So if you’re wondering, there will be one of these a week. Today it’s Gareth Pugh.
“We have to sell the dream, before we sell the clothes.”
History: Born in England, Gareth Pugh began working as a costume designer for the National Youth Theatre at the age of 14. He started his fashion education at City of Sunderland College and finished his degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. His final collection used balloons to accentuate the models’ joints and limbs and attracted the attention of the editor of Dazed & Confused Magazine which used this collection for their cover story. This collection earned him critical success and attracted attention to his designs.
Though he received critical acclaim within contemporary fashion circles, Pugh’s commercial success was an issue. He went on record saying that, by March 2004, he had not sold a single dress and struggled to make ends meet. It had gotten so bad, he was evicted from a converted warehouse where he was found squatting.
Over time, though, Gareth began making more wearable pieces and his commerciality is rising.
Style: Deemed by many to be completely unwearable, Gareth’s garments initially weren’t selling simply because they couldn’t be sold, worn, or constructed. He is credited as making not just clothes, but fashion as performance art. His collections are more autobiographical than referencial, drawing inspiration from Britain’s extreme club scene. He often uses odd, nonsensical shapes to morph and distort the human body and says that his garments are a struggle between lightness and darkness.