I can’t recall the exact year I first came across Hogan McLaughlin, but I can tell you that he made quite an impression on me. I was photographing a dress rehearsal for the high school dance company that he was a part of–and whenever I looked through the lens–I kept coming back to him. He exuded energy and charisma, and he was a true pleasure to watch.
Last I had heard he was in New York, but I didn’t know that he switched careers and had become a fashion designer. And I certainly wasn’t aware of the fact that he had produced pieces for Lady Gaga. But then…I can’t really say I was that surprised either.
Some people are lucky enough to have many talents. Hogan is one of them.
On October 10th I’ll attend Hubbard Street’s opening night and get to see his work in person. He has designed the costumes for a new piece by choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams titled Fluence.
Here’s a little peek behind the scenes to see how this project came about. It’s so fun to watch an artist evolve…
How did you wind up designing costumes for this particular piece?
I met Robyn almost 10 years ago, a few years before I joined Hubbard Street 2. After dance, I tried for a career in visual art, but sort of unconsciously fell into a career in fashion instead. I think we’ve always had similar aesthetics, stylistically, so it sort of seemed like a no-brainer for me when she asked if I would be interested in designing her costumes. We had collaborated before on her piece for this past summer’s danc(e)volve: New Works Festival, so I think that was the jumping off point.
What was the design process like in terms of working with the choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams?
I’m an idiot when it comes to computers and technology so I prefer to sketch things out. I start with just drawing a body, and then let things come naturally from there. It helps that I know most of the dancers in the cast pretty well, so I tried to highlight each individual in a subtle way.
What about color selection? How do you decide on that?
For my line, and my personal wardrobe, I tend to go straight to black or grey tones. It’s a tough habit to break but luckily the darker metallic tones fit the mood of Robyn’s work nicely.
How did the dancers feel about the costumes?
I hope they like them–ha ha. It was definitely a long process with multiple fittings, especially for the women.
What is next for you?
I’m not sure! These past few months have been especially busy, so I haven’t even begun to think about it- hopefully another cool project!
Hogan McLaughlin is an American fashion designer, artist, dancer, and musician. McLaughlin grew up outside of Chicago, where he spent his childhood drawing and training in ballet. He joined Hubbard Street 2 in 2006, and was promoted to an apprentice position with the main company in 2008. In 2010, he moved to New York City and garnered acclaim in fashion after meeting and collaborating with brewery heiress Daphne Guinness, who became a champion for his work. He later went on to produce a number of pieces for Lady Gaga, sparking interest and recognition within the fashion community. He released his first full collection in 2011 and has since been profiled by media outlets including Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily and The New York Times.