The first time we
experienced Gareth Pugh’s genius up close and personal was at his show in
London in February 2007, when he wowed us with his fantastical harlequin/club kid fashion fairytale (and made us giggle at the sight of Anna
Wintour almost getting conked in the head by a floating black balloon, which
was deftly deflected at the last possible second by Hamish Bowles).
Black balloons continue
to figure prominently in Mr. Pugh’s imagination, as witnessed by his latest
outing, a video installation directed by Ruth Hogben that debuted at Milk
Studios during New York Fashion Week, which we covered here last week and which
you can see here at SHOWstudio.
The Fashion Informer
caught up with the always charming Pugh backstage at said installation, where he
was seated in a very official, Meet the
Press-style antechamber off the pitch black video space, outfitted with
director’s chairs and sleek black leather lounges, upon which sat Suzy Menkes,
Susie Bubble and a host of other London-based well-wishers.
But before the Brits
descended en masse, we nabbed a few minutes with our favorite fashion Goth (sorry,
Rick!) to talk music, movies and manscaping must-haves.
What's in current rotation on your iPod? I don’t have an
iPod.Controversial [laughs]!I don’t listen to anything when I’m in transit. In my studio I’ve got a
laptop.I’ll give you four songs
I’m kind of into:Joan Osborne’s
“One of Us,” The Cranberries “Zombie,” Lucinda Williams, “Come On.”And Hole, “Violet.” Top four!
What was your nickname as a kid and what's your nickname now? A nickname when I was a
kid?They were all really
offensive because I got picked on really badly in school [laughs].Now…do I have one?I don’t know.Maybe you want to ask my friends.I don’t know.They’re in there [points to other room].
What movie has had the biggest impact on you? Quite a few that I’ve
seen that are quite beautiful.These are very difficult questions.My group is so surprised that I’ve never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey.But I’ve never seen it.Favorite films…I love The Color Purple. I loveThe Color Purple.
What grooming or beauty item can you not live without? There are a few [laughs].I live and die by MAC Studio Fix.Amazing.Crème de la Mer.I recently gotten given some and I’m very, very pleased about that.Black eyeliner, black nail polish.I got given some KO Knock Out – it’s a
new brand, and it’s matte.It’s
amazing. Although I haven’t got it
on today.I think the guy who
invented it’s in New York so I’m going to try and stock up before I go back to
London.It’s completely black,
like blackboard paint.It’s amazing.
What freaks you out? In a day-to-day
way?The one thing I really can’t
stand – it really puts my teeth on edge and even to explain it makes me feel a
bit weird – is that sound when you open a freezer door that hasn’t been
defrosted properly and it sounds like [he makes a creaking, sucking sound]?I can’t stand that.I have to
leave the room. [He shudders.]
That’s one of my pet peeves.
When are you happiest? Probably when I can have
a lie-in with my boyfriend and I don’t feel guilty about it.It’s kind of nice because if I take any
time off, I always feel guilty about it, so it’s nice to have guilt-free time
Stay tuned next for Random Questions For…George
I don't usually link to other writer's work, but this piece in today's Times on the Takashi Murakami party at the Boom Boom Room in the Standard Hotel is, by turns, hilarious, poignant and insightful in its dissemination of the inner workings of New York's fashion and art machine (and the incredible ego of many of its players). And, oh yeah, it's beautifully written to boot. Methinks Guy Trebay is a genius.
Here are the latest Fashion Week show reports, where the New York trends are shaping up to include suede and leather for spring, killer platform shoes, lots of shine (for day and evening), navy and taxicab yellow, and the continuation of the harem pants trend (some with a gently carrot shape, others with an ankle-grazing drop crotch). More on that after fashion season ends.
Q: What do you get when you combine
steel, gold and a myriad of constantly evolving historical/architectural
A: Seriously cool jewelry that walks
a razor fine line between tough and tender.
Meet Philip Crangi, the man behind
said jewelry.Crangi studied
jewelry design at RISD and worked for William Lipton, Japanese artist Mariko
Mori and sculptor Michele Oka Doner before launching his own eponymous fine
jewelry line in 2001 with the help of his sister/business
partner, Courtney, followed by Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi,
a line of lower-priced silver and costume jewelry - which includes our personal
faves: the Tiny Mustache earrings,
which wink to Crangi’s signature upper lip decor.
