Daniel Lismore is a British fabric sculptor, designer, and campaigner. Described as “England’s Most Eccentric Dresser” he is best known for his flamboyant dress sense serving a form of statement, sculpture and even armour.
Daniel Lismore was born in Bournemouth and raised by his paternal grandparents in the village of Fillongley, on the border of Coventry. He studied photography and fashion design at Butts College, Coventry. He moved to London at the age of 17, where he worked as a photographer and model. He has been photographed by some of the world’s most famous photographers including Mert and Marcus, Steven Klein, David LaChapelle, Mario Testino and Ellen von Unwerth.
What were your dreams as a child and have you realized them?
I always wanted to be an astronaut, I still do. I hope to be working with SETI as an artist at some point, they are searching for Alien life. One step closer to my dream.
How easy is it to create art of garments through repurposing – reusing objects?
I think it is about imagination, if you use it and see objects for not what they are or have been, you tend to have a raw material. Some things need to be respected if they have a cultural value, others can be just reused as they have been disregarded as scrap. I guess if you think about things as a new piece to make something beautiful or interesting or that has a message then you should have no problem with making new works.
How long have you been making all these costumes, and how did you get involved in it?
I have been making things since I was a kid. I used to make costumes for my Star Trek and Star Wars figures which they did not make. Then I started to create characters from clay I took from the brook near my house and started to adorn myself from a young age, I think it’s part of human nature. It just got a little more over time, nothing much changed since then.
While you’re creating your costumes do you listen to music and perform?
What I wear isn’t costumes, they are artwork, my body is a canvas, my mind is the artist and the viewers are the public. I create costumes for operas and couture for clients, there’s always a big difference. I think I should wear a costume to help with a performance but I am not a performance artist or a drag queen, my life is very real and it’s how I choose to live, I wear my ideas.
Your sartorial point of view has empowered a lot of people to find their personal style. How important is style for you?
For me style is more important than fashion but it’s not everything, it’s about being yourself, the individuality you own. I know some people can’t be themselves and many reach out and ask for advice. I usually would tell someone to look into small things that can help them be authentic
Are there any certain famous artists in history you admire?
I am lucky enough to know my idols, and get to know them and their works…I have also discovered many amazing new artists who blow my mind. I LOVE Marina Abramovik, Fatma Alshebani, Gavin Turk, Michael Voice, Adam Broomberg, Gilbert and George Endless Artist and Stik. The artists behind the artwork are what really intrigue me. I learn all the time. I think to be an artist is a path to love, learn and spew ideas. No idea is a bad idea, you just need to make them a reality at the right time.
Have you ever received any kind of bullying on account of your style?
Every day, in reality and online, I learned not to take it personally, in my mind they grow an ugly face and tall troll hair and I switch off and wonder where they come from. Trolls are cute and easy to look at if you don’t give them attention, I just tend to learn. The more people who love you, the more people who hate you. They go hand in hand.
Can you describe one typical day in your life?
No…There’s no typical day, ever. I never had one, I hope I won’t. I do like I said in my TED talk, wake up, think about ideas with a fresh mind, drink coffee, check my 3 phones and then…I might listen to Charo to start the day.
What are your plans for the future and what do you think to be the theme of your next exhibition?
I have a UK exhibition about to happen, possibly showing in Europe sooner than later. I plan to keep creating and using my very privileged platform to bring attention to climate change situations and human rights.
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