You had to wonder quite how the models were going to make an entrance onto Gareth Pugh's runway, what with that giant white rubber balloon blocking the door. Then, with a big pop, the thing exploded, and on came an individual with a glittery cube for a headpiece and a top-to-toe outfit in Swarovski crystal mesh. This time round, there seemed less of the screamy reaction that usually greets his high-camp performance pieces. Maybe fewer of Pugh's club-kid fans had fought their way in. Or is this the start of a post-novelty cooling-off phase, as all and sundry are left to contemplate how this dedicated enfant terrible is really going to earn a crust?
From the runway pieces, it's quite possible to see how his dark-side coats, with their giant fringe-bristling shoulders, might find certain takers in the rock industry. As one-offs, they could fill the stage of any stadium. A stole made of white mink mice, complete with red eyes and tails? It could work for an encore. Or as window-dressing, come Halloween, perhaps. Real world, though? Hard to imagine many female customers for his ribbon-leather body dresses, no matter how much slaving it takes to sew them. Perhaps the conundrum will be solved when buyers travel to Paris to see Pugh's collection up close under Rick Owens' roof. Owens' wife, Michele Lamy, who has a stellar reputation as a manager, is overseeing Pugh's production. Maybe there are moderated designs in the works. There need to be, unless Pugh is quite happy to continue, hand-to-mouth, relying on the indulgence of sponsors, and the diminishing returns as newer designers come up.