Tribute to Judy Blame

Gareth Pugh SS19
Fashion | 17 September 2018

Convention is a word unfamiliar to Gareth Pugh, who continues to delve into sexuality and subversiveness with each collection. For SS19, the designer’s runway was sprinkled with earth to signify a gestation period for his brand – this was Pugh breaking new ground, taking his anarchic vision that leap further.

Here, the Sunderland-born designer looked towards his adopted home, London, citing the UK capital as “a cradle of creative extremism – a place where anything can happen.” As Freddie Mercury’s vocals from Under Pressure rang out at maximum volume – “Why can’t we give ourselves one more chance?” – the late singer’s cry turned into a floor-shaking bass and the first model stepped out in an all-in-one printed piece which made use of a star symbol taken from his graduate collection. With her breasts exposed and her face hidden, she marched down the runway in chunky-soled boots with an oversized fan in hand.

The gothic, club-kid gang that followed encapsulated obscurity and unapologetic power. In outfits that were part power suit, part bodysuit, models walked tall with hair shaped into violent mohawks. Pink metallic macs, harlequin-print asymmetric dresses and leather split-sleeve pieces exuded sensuality and sophistication.

The standout final look was worn by a pregnant woman. In a high-neck black leather dress decorated with a lattice print, the empire-line emphasised her bump. This was a move orchestrated in conjunction with the show’s choreographer, Benjamin Milan. The pair wanted to pay homage to the ‘House mother’ – an icon of the vogue scene and a title held by Pugh’s close friend Judy Blame, whose memory the show was dedicated to. A visual triumph, if anyone knows how to pack an aesthetic punch, it’s Pugh, and he’s certainly ready to bring traditional fashion to its knees and “fuck the consequences.”

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show