Glamour and macabre.
Hogan McLoughlin breaks the mold of every designer stereotype. He is unique just like his fashion collections: both unexpected and riveting. What appears to be dark turns out to be warm and refined, glamorous and macabre.
Hogan is an artist, designer, dancer, and musician. Through social media, he has forged relationships with influencers, spurring further success and recognition on the high-profile fashion circuit. From producing pieces for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball to being featured in New York Times and Vogue, you would think all this success would fuel some kind of supremacy. Nope, not with Hogan. He is down-to-earth, polite, gentle, and even somewhat soft-spoken.
Hogan meets me at his studio, located in the Hubbard School of Dance. Here he has been involved in dance, apprenticing and performing internationally. He has pursued other avenues since then, but his success led him back to Hubbard Dance, which has embraced and supported his design career. Here he has his own studio, tucked away in a pocket of the Dance building. Music booms, muffled through the walls where, in the next room, a Pilates class goes on.
He seems at home here. On the walls, pinned up, are drawings that McLoughlin created, each with an element of dark beauty and intricacy: skeletons, corsets and wizards come alive on paper amongst the sequined, draping black cloth elegantly falling into perfect place on hangers and mannequins.
Hogan grew up on the outskirts of downtown Chicago, immersed in artistic expression. Both of his parents are extremely musical, and he's been singing and playing piano since he was a child. This accounts for how creativity seems to be hardwired into the fiber of his being. Although his dream jobs have stayed in flux and his path has ventured into new pathways, he has always remained artistically-based.
He started out couture-oriented and then tapered the price points back. His work is minimalist, with a focus on detail, and is fueled by an influence of fantasy and music. McLoughlin’s playlist (which music finds its way into his fashion) features punk, metal, opera, symphony, and noise bands.
This contrast is a theme in not only his tastes and his work, but in his appearance. His porcelain skin, polite manner and neat, slicked back hair scream conservatism although his tattoos and all-black style contradict those notions. Hogan is ultimately a chameleon. He can effortlessly blend into a sophisticated black tie debutante ball, then immediately after fit in perfectly, thrashing at a concert in a mosh pit. His adaptability and dynamic, multi-layered persona spans into his occupational conducts as he gracefully reaches unprecedented heights in various trades across the artistic board.
By Leslie DiCarlo