This season, Gareth Pugh dedicated his S/S 19 collection to outsider society, queer culture and the late, great Judy Blame. Co-hosting a Vogue Ball in the same space as his show, merely a few hours after the last look sashayed from the stage, Pugh explored creative extremism in every facet of this collection.
Models in bodymorph suits and signature Pugh platforms paraded into view of the waiting audience, fans a-fluttering. Their bodies moved with fluid and fervent movements, devoid of identifiable gender characteristics. The red and black star, a print recognisable from Pugh's distinctive graduate collection, appeared on these looks and was repeated throughout; on cowl-neck dresses, coats, hats and buckled jackets.
Pointed shoulders, cut-out leathers, fetish wear, funnel necks, fishnet, fringing - in material and silhouette, Pugh maintained his commitment to his own uncompromising anti-establishmentarianism. Models walked with crumpled up Vogue covers in their puckered lips; even in the game of fashion, provocation remains Pugh's governing principle.
This was one of those shows people will talk about in years to come. 'I was there! I sat here!' they will say. Pugh's infectious energy and talent imbued the clothes, the models and the audience. Simultaneously iconoclastic and iconic, the power in this collection came from London's exultation of otherness, a sense that Pugh so keenly channels. It is remarkable that one could bottle this, but it is in clothes like these that a designer is able to.