Hadley Freeman on fashion's latest unlikely muse, Eugene Hutz

Hadley Freeman: At the Gucci menswear show in Milan, Eugene Hutz, singer in the Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, was cited as the key inspiration for the collection. This translated into dishevelled suits, lots of velvet and heavily patterned shirts

Fashion designers are frequently accused of having a very narrow definition of beauty. And going by the models they hire to wear their wares, who are all Caucasian, under 23 and with a body mass that wouldn't put up much of a fight against a pillowcase, then yes, there might be some merit to the complaint.

But designers also have the most remarkable ability to find intriguing qualities in unlikely individuals. Which brings us to Eugene Hutz. Um, who? Young Eugene is, according to the folk at Gucci no less, the most hep cat on the boardwalk.

For those needing elucidation, Hutz is the singer in the Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, shaggy of hair, scruffy of look, whose previously most notable moment on the world stage was when the band collaborated with Madonna at Live Earth. Now, some might feel that the gulf between a Gypsy punk band whose only other contribution to the style world was the penning of a song called Start Wearing Purple (sample lyric: "Start wearing purple for me now/All your sanity and wits, they will all vanish") and a super-sleek Italian fashion brand should be an unbridgeable one.

None the less, at the Gucci menswear show in Milan earlier this week, Hutz was cited as the key inspiration for the collection. This translated into dishevelled suits, lots of velvet and shirts so patterned they are sure to be your boss's look of choice come the next office Christmas party. All of which will cost a lot more than the clothes that originally caught the Gucci designer's eye, and which Hutz probably bought in a charity shop. Such is the irony of fashion inspiration.

The Mitford sisters, Violet the geeky daughter from The Incredibles, homeless people - all have been cited as worthy fashion inspirations by designers recently, and one can only applaud the designers for their vision, not to mention their determination to make customers look as if they are en route to a fancy-dress party. Well, they must be earning those enormous price tags somehow.

Contributor

Hadley Freeman

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Glastonbury: the world's muddiest catwalk

Hadley Freeman offers tips on what the in crowd will be wearing at Glastonbury this year.

Hadley Freeman

24, Jun, 2005 @10:27 AM

Meet Gogol Bordello, the gypsy-punk oddballs bringing the sexy back
Sarah Boden meets Gogol Bordello, the band whose frenzied live shows have earned them a reputation as rock provocateurs

Sarah Boden

14, Jun, 2008 @11:00 PM

Catwalk Olympians

Never mind all those gold medals and world records - who will emerge as the Olympic style icons of the 2004 games? By Alex Gorton.

Alex Gorton

06, Aug, 2004 @3:31 PM

Article image
Punk rocks on the catwalk

Punk is still pogoing all over fashion with its studs, tartans, rips and zips. But is a new generation of designers reinventing the look?

Lauren Cochrane

23, Apr, 2013 @5:15 PM

Article image
Dorian Lynskey on bands looking to the Balkans for inspiration

From Basement Jaxx to Beirut to Gogol Bordello, bands are looking to the Balkans for inspiration. But, asks Dorian Lynskey, is this a genuine new musical hybrid or just cultural tourism?

Dorian Lynskey

24, Nov, 2006 @12:09 AM

Hadley Freeman: A whole new wardrobe

Ask Hadley: Miniskirts | Hair today | Out of the closet

Hadley Freeman

02, Jan, 2006 @10:46 AM

Article image
CD: Gogol Bordello, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike

(Side One Dummy)

Dorian Lynskey

16, Dec, 2005 @1:13 AM

Look familiar?

Throughout history clothes have made a statement about the kind of person we want to be. And it is to the past, says Philippa Stockley, that fashion designers keep returning.

Philippa Stockley

04, Mar, 2005 @4:31 PM

Catherine Bennett: Purple pain

Catherine Bennett: When not working as an international rock star, Madonna provides a no less valuable service as a fashion-tester for women of around her age.

Catherine Bennett

21, Oct, 2005 @2:59 PM

The karaoke comeback

For years it has been derided as the perfect night out for those who want to get blind drunk and embarrass themselves by belting out I Will Survive in some dingy pub. But not any more. Karaoke is back, and it's the coolest thing in town, says Jess Cartner-Morley

Jess Cartner-Morley

20, Jun, 2005 @10:24 AM