Daniel Lismore: My Life May Not Be Like Yours Because I Never Lived as Daniel Lismore, The Person.
FFashion is an industry with a unique quality of highlighting the process of self-exploration. And just like with all areas of human life, some people like to explore more than others.
– “Martha! You are going to love this exhibition,” said Patricia excitedly. “It’s fashion and art and all that you like!”
– “OK, that sounds great! You are vigilant as always in finding us nice things to do!”
– “You bet! See you soon!”
We hung up, and an hour later entered a Daniel Lismore exhibition. He is a British enfant terrible known for his flamboyant and eccentric fashion sense. As an artist and designer, he creates “fashion sculptures.”
What is fashion sculpture?
In Lismore’s case, it is something that looks like a mannequin that must have been filled with magnets that attracted to itself an abundance of random things, however amusing and colorful. Tribal masks, couture fabrics, punk paraphernalia, feathers, objects d’art, hidden messages written here and there, colorful beads, chains… you name it.
Just making an inventory of all the items that were used in creation would be interesting, not to mention the final look that is pleasantly stimulating and tells a story from whichever angle one looks at it.
Lismore’s sculptures combine intricate details of couture art and clever construction techniques with an architectural abbreviation that inflates the volume, layer after layer of stylized garments as if the author wasn’t sure when to stop, turning something that could be an outfit into a massive voluptuous sculpture.
The exhibition named after an Oscar Wilde quote “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken” presents an artist’s multidimensional identity expressed in a unique sartorial point of view that is as conceptual as it is tangibly practical since Lismore wore each of the pieces blurring a line between life and art. In that way, he transcended the usual process of design into a new, interesting dimension by not only turning everyday subject like fashion into sculptural art but also becoming it in a journey to his true self.
In his Vancouver TED talk, Lismore said that his body is a canvas on which every day he creates a masterpiece using materials that he finds beautiful and that creation becomes his identity.
“My life may not be like yours, because I live my life as an artwork,” Lismore explains. “When I walk out the door, these artworks are me. I am art.”
“When I get dressed, I’m guided by color, texture, and shape. I rarely have a theme. I find beautiful objects from all over the world, and I curate them into 3-D tapestries over a base layer that covers my whole body because I’m not very happy with my body.”
“I get a lot of my ideas from lucid dreaming and then work like an architect placing things till I feel they belong. The art exhibition that I created contains an army of me. Life-size sculptures, they are my life really, 3-D tapestries of my existence as living as an art. They contain plastic crystals mixed with diamonds, beer cans, and royal silks all in one look. I like the fact that the viewer can never make an assumption about what’s real and what’s fake. I find it important to explore and share cultures through my works. I use clothing as a means to investigate and appreciate people from all over the world.”
“I never lived as Daniel Lismore, the person. I’ve lived as Daniel Lismore the artwork, and I faced every obstacle as an artwork.”
At the end of his talk, Lismore says that authenticity is necessary, and it is powerful. He encourages exploring the many versions that make each of us who we are, making sure we are using them all to our advantage and claiming that in reality, everyone is capable of creating their own masterpiece.
I think that in a true avant-garde style, Lismore emphasized the transformative power of fashion that has the unique ability to turn art into everyday experience and everyday experience into art. This metamorphic quality is reflected in his sculptures that, on the one hand, serve as a protective armor hiding the body that Lismore is not happy about, but on the other functions as a powerful means of connection and communication with the world, becoming an authentic statement and expression of the true self.
Fashion is an industry with a unique quality of highlighting the process of self-exploration to which Lismore encourages. It is a stream of constant creation that can, at any given time, tap into a particular version of the self, serving it sometimes as an armor, a camouflage, other times as a powerful projection of a person that one aspires to be.
As such, fashion is a tool that corresponds with and facilitates processes that are happening within. It can become a means to get a taste of the past, future, or a particular reality one wishes to create and live. And it is perfect for doing so since it produces things that are closest to our bodies, that as we move through the day become a second skin that one can shed several times a day revealing an ever new version of self.
Designed by me: cashmere-wool chunky knit sweater with plum and golden threads.