Nick Knight for Vogue December 2008

Nick Knight for Vogue December 2008

It seems almost unusual to see Gareth Pugh worn without motion. Knight’s photography attempts to capture the explosion of animation that is Pugh’s work. A dress of gold fringes, worn over metallic gold tights and under a cloud of cotton-candy pink hair. The grain of Knight’s film photography helps to blur the edges of reality, and capture the motion of the model’s kicking step. One could be forgiven for believing the absurd angles and motion of the fringes were somehow frozen, statuesque. The posing is a little less refined, obviously staged to look like a Christmas tree, the face of the model as the star, the gold fringed tinsel below, with a long, slender trunk of the tree that is the leg. The sense of tragedy in the model’s makeup, combined with this slightly gaudy comparison does return some intent to the staging of the shot.

The composition of the shot is strongly reminiscent to Pugh’s work with director Ruth Hogben (Hogben 2009), with the cropping almost absurdly tight, there is a distinct sense of visual tension in the shot. The resemblance is also seen in the high contrast, going as far as hiding details in the work. This loss of detail only serves to capture the essence of the work in this style, however, bringing out Pugh’s striking silhouettes. We’re reminded we’re not looking at Hogben when we regard the hair (Knight 2008), the forms less clear, the color being essentially white space in terms of the composition. Ironically, this contrasts with the high contrast seen elsewhere in the shot (Even between the golden pedestal and white background), helping to bring the two styles together.


Hogben, R 2009 Gareth Pugh Autumn/Winter 2009 by Ruth Hogben, 4th March 2009, viewed 21st September 2015

Knight, N 2008 Lily Donaldson, British Vogue December 2008, viewed 21st September 2015×0.jpg