Icon: Gareth Pugh

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London on January 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Gareth Pugh once said he bought the whole i-D archive for 2 pence an issue. That’s impressive. And it is this iconic magazine that has set the foundation for Mr. Pugh as the renowned fashion designer he is this very moment.

To understand fashion, is to know that there’s nothing surprising about Mr. Pugh’s success. I first came about this man back in 2007, while watching an episode of Fashion Television. Pugh would go on to shape my view of fashion – despite that I’ve been into fashion since the womb. But by taking to his work, I came to embrace a deeper side to what was the unknown.

Pugh is one of a very few fashion designers to amalgamate Goth and Punk culture. His line is exquisitely dramatic. Then, at the whims of his talent, he turned his name into a sellable brand.

Recently, Mr. Pugh was at the lavish menswear fair Pitti Uomo in Milan for his Italian debut. But oh, it was not a traditional runway. It was, as Ms. Menkes puts it, a “magical film, cast like a fashion fresco on the ceiling of a historic building and generating a rare fashion emotion.” However, let us acknowledge that his fashion film career has been groomed by the likes of Nick Knight, founder of the ever-innovative fashion site SHOWstudio.

In retrospect, Mr. Pugh has, naturally, come a long way. From the rusty, patchy work of his debut London collection to that of his glitzy New York ones, when it comes to a “pack” of designers, Pugh is but in a league of his own.

But what I appreciate about this new school of designers, is that they seem to have de-sexualize fashion.

And though you may question what there is to appreciate about that, well, the new school seem to be able to incorporate the naked form – push it to the limit – without it being explicitly suggestive. To them, fashion is art.

And now, the art is the clothes the consumer can buy, and not question the level of vulgarity.

Matter of fact, androgyny – in high fashion – is key. At least compared to the ultra-feminine florals of fast fashion chains.

And so it goes.

I do however, notice that he’s going through a transformation. And that’s okay – change is good. But I’m curious to see how sellable his brand becomes.

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