A persistent rumor that surface during the recently concluded Paris Menswear Fall 2009 season linking British-born designer Gareth Pugh with Dior Homme.
Hedi Slimane’s vision injected Dior Homme with an iconic status but it’s widely agreed a very limited number of men could wear his designs. One has to be very thin to fit into those trousers, states current Creative Director, Kris Van Assche. However, Pugh’s style is not dissimilar to Slimane’s and that could land him the position as the hierarchy look to revivie the Slimane years.
At 14, Pugh began working as a costume designer for the English National Youth Theatre. He started his fashion education at City of Sunderland College and finished his degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins in 2003. His final collection at St. Martins, which used balloons to accentuate models’ joints and limbs (a technique that would become one of his trademarks), attracted that attention of the senior fashion editor of Dazed & Confused magazine, who placed one of his designs on the magazine’s cover shortly thereafter. Pugh was selected to participate in British reality show The Fashion House two months after his graduation, which he would later call “horrible” and his “only other option [to being on] the dole.” The rise of !WOWOW!, a feature in Dazed & Confused, and a debut show at London club Kashpoint’s Alternative Fashion Week brought Pugh to the attention of Fashion East “London’s breeding ground for cutting-edge new talent,” leading them to invite Pugh to participate in its Autumn 2005 group show. Pugh had only four weeks, with no studio, no assistants, and little money, to create the collection. His collection ended up a critical success and attracted significant attention to his designs.