Dr Hogg's Divine DisorderPam Hogg Presents @ The Gallery
PAM HOGG surfaced in the 1980s, forming punk band Rubbish. In between being an all-round bad bitch she went on to have hits in acid house band Garden Of Eden, with her first fashion collection launching in 1981. Fusing black mesh, metal and studs, the collection espoused a clear refusal to conform to mainstream fashion expectations and ethics. Some years later, 2018 to be exact, these collections find themselves in The Gallery, an established space that is renowned for curating shows for artists that wish to reach a wider audience.
Attending the private view of Dr Hogg’s exhibition, Divine Disorder, is like stepping off the curb of Stanhope Street and into a covert world of studs, sequins, punk and pop art. Immediately we’re drawn to a fabric wall hanging which screams “Henri Matisse cut outs – but make it fashion!” Made up of pastel felt in every colour, the plant-like shapes seem to have a life of their own, especially when juxtaposed with tasselled body suits and spiked patent leather. The clothes encompass the 1980s underground art scene flawlessly.
Elsewhere, eyes are immediately drawn to the Army Of Lovers. Head to toe in full sequinned pieces, completed with ties and berets printed with the word ‘lover’, we automatically feel a sense of warmth at being in the same room as the work that we have admired for years (although, it is rather stuffy in here, and one of us is wearing plastic trousers). Immediately, to the right, we see a mass of leather, studs and spikes. This looks dangerous, we think, as we wander over. It’s a two-piece, with the words ‘divine delinquent’ punched in studs across the back. These two sides of the wall seem to be quite the contrast, but that sums up Hogg. Walking around the room, each garment is vastly different and detailed, but together they work beautifully in telling the story of one of Britain’s most adored punk icons.
The great thing about Hogg’s work is that it is unmistakable. You turn the corner and see one of her signatures, a tight-fitting bodysuit – now a symbol of her style. Extravagant headpieces decorate, a stunning trio of black crows drawing us into their eyes. Over to our left, there is a group of admirers gawping at this beautiful photograph on the wall. “Is that Debbie Harry?” No, it’s Pam Hogg, in all her glory, looking like the true rock-star she is.
Among the sea of gender-bending PVC-clad fashion students and older biker dudes, we spot a flash of yellow hair and automatically sidle over to catch a better glimpse of one of the most unique, iconic designers in British history. Pam herself is the embodiment of her work, a true ‘divine delinquent’. She stands out in a room immediately, and though from first glance might seem absolutely terrifying to approach, she is incredibly down to earth and humble for someone with such a valued status within the industry. Head to toe in bleached denim, Pam greets us and in turn we congratulate her on the impressive turn-out at the exhibition. A wave of envy washes over us as we contemplate all of the experiences that make up Hogg’s life that now only exist in her knowing smile and the bold portraits adorning the gallery. She asks a friend to fetch her sunglasses and suggests we take a photo with her. Pam Hogg is the personification of her work: confident, unapologetic, far-out. Like Lady Gaga but cooler.
Esme Grace Brown / @catmilf123