We know him well from the much-documented tales of drug abuse; the repeated visits to rehab; the court appearances; the filthy nails, greying skin and shabby clothes; and the now-ended relationship with Kate Moss.
Despite starting a craze for little Trilby hats, there was little evidence of any abiding interest in style.
Yet, the Paris prêt-a-porter season last night, witnessed the launch of a "new" Pete Doherty, a Kinks-style "dedicated follower of fashion", some might say.
Doherty gave one of his “guerrilla gigs”, on Paris’s "fashion boulevard" on the Right Bank, the ultra-chic, avenue Montaigne, to celebrate the opening of the new Joseph store, barely a cigarette butt’s throw from Christian Dior, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, et al.
Doherty, poet and singer, held the audience enthralled in an hour-long set, accompanying himself on a battered Gibson, with tracks from The Libertines/ Carl Barât era and Babyshambles days, as well as his own songbook, including For Lovers, Can’t Stand Me Now, Last of the English Roses, What a Waster and Delivery.
Two ballet dancers, in tattered tutus and Union Jack bodices, occasionally pirouetted in the background.
The country squire look appears to be just the first stage in Doherty’s fashion makeover. He has started work on a design collaboration with the young Central Saint Martins graduate and rock ‘n’roll jeweller, Hannah Martin, which Joseph hopes to be selling within a few months.