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CHER! (exclamation mark required) sitting in the frow at the Gareth Pugh show was the celeb spotting of day two of Paris. Once we got over that excitement of the Goddess of Pop in our midst, we got down to taking in the stately and arched beauty of Pugh’s collection. The more intimate salon setting of the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild meant we were able to see everything up close. What we saw were floor sleeping gowns cut high to those armour-like proportions that we are so used to seeing from Pugh. In snow white and with gold branches creeping their way up from the hemline, it felt like a gothic fairytale was revealing itself, especially when the gowns did eventually turn black and into periods of deep blue.

Turns out, Pugh was looking at a modern day girl power tribe called the Asgarda, who reside in the Carpathian mountains in the Ukraine, seeking autonomy from men and kicking ass whilst wearing t-shirts and billowing folk skirts. This set the silhouette blueprint for Pugh. What made those dramatic shapes seem tangible though were the army-blanket-esque fabrics, lending a papery quality, which toughened up the full skirts and curved proportions.

“We used lots of fabrics we had reams of in the studio. There’s a make, do and mend thing which I quite like,” remarked Pugh. “It goes back to Asgarda, creating and making your own outsider society.” It was joyful to see DIY culture enter the fray again. The most potent sign that Pugh had returned to his trash couture roots, which thrilled London back in the day? Dresses made out of bin liners. Real ones, sourced from a pound shop in Stoke Newington. They looked like the opposite of rubbish, woven and cut into topiary-esque, haute couture formations. They got Cher’s seal of approval.

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Gareth Pugh AW13