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Pam Hogg’s AW14 show at Freemasons’ Hall kicked off with a powerful message that articulated the intentions behind her collection clearly. Models entered the catwalk carrying boards emblazoned with the statements: ‘This is a dedication to Pussy Riot’ and ‘This collection is not for sale’, embodying the powerful and defiant spirit not only of Pussy Riot but of the punk movement that Pam Hogg was so integral to. Despite originally opting not to show this season, Hogg had a change of heart after a personal request from Amnesty to give a nod to Pussy Riot during fashion week. Despite having merely three weeks in which to put the collection together, she delivered a powerful and politically charged show titled COURAGE that explored themes of gay rights and protest.

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Adhering to her reputation to cause a stir, Hogg challenged conventions and gender boundaries by using a mixture of male, female and transsexual models. Volt Café managed to catch an exhilarated Hogg for a quick chat after the show.

Volt Café: Why weren’t you originally going to show this season?
Pam Hogg: I wanted some time off to concentrate on getting a selling collection together in order to finance my business. It was tearing me apart because I knew that the Russian Olympic games were coinciding with fashion week. Every collection I make a statement and it was killing me that I wasn’t doing a show – for that reason completely. Then out of the blue I got the email from Amnesty and I just couldn’t say no. So I tore myself apart for two days, I contemplated doing a film and then I thought, I can actually do a collection because my pieces aren’t trend based they’re more like a collection of paintings that flow, one into another.

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VC: Talk me through your process of putting the collection together in just three weeks.
PH: I designed the first part as a total dedication to Pussy Riot and of course their thing is the balaclava and colour. I realised that I had a box of all these pieces that had never been used on the catwalk because I’d never finished them. Incredibly I had actually made balaclavas about two years ago so I just embellished those but some of the pieces in the collection are twenty years old. There were some great pieces that never made it into the collection because they didn’t get finished in time but I am still going to make a film so will fit those pieces into that.

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VC: The collection melded loud Pussy Riot trademarks with delicate, ethereal white looks and ornate gold pieces. Were these themes a nod to the increasingly widespread acceptance of gay marriage?
PH: The gold represents the church and the white represents peace and that love is for everyone. The colour was my tribute and a thank you to the gay community and the richness that it has given culture.

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VC: The three imprisoned members of Pussy Riot withdrew from the group following their release and consequently received some criticism. What’s your opinion on this?
PH: They did their thing and they did it all for good reasons. You cannot take away from what they did. The whole show was based on their courage and rage at the injustice they were faced with which is why I called the collection COURAGE. These girls were so couragous, they’d been through hell. They stood to be imprisoned for a long time and they didn’t come out apologizing. They weren’t trashing the church, they were finding the best place possible to make their statement and they came out defiant. I was blown away. This is what role models should be today, not some celebrity who thinks that sticking her tongue out is risqué. Pussy Riot is real and I’m about reality and justice. This collection is for them.

Photos by Corrine Noel
Words by Angelica Mandy

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Tags

Angelica Mandy, Corrine Noel, Pam Hogg, Pussy Riot,