Since then, Crangi has also designed
runway pieces for Phillip Lim, Vera Wang, Shipley & Halmos,Sue Stemp and
Jason Wu, among others. He won the
CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design in 2008, designed a line of art
deco-inspired jewelry for Atelier Swarovski for fall 2009, is designing the spring 2010 jewelry for the upcoming Michael
Bastion, Boy/Band of Outsiders and Shipley & Halmos New York Fashion Week presentations
and will be opening his own store in the Meatpacking District next month.
The Fashion Informer caught up with the
always-charming mustachioed marvel at the tail end of summer to discuss his
love of Led Zeppelin, his eccentric grandpa and the importance of good grooming
is your favorite off-duty activity? My lawyers advise
me not to answer that question.
would you like to be doing if you weren't a jeweler? I was actually just thinking about
that very thing.I would be an
archaeologist.I love digging in
the dirt and finding buried treasure.
or tea? Both.It depends on the weather.In the winter I love tea and in the summer, anything
you were 9, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an architect.I was inspired by my grandfather who
was a Buckminster Fuller inventor type, who lived off of the grid in the
Everglades.I loved that he lived
on a compound building things literally in the middle of the Everglades.He had a David Koresh-ian messianic
quality to him – people would congregate around him despite the fact that he
was very much a hermit.
movie can you watch over and over again? Stardust
Memories by Woody Allen.The
first time I saw it, I was way too young (in 1980 at 9 or 10 years old), and
have seen it dozens of times since.The story really resonated with me, as it is about the creative
journey.Also, the actress
Charlotte Rampling is at the pinnacle of her beauty in this movie.And she’s the most beautiful woman that
has ever lived.So…
do you usually begin your creative design process? My process either starts with a
specific technique or a specific material, but it certainly can be both.From that starting point, things begin
to materialize.Ideas and techniques
find each other in the ether of my mind.My fine jewelry collection is very much about pushing the limits of what
materials can do, while the material informs me of what it wants to be.
your idea of a perfect summer day? Lying on the beach and smoking a
special challenges/rewards in working with a sibling every day? It is almost all rewards with
Courtney.We know each other so
well, both the good and ugly parts.Because of our relationship, we are able to work together to build
something bigger than ourselves.
you have any hidden talents/abilities? My favorite super power is that I
have an impeccable sense of direction.
is your must-have grooming product? My mustache scissors.
is your favorite work of art or piece of music? I’m very fickle with that, as I have
so many constantly sliding favorites.I’m always surprised by Christina’s
World by Andrew Wyeth.Every
time I see it, I think he is my favorite painter.There is something so sad that permeates everything in his
work.I can’t help but lose myself
in his artistry and craft.He
shows miles of landscape with 3 splashes of color on a white field – it’s
In terms of music, I always go back
to favorites.My favorite albums
of all time are Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
and Led Zeppelin II.
do you keep your 'stache looking so fly? With those mustache scissors!Learning how to properly sculpt was a
long and arduous road that I had to take by myself.
one item of clothing/jewelry has the most personal meaning to you? My circa 1930’s Zuni sterling and turquoise
cuff.Growing up, my parents owned
tons of that kind of stuff because they were hippies.I always hated it, and then when I was about 35 I became
obsessed with that style of jewelry on my own.I then starting looking and looking for it at Brimfield –
and when I finally saw my bracelet, the person who made it started singing me a
song.It’s my power bracelet.
old were you when you got your first tattoo, what is it and what is its
personal significance? I got my first tattoo when I was 17 -
the number 22 in red, given to me by my best friend.It was the first tattoo he had ever given as a tattoo
artist.It looks like shit, but it
remains one of my favorite tattoos.22 is the day of my birthday and my lucky number.
makes you nervous? When I’m not inspired, and the fear
that I will never be inspired again.
are you happiest? In the height of inspiration.I feel most fulfilled when I’m working