09-03-2016 | By

Fashion Week Highlights - London

Gareth Pugh Autumn/Winter 2016-17

Gareth Pugh AW16 1Commonly associated with the infamous fraternal secret society, the arrival of each Fashion Week sees Covent Garden’s Freemason’s Hall moonlighting as a location for numerous shows. Utilising the edifice to it’s full potential was Gareth Pugh, casting an altar to fusty patriarchal might as the backdrop to a collection resplendent in femininity at its most raw, powerful, sexy and sinister.Gareth Pugh AW16 2

With dramatically tailored outer garments, broad and angular at the shoulder and cinched at the waist, accompanying skirts and extravagantly flared trousers, a Mugler inspired attitude to female sartorial empowerment was strongly alluded to. Dresses took on a similar silhouette, often mimicking the angularity of the coats with pointed busts. The range of materials spanned rugged shearlings, leathers in finishes both buttery and matte, stuffy Glen plaids, and gently shimmering satins, while the palette was a familiar one for Pugh, mostly blacks, greys, camels and creams, save for the blocks of dazzling royal blue shading suits, coats and dresses alike.Gareth Pugh AW16 3

Motifs and symbols both politicised and satirised, with elastic threads drawn across models faces, dramatically enhancing their cheekbones and calling the designer’s distortion of the female form across his work to mind. While certainly among the most memorable beauty looks of this London Fashion Week, a proud picture of intimidatingly fearless femininity, it would also appear that the extent to which supposedly empowered dress necessitates gratuitous accentuation and masculinisation was also highlighted and subtly ribbed.Gareth Pugh AW16 4

Royal blue jackets and halos were spangled with gleaming white stars in what could perhaps clumsily be read as a bold Clinton endorsement ahead of her potentially imminent showdown against the patrons of the old guard, while models carried briefcases to which they their hands were cuffed: a protest against the dependency of a contemporary woman’s success on her shackling herself to traditional male codes? Again, perhaps. But it seems that one should be cautious in attributing objective commentaries to the symbols that Pugh employs in his work, with each distinctly layered. In the case of the handcuff, for example, it would be a discredit to ignore hints at the salacity that continually crops up in his collections. And not least in this one, with one look featuring a model clad in a figure-hugging black leather dress, a cropped shearling jacket, full-length leather gloves, topped off with a Hannibal Lecter mask.Gareth Pugh AW16 33Gareth Pugh AW16 5 Gareth Pugh AW16 6 Gareth Pugh AW16 7 Gareth Pugh AW16 8 Gareth Pugh AW16 9 Gareth Pugh AW16 10 Gareth Pugh AW16 11 Gareth Pugh AW16 15 Gareth Pugh AW16 12 Gareth Pugh AW16 13 Gareth Pugh AW16 14 Gareth Pugh AW16 16 Gareth Pugh AW16 17 Gareth Pugh AW16 18 Gareth Pugh AW16 19 Gareth Pugh AW16 20 Gareth Pugh AW16 21 Gareth Pugh AW16 22 Gareth Pugh AW16 23 Gareth Pugh AW16 24 Gareth Pugh AW16 25 Gareth Pugh AW16 26 Gareth Pugh AW16 27 Gareth Pugh AW16 28 Gareth Pugh AW16 29 Gareth Pugh AW16 30 Gareth Pugh AW16 31 Gareth Pugh AW16 32 Gareth Pugh AW16 34 Gareth Pugh AW16 35 Gareth Pugh AW16 36 Gareth Pugh AW16 37 Gareth Pugh AW16 38

All images via WWD