21 posts tagged "Gareth Pugh"
Gareth Pugh is no stranger to the wonderful world of makeup. “Every day I wear black eye liner—top and bottom—right in the corners, and I smudge it a little bit with my finger,” Pugh says, revealing that MAC Studio Fix foundation and its Lip Conditioner also make it into his bag on the regular. Still, when we broke the news this summer that fashion’s reigning prince of darkness would be launching a full-scale, limited-edition cosmetics collection with MAC in the fall, it was a bit of a surprise: Pugh isn’t so much into color. “It’s something that I don’t really get to do so much,” he admits, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t up for the challenge. “It was really nice to be able to think in terms of something other than clothing, where obviously color is a very big part of the process,” the British designer says of the 18-piece range of pigments and accessories he’s launching with the mega brand next month. It includes deep burgundy Metal-X Cream Eye Shadows, dark mulberry lipsticks, lavender Lipglasses, and iridescent nail lacquers with blue/violet bases. The range boasts custom-designed lacquered packaging unlike anything MAC has launched before. “I wanted something quite angular and sharp and straight,” Pugh explains, pointing to a black cube he keeps in his inspiration coffers that informs a fair bit of his work. “Even when I was designing my shop in Hong Kong, the idea was to make it look as if you stepped in a black cube, because a lot of what I do comes from that idea—and that black is kind of my thing.” Here, Pugh talks eyelashes, the joy of collaboration, and “adding another string to [his] ball” with a product that has mass appeal.
What was the creative process like for your first foray into beauty?
It was very much about taking the essence of what I do and making something that could be extreme, but also could be taken down to a beautiful nail polish or a beautiful lipstick—things that work in their own right, rather than just all components of one particular look. We agreed on a loose framework of products that we wanted to do and then, you know, in my studio I have a lot of things that I like to collect, for one reason or another—things that I just kind of like the look of. I am of the thought that things always come in handy at some point, so it was a real opportunity for me to go and have a rummage around. It was just kind of putting it all down, having this big pile in front of me, and choosing from that and laying it out on—not necessarily a mood board, but more so a chart.
Got it. So what kind of things made it onto this “chart?”
Fabrics I have in my collection; a feather from this collection I did that was all gray with lots of headdresses; a butterfly wing that this guy gave me in Paris as a business card; a rock that I bought at a shop in New York… it was kind of a broad range, but not just anything and everything. I was trying to sort of edit the choices of colors before I sent them over to make a nice little story.
We broke the news last month that Gareth Pugh would be bringing his special brand of gothic futurism to the beauty sphere through a collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. Last night, the makeup giant made it official. “We look for collaborations with young designers; that’s why we’ve always been so supportive of Gareth and what he does,” said MAC senior vice president of Global Product Development Jennifer Balbier over cocktails at New York’s New Museum. “The super-edited collection is going to be something that everyone who either knows Gareth or wants to experience Gareth will buy,” Balbier continued of the limited-edition range that bows in November. It’s an interesting premise, considering “accessible” isn’t a word often associated with Pugh’s work. “It’s interesting for me to have another kind of string to my ball,” Pugh said of his entrance into the realm of nail polishes and eyeliners—both of which he was sporting last night. “I would never say that something like this is a compromise to what I do, it is an extension of that…and it was really nice for me to be able to think in terms of something other than clothing because I don’t do a lot of color; it’s black—or black.” So, does this mean his beauty effort will be bursting with corals, aquas, and the like? Probably not, but the rainbow iridescent quality of the dark lacquer painted onto his fingertips is a good place to start.
Gareth Pugh is best known in the beauty-sphere for the otherworldly backstage looks that he cooks up with makeup artist Alex Box each season for his high-concept ready-to-wear presentations. Who can forget Pugh’s Goddesses From the Grave Spring 2010 show, featuring a barrage of models sporting a gray complexion (courtesy of an airbrushed application of MAC Pro Micronized Airbrush Foundation in a combination of Black and White), bleached brows, and eyes lined in red pigment? MAC Cosmetics certainly hasn’t forgotten. The makeup giant has just announced that it is pairing up with Pugh for a full-scale collection that will launch globally in November. The range will include multiple color products and accessories in “special packaging,” which we imagine will focus heavily on Pugh’s preferred palette of black, white, and gray. Style.com also hears that the products will make their debut at a cocktail party next month in New York to celebrate the collaboration, followed by a backstage turn at the designer’s show in Paris come October. For those of you wondering how Pugh’s special brand of gothic gloom will translate in makeup terms, his unexpected divergence into a (limited) selection of bold color for Fall could offer a clue. Those memorable cobalt blue and gold looks sure would look nice in eye shadow form.
Seeing as how Alex Box has already proved that her face-painting skills will not be confined to two dimensions, the makeup artist’s avant-garde experiment backstage at Gareth Pugh seemed perfectly par for the course. “Religious iconography” is how Box described the inspiration for the gold and blue laser-cut eye patches that she made for the occasion using a “bespoke retro-reflective fabric that turns pure white when hit with a bright light”—like, say, a barrage of flashbulbs. With statement-making lids playing such a large part in the overall look, Box’s handiwork called for little else save for MAC Clear Brow Set to groom arches and its clear Lip Glass, which she applied to the tops of cheeks for a shiny highlight.
What it did mandate, however, were killer nails, courtesy of Minx. Working off of a waxy blue fabric supplied by Pugh’s stylist, Katie Shillingford, Minx co-founders Janice Jordan and Dawn Lynch-Goodwin collaborated with U.K.-based nail artist Marian Newman on a custom design for the show. Adhesive overlays featuring a blue canvas with gold foil framing around the base and on either side of the nail added that extra bit of inventive artiness that has become synonymous with Pugh’s presentations, finished off with similar gilding placed underneath fingertips. So far, the Paris shows have put the brakes on the manicure mania that has swept New York and London for the past two seasons. Here’s hoping this gets things rolling.
Minx has been grabbing headlines left and right in recent weeks. In addition to securing a U.S. patent on its unique method for applying non-liquid graphic films to nails (imitators, beware) and introducing a new collaboration series with super-manicurists like Lisa Logan (Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, and Queen Latifah) and Marian Newman (Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, and Valentino), the brand has been killing it backstage at shows like Dennis Basso in New York and David Koma in London. And its newfound role as newsmaker doesn’t look to be losing steam anytime soon. Style.com has just learned that Minx co-founders Janice Jordan and Dawn Lynch-Goodwin will be in full force at Gareth Pugh, at Thierry Mugler for Nicola Formichetti’s first womenswear collection for the house, and at Alexander McQueen—where, lest we remind you, the duo premiered one of Spring’s best manis: a copper patterned tip layered over a gold base that was inspired by look 26 from Sarah Burton’s runway debut. What will they come up with next? You’ll find out next week. (We know, we’re excited too.)