GARETH PUGH FASHION COMEBACK

A consummate showman, Pugh is known for thrilling runway shows — mostly with a futuristic, dystopian bent — and as a pioneer of similarly intense fashion films.

By Balthazar Malevolent

GARETH PUGH FASHION COMEBACK

Gareth Pugh wakes up his dormant fashion brand, takes full control of his trademark and plots a comeback as soon as this fall.

Gareth Pugh in Paris.

Recently, the London based designer bought back the 49 percent of his trademark which he quietly sold to Rick Owens and Owens's Italian production partner Olmar and Mirta SpA in 2006. For a long time, Owens and his partner, Michèle Lamy, were devoted cheerleaders of Pugh's inimitable brand of gritty, goth-tinged glamour.

Financial terms have not been released, and the split is believed to have been amicable and both parties remain close.

"I'm really excited to get a new chapter started," Pugh reported. "We are at a time when everyone is invited to invent the future, so it is more important for me now than ever to be part of that cultural conversation."

Gareth Pugh fashion show.

Asked about the development, Owens said: "Every designer should have his own name and I'm delighted that when he needed us, we could be of any kind of help. Gareth and [his husband, Carson McColl] are our family members and I love we've all been married for a minute. Yet we will always be.

Pugh said in September he aims to present a collection in some newfangled fashion, with the format and manufacturing set-up still a work in progress.

A consummate showman, Pugh is known for thrilling runway shows — mostly with a futuristic, dystopian bent — and as a pioneer of similarly intense fashion films. One, which was shown on Europe's largest screen at an IMAX theater in 2017, mixed fashion, choreography and clay in both grotesque and glamorous ways.

Coming from the coastal city of Sunderland in northern England, Pugh studied fashion design at London's Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2003 with his sculptural, otherworldly designs and gaining acclaim from the fashion community.

During an internship at Revillon (the furrier that took Owens to Paris) Pugh encountered Owens and Lamy. In 2006, Gareth Pugh launched his signature brand at London Fashion Week, having participated the year before in the group show Fashion East.

In 2008, he received the prestigious ANDAM Fashion Prize, and later has been showing his collections in Paris, London and New York.

After his spring-summer 2019 show in London, Pugh took a hiatus off fashion to focus on Hard+Shiny, a creative studio he founded in 2018 with McColl. Apart from working with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, Gareth has worked with the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Garnier, the Dutch National Opera, and the London Royal Opera House.

Pugh and McColl directed their first feature-length documentary last year — titled "Soul of a Movement" and dedicated it to queer resistance in the UK.

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