by Penny Martin .

That's Entertainment

If you thought the recent flirtation with 80s pop culture was a fleeting phase (with every new band looking and sounding like a second-rate Jam, Specials or Siouxie and the Banshees and rumours of Pam Hogg, Bodymap and Rifat Ozbek revivals on heavy rotation), tonight's Fashion East saw it developed into a full-blown cultural occupation. Particularly Marios Schwab, who opened the esteemed 'new talent' showcase that is now into its tenth season, demonstrated the renewed affection for the hard-bodied glamour of designers such as Azzedine Alaïa or Thierry Mugler. With their contour-hugging tailoring and metal trims, these garments suggested predatory women belonging to the photography of Herb Ritts or mid-to-late 80s clubland. The question for Gareth Pugh, whose showstopping, Baroque performance wowed the crowds for a second season running (with Casey Spooner modelling an electrically-lit dress as a finalé), is what his clothes mean outside the context of clubs and fashion shows. Visual comparisons to the costumes of Leigh Bowery and fetishwear of the House of Harlot abound, of course, but what is perhaps most significant is how hungry the fashion press are for the horror, camp and sheer entertainment of Pugh's theatre of fashion.

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