Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing the new Daniel Lismore exhibition at the SCAD FASH Museum. Vogue calls him "England's most eccentric dresser," and the show definitely lives up to the description.
The configuration of the show reminded me a little of the Terracotta Army, with rows of tall mannequins facing the same direction, all outfitted in layers upon layers of texture. Of course, there are differences as well. For one, there are about one thousand percent more rhinestones in this exhibition.
So, let's talk about the mannequins themselves. The SCAD sculpture department made a cast of Lismore's face, and each mannequin in the show is disguised with one such mask, making them all models of Lismore himself. After the masks were made, Lismore, I'm told, painted all the makeup on them and added false eyelashes, piercings, lipstick, or whatever else he thought necessary to complete a look. The effect is really gripping, like an army of fabulous fashion clones.
The looks (re: outfits) in the show were almost beyond description. Each one is a confection of layers upon layers of fabric, constructed garments, trims, found objects, and jewelry. I felt like I could stand in front of each for hours and still not see every element on its own. There were combinations of high and low fashion (think Alexander McQueen mixed with H&M), non-clothing items (an actual lampshade hat), and high-end garments repurposed to look like something else (a pleated, perforated leather skirt worn around the neck as a collar).
I could go on forever trying to describe these things, but instead I'll share a few of the photos I took.
|I liked the use of the rhinestone necklace as a beard.|
|Closeup o the bodice of the above look. Open in a new window for a closer look.|
|Silk fabric with Embroidered and 3-dimensional flowers|
|My favorite look in the show. Ostrich Feathers, Rhinestones, Seed Beads, Pleats, and spray painted armor, just to name a few elements.|
|A Closer picture of the above look.|
|Complex beaded fabric|
|An almost bridal look with frothy ruffles, clear icicle beads, a rhinestone necklace beard, and multiple tiaras.|
If you're interested in seeing more of Lismore's work as a designer, you should check out the line Sorapol, for which Lismore is the head designer and brand director. It's much more wearable than the above looks while still maintaining a sense of assemblage and creative draping and pattern making. Enjoy!