The Wheeler Centre
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State of Design: Gareth Pugh
Fashion designer Gareth Pugh has received global recognition and wide critical acclaim for his outlandish clubwear and novel approach to redefining modern luxury. He challenges set attitudes towards clothing and design. For this instalment of State of Design’s 2011 9 to 5 Talks Program, Pugh speaks via Skype with a panel of Australian design figures including John Ibrahim, Misha Hollenbach, Alex Cleary and Robyn Healy.
As one of London’s most exciting and innovative designers, Pugh produces immaculately made, nonsensically shaped, wearable sculptures designed to distort the human body almost beyond recognition.
In this popular session, Pugh speaks to the panel about his accidental beginnings in fashion, his move from couture to retail, his London studio, his customers and why the club scene isn’t the influence on his work that it’s commonly believed to be.
Pugh also discusses his unconventional use of film to promote his collections, his relationship with backers Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, and the little-mentioned transitional period between leaving Central Saint Martins and “arriving” as a design force. He recounts his trip to Italy to appear on “hideous TV program” Fashion House, confesses his unease with his work appearing in an art exhibition (“it’s a little bit sad… clothes are meant to be worn”), and bestows upon the audience’s nascent designers his most important advice: “without the ideas, you don’t have anything.”