Friday, January 21, 2011

Mr. Gareth, the wicked genius

Harriett Mays Powell, the NY Times fashion director, asks Gareth about his necklace: "Let me just say, I'm fascinated. This looks a little bit naughty. What is this for?"
"It's boyfriend gave it to me as a joke; it's a nipple clamp. But it doesn't get used. It's just a pendant. It kind of sums up my clothes in a sense. It's very beautiful, but it has that sort of underlying current of violence." (italics mine)

It's a good day when I hear a designer explain his clothes exactly as I see them.

The following video is ten minutes, and I understand most of us have some form of ADD now, so I don't expect you to watch it. However, it is unusually interesting.

In the beginning, it looks like there are spiders crawling on the floor. Sinister, no? The spiderish feel at the beginning does not make this short film awesome — it's the bridge (similar to the bridge in a piece of music).

The change in music around 4:30 totally revamps the feel to the video. Before 4:30, it's all about geometrical shapes and odd movement. (And at 3:53, hello! I'm dying.) After 4:30, the softness and sadness of the music dynamically alters the mood. Now we have fluid movement and a slight vulnerability. The classical music alone makes it more divine, reverent. (By the way, Beyoncé wore that shredded number shown on the male model at 6:28 in her video for Sweet Dreams.) And then, after we see the man in the shredded number making pretty shapes in the water, BAM, the bridge is over. Back to odd shapes and electronic music. And at the end! I know I said I was dying before, but I really am now. Hello Sistine Chapel! Hello Elgin Marbles! Hello Dante's Inferno! Hello fragmented sentences!

I could watch the videos he creates with Ruth Hogben all day. His aesthetic and vision reminds me of the creepiness of Eraserhead: odd, unknown, strange.

Here are more:
Spring/Summer 2011:

Gareth Pugh S/S 2011 Collection - Director: Ruth Hogben from SHOWstudio on Vimeo.

And, my least favorite, Autumn/Winter 2009:

Though I do love the inkiness to it. It reminds me of the Blood Ink editorial that Dree Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway's great-granddaughter) was in.

In many ways, I see Gareth Pugh's switch to video to showcase his work like Alexander McQueen's penchant to modify the runway. Most memorably, Alexander used a chess board in 2005 as a catwalk and huge gliding cameras in 2010. Other designers change the catwalk, too, like Marc Jacobs' green winding catwalk and Chanel's ginormous (and totally kitschy) Western barn. But, both Gareth and Alexander (when he was alive, bless his soul) consistently look to the future while being influenced by the past. I love that about both of them, because most designers are only concerned with what will sell — and when that happens, the art that is fashion walks right out the front-door.

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