Pugh takes Paris to the dark side

Gareth Pugh brought a taste of East London to Paris’s Marais district on Wednesday night...

A flurry of black confetti discs fell from the sky to open Pugh’s show. It was a dark inversion of Burberry’s rainy-day trick from an altogether different sort of London designer. While Christopher Bailey had a front row filled with fresh-faced models and Hollywood smiles, Pugh had Daphne Guinness, Rick Owens and wife Michele Lamy (whose smile comes fanged and gold-plated). Where Burbs had brollies, Pugh had bondage.

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But both designers have a tightly defined vision. In Pugh’s case, that means looking to the dark side of beauty—starting with lots of black leather.

Shaggy silk fringing and all-over fur made a pack of yetis of the opening models, down to the furred gloves on their hands. That evolved into tight leather bodices sprouting sleeves and skirts of spaghetti-style cotton fringing.

Shredded leather hung in swags on a black jellyfish coat suited for a warrior queen. Princess-seamed coats were hardened with leather piping and fur-capped shoulders.

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The bondage element entered the frame in harness-like headpieces, coats with built-in arm restraints, and dramatic collars which, turned backward, become facemasks.

‘I started off looking at those amazing Masai necklaces,’ Pugh told us of his Batwoman muzzles after the show. ‘I wanted it to look quite primitive or earthy, which is very different than last season.

‘Really, I wanted to get as far as I could away from what I did last season. Although I loved last season, it’s nice to do one thing, and then prove to yourself that you could still do the other things—a bit like a yo-yo.’

And what did the Hon. Daphne Guinness make of it?

‘Perfect!’ she said. ‘It was elegant, it was black—it was everything that I expected from Gareth and everything that I like…. I am very keen on the muzzles.’

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