First Look: Gareth Pugh

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I get to Gareth Pugh's show at 4:47. The show starts at 5, but after a week in Paris, I'm still not familiar with the Palais du Tokyo. I stand in line next to American Vogue editors and we watch Carine Roitfeld stalk past wearing sequins. I get inside and trip over a bench that says Mr. Karl Lagerfeld and Lady Amanda Harlech. Alas, they don't show. So I get my thrills sitting inches from Jefferson Hack who shares his illustrious bench with Rick Owens, Roisin Murphy, Olivier Zahm and Carine. The club kids sit on the other side just like London because cool kids in New York don't get to crash shows. The blogger behind me says that she doesn't understand why bloggers love Kate Lanphear and I'm pretty sure she means me. Meanwhile, Bill Cunningham marvels at the woman sitting next to me. "But, you're actually wearing Gareth Pugh! I saw that on the runway last season and thought how does one wear such a thing?" She nods without answering; it matches her outfit better. The show starts at 6:03. The models wear reflective mirrors above their eyelashes causing them to blink excessively. Yet, they manage to maneuver the square runway in their seven-inch black and white platforms. They wear Shakespearean collars on steroids, bicycle reflector suits, ghoulish robes, futuristic jackets and leather biker gear not made for the faint of heart. The show is meticulously styled by Katie Shillingford but a surprising number of pieces could be styled into a real wardrobe. Gareth Pugh's latest collection is, in my head at least, wearable. Which is great for the designer and also for Bill Cunningham. I don't know how many more surprises the guy can handle.