! Pugh clearly knows himself enough to produce a collection that was so singularly his own, even with it's occasional nods to the greats that came before him and blazed the trail he is now himself resetting Ablaze!
This was one of those collections that will live for many years beyond it's moment this Spring 2014, It's ripples will be felt for years to come... the rest of the design world cannot help but be influenced by this startling display of Fashion Mastery. Whether those who will be poaching the themes from this collection (And, THEY WILL!) Admit it or not, This is a collection whose importance cannot be underestimated! Nor, Pugh's ability to produce future Tide Turners of collections like this!