“Elegant, dramatic and camp,” summarises show stylist and AnOther Fashion Director Katie Shillingford on Gareth Pugh's S/S14 collection, which took inspiration from Gloria Swanson’s portrayal of Norma Desmond in silent film Sunset Boulevard, and Julianne Moore as Carol White in 1995 thriller, Safe. Swanson is easily recognised within Pugh's feather plume headpieces and old Hollywood shapes, while Moore’s crazed presence and insulated suits filter through the collection. It plays with the idea of constraints, featuring long silhouettes and a repetition of bias-cut dresses, each presented with a subtle hint of Pugh madness, while his signature neutral colour palette is interrupted by bursts of teal and dusty pink. Here AnOther speaks to Shillingford about the show.
How has casting this year differed from in previous seasons? What kind of girl were you looking for this year?
We wanted to keep it very fresh and it seems to be the season of the new/younger girl. I had a few favourites from seeing the shows in Milan so we opened with Sasha Luss and closed the show with brand new girl Devon Windsor. Other great new girls I loved were Kate Goodling and Betty Adewole, who's from Hackney.
"We wanted the mood to be fresh and beautiful but very camp in a modern way"
How did you decide upon the hair and make-up this season? What mood did you want to reflect?
Fresh and beautiful but very camp in a modern way – a nod to Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. It was also a progression from things that we've done in previous seasons. Having always worked with that same team (Alex Box and Martin Cullen), we are all good friends and enjoy developing ideas together. In A/W11 we worked on 'eye bras' worn underneath the eyes so this season it was jelly/wipe clean eye-shadow pieces. The hair was quite 'lady' but clean and sharp.
What have been the stand-out pieces for you for this collection?
For me the simple bias-cut dresses were really beautiful. But I also loved the corset tops and dresses, which were really beautiful and crisp in grey and ivory leather but also tough black leather. I loved the two sides to this character: one very ethereal and pure (look 3 – Irene Hemstra) versus the other a little dark and tough (look 12 – Catherine McNeil).
Were there been any unexpected obstacles in the run-up to the show?
We had a long debate over the opening look and whether it was the right decision to open with something that was so different from the rest of the show – the bright teal dress worn with the dusty pink ostrich feather hat. But in the end Gareth and I couldn't even consider opening with anything else, it just felt right and I always think it’s best to go with your instincts. I think that the first look sums up the collection and the show in a lot of ways – it shows the purity of the collection with the silk bias-cut dress and the element of surprise and madness with the ostrich feather hat in pink.
Text by Mhairi Graham