In the mid eighties Pam Hogg was among the first British designers to take couture from the club to the catwalk.
Fuelled by the excitement and freedom of punk, Hogg stunned fashion's elite with her self-taught, self-made and self-styled outrageous creations. Capturing the creative energy coming out of the club scene Pam had invented her very own brand of couture. Her early collections sold to the most fashionable stores from Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London to Bloomingdales and Charivari in New York. By the early 90s she had firmly carved herself a niche in London's post punk scene alongside other fashion mavericks that included Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Stephen Jones. By the time it was 1999 Pam Hogg had conquered the fashion industry as Queen of the Bodysuit, became a rock star and toured with Blondie in her band Doll.
Debbie Harry, Marie Helvin and Anita Pallenberg were the first of Pam's many celebrity muses that have spanned over four decades. Today it's Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and Rihanna who rock out in the Glaswegian lassie's hand-sewn flamboyant styles. Pam Hogg's client list includes supermodels, actresses, rock stars and royalty - yes royalty, as Pam has even made a dress for Diana Princess of Wales.
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Nick Cave, Vivienne Westwood, Alison Mosshart and Paloma Faith all regularly sit front row at her shows. I had the pleasure of joining Rankin, Stephen Jones, Michael Clarke and Gareth Pugh on Pam's cult f-row for her most recent show in London. The latest Hogg creations represented the full spectrum of Pam's work with some new pieces inspired by Pussy Riot, to whom she dedicated the collection. Her clothes have always been outfits as statements - be it political, social or sexual. This was in no doubt a collection of strong Hogg signature looks. Embellished balaclavas and embroidered slogans on knitwear featuring the words COURAGE and PUSSY RIOT RULE clearly stated the designer's intention. Pam declared it as "a total dedication to Pussy Riot, it's not intended for sale. I'm using this event to give people with a louder voice than mine a chance to show their support and make some waves in the progress of equality for all. It's to show that we can all do something, wearing their name is a political statement. Pussy Riot should be the role models of today. This is for them".
The bodysuit dominated the collection and was reinvented repeatedly. Sensationally sheer unitards with strips of opaque leather strategically placed. Multi coloured leather body-con jumpsuits cut into every shape imaginable. A multitude of tulle and lace in pastel shades set off with metallic and neon accessories. A gladiator bride in a gold lame full skirt certainly turned more than a few heads as did the bow-peep styles with exaggerated bonnets. The showstopper came in the form of Adam's Eve wearing a completely sheer bridal unitard with only white roses covering her modesty. The impressive Marie Antoinette inspired extravagant headpiece entwined with white roses brought the model up to eight feet tall.
All of Pam's pieces are still made from start to finish by her own hands making it difficult for mere mortals to attain. She does however allow the purchase of a more wearable collection for people who want to feel the connection, even if it's just a hint of it. You can visit her website and invest in an exclusive selection of authentic pieces emblazoned with her traditional punk attitude.
Certainly not a look for the faint hearted but so very Pam Hogg.