You read that right. Gareth Pugh will be collaborating with make-up giant MAC Cosmetics to launch an exclusive make-up line that has been described as ‘multiple colour products and accessories in special packaging’. Gareth Pugh, multiple colours, these two as we know it don’t really go together. Gareth Pugh has always been known for his monochromatic colour palette that consists of mostly black and grey gothic concoctions. The make-up, done by Illamasqua creative director Alex Box has been mostly such. However, accent colours such as metallic shades and cobalt blue have been used on occasions. Question is, will Alex Box play a part in this collaboration. I particularly like her Art of Darkness collection. This could be mind-blowing if she’s involved because Alex Box has worked with Gareth Pugh for a few seasons now and could ease into the equation. I absolutely cannot wait to see the packaging which the spokesperson described as ‘special’ (i wished another word was used like-‘edgy’ or ‘bold’).
Here are some Alex Box for Gareth Pugh looks.
Of course this is not MAC Cosmetics’ first collaboration. They have previously worked with Barbie, Disney, Hello Kitty and even Wonder Woman from DC Comics among others. Just another day in the office for the people of MAC. But to Gareth Pugh, this could be a huge (big enough) opportunity to rake in some money; to make his business more commercial. We all know Gareth, creative, high fashion almost couture-like but hardly wearable and commercial-very characteristic of London fashion designers.
‘If you, as a fashion designer, you do shows but you don’t sell, it kind of becomes a bit of a vanity project. You know, that’s kind of how I started and that’s how I got going but kind of a more mature point of view it needs to obviously translate into things that sell and that’s a new challenge for me. The two need each other, business and creativity. It’s a weird mix but you need to have that balance, I think, now. Or I need to have that balance now, so I’ve made my peace with that,’ Gareth Pugh revealed.
I think this-the balance between creativity and commerciality-is what every designer should look into. I mean of course that would be ideal from a business perspective if profitability is to be achieved. But if we are talking about couture and high fashion, these are niche areas of the market and how some of them are surviving still surprises me today. For the record, couture is expensive business and most couture houses never recoup the cost of the business. And if you don’t have clients who are interested in your collections, be prepared for huge losses. And remember, these clients are few and far between-mostly royalties, VVIPs and celebrities. Having a stable and loyal clientele is probably the only way to minimise losses.
That’s when a company’s ready-to-wear line and accessories come into play where profit margins are much higher, especially the latter. This is probably what Gareth Pugh is trying to do and I wonder how this collaboration will affect his future collections (read: multiple colour products). The make-up line will be launched in November this year but word is that the products will be used in his Spring/Summer 2012 show in October, with Alex Box at the helm. In other words, it is all business for Gareth Pugh. Well, I’m actually quite excited for him, who knows maybe a Gareth Pugh perfume line is in order?
Here are some other looks by Alex Box. Amazing stuff.