Sure enough, black nappa kimono looks opened the show at Paris Fashion Week swirling stiffly and authoritatively — with one model in a two-foot mourning veil.
However, the raw shock-factor — Pugh's signature — was short-lived for once. It soon gave way to a series of softer, elegant and more mature looks in sweeping vermilion, black fringing and pale dove grey.
The Latin feel was captured in a series of textured 3-D ruffles reflecting a coiffed, full-breasted cock, ready for the fight.
The designer's introspection was tangible, from the simplicity of the decor to Rebekah del Rio's haunting a capella singing to the clean, highly wearable silhouettes.
Could Wednesday's show have been a coming of age for London's enfant terrible?
"Some things happened to me recently," Pugh said backstage. "Sometimes you just can't help changing, some things are out of control."
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http:/ /Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAPSuggest a correction