Monday, 28 December 2015

iD Magazine articel by Stuart Brumfitt

“be yourself; everyone else is already taken”: daniel lismore in a new exhibition

One of London’s most unique and stylish dressers is honoured in a new show at the SCAD FASH museum from January.

"London's Most Outrageous Dresser" (according to Vogue) is to be the subject of a style retrospective at SCAD FASH (the Savannah College of Art and Design's museum of fashion in Atlanta) from January to April. i-D family member Daniel started out modelling for the likes of Mario Testino, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and Ellen von Unwerth, then gradually emerged as one of London's most inventive dressers at early noughties club nights like Boombox. Since then, his style has evolved and his talents have spread into art, styling and designing, with collaborations with rapper Azealia Banks, an appearance in a George Michael video and a future role in the Absolutely Fabulous movie in the mix. All of this will be up for evaluation in "Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken", Daniel's first solo museum show in the United States, and an exhibition curated by Rafael Gomes. Check out hundreds of his items (plus 30 ensembles styled by Daniel himself) from his dramatic and eclectic wardrobe, which moves from haute couture to charity shop and from vintage fabrics to plastic trinkets.
The exhibition runs from 22nd January to 1st April at SCAD FASH 

View the full article here


England’s Most Eccentric Dresse - Vogue

England’s Most Eccentric Dresser Shows His 3,000-Piece Wardrobe in a New Exhibit. 

Standing 6-foot-4 and with waist-length raven hair, anonymity has never really been on the cards for the 31-year-old British artist Daniel Lismore. Not that he’d have it any other way. Rather than trying to fit in as a U.K. teenager in the conformist Midlands, Lismore took style cues from David Bowie and Marilyn Manson, evolving his own offbeat dressing-up box aesthetic. What began as an exotic assemblage of global, cultural, and historical influences has transformed into inspired, regal looks that have earned him a reputation as the most flamboyant dresser in England, and caught the eye of brands like H&M, for whom he fronted the Close the Loop sustainability in fashion campaign.
Now the onetime Mario Testino model is the subject of a major exhibition titled “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken,” opening this week at SCAD FASH in Atlanta. Borrowed from a quote often attributed to Oscar Wilde, its title is a testament to the show’s positive intent—to explore the connection between dress and identity, and to assert the right to be truly individual. More than 30 of Lismore’s eccentric ensembles, which together comprise some 3,000 richly layered articles of clothing, accessories, trinkets, and baubles, will be on display. What’s more, the faces looking out from the show’s mannequins are cast directly from Lismore’s own visage, each carefully hand-painted to match his own striking makeup palette.

“It’s an army of me,” says Lismore of the show’s design concept, which takes the idea of clothing as armor to its logical conclusion with looks mimicking the layout of an imperial court, complete with emperors and warriors, kings and queens. It’s specifically based on the regimented formation of the ancient Chinese Terracotta Army: “For me,” Lismore continues, “when you put on your clothes, it’s like you’re going out to war in the world.” There are contributions too from Lismore’s many advocates, including Boy George and Angie Bowie and the designer Jean-Pierre Braganza, who have contributed everything from wigs to scarves to headpieces. Lismore has also collaborated with Creative Perfumers in London on a trio of scents—Out of Space, The Roaring ’80s, and The Animal—as an olfactory accompaniment to the exhibition.

To Lismore’s mind, we’ve never needed his self-assertive message more: “People are so caught up in what’s going on everywhere else, rather than in their own lives,” he says of society’s social media obsession. “We all follow trends, and yet the most amazing people come out of the woodwork when they don’t just follow fashion.” His ultimate mission is to inspire visitors not just to dress differently, but think differently. “Clothes mean everything to me,” says Lismore, who is often compared with the late performance artist Leigh Bowery. (Both reigned over legendary London club nights—Bowery at Taboo in the 1980s and Lismore at Boombox in the 2000s.) “The way I dress opens doors and it closes doors. It’s not just my image, it’s my whole identity.”

This is certainly a big moment for the artist. The exhibition coincides with a slated cameo in the film version of the BBC’s cult fashion world satire Absolutely Fabulous, due for release in the summer. There’s also his role as creative director of Sorapol, whose sumptuous gowns are worn by pop stars from Rita Ora to Nicki Minaj. The atelier is in the throes of preparing for its next show, which will be held in Paris in March. With so much going on, Lismore has to keep his sartorial edicts simple: “I go by color, texture, and shape,” he says. “The only rule is that there’s no such thing as too much. More is always more.”
“Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken” opened onFriday, January 22 at SCAD FASH in Atlanta and was on view through till May 1 2016. 

Photo: Courtesy of SCAD

Piece By Peter Olive

Photo by Simon Harris 

Daniel Lismore is an inimitable figure in London’s fashion scene.  His outfits tell the story of his life. Inspired every day by London as the cultural capital of the world, Lismore styles 365 looks a year, creating outfits from found objects, haute couture, car parts, cultural artefacts, museum pieces and recycled goods.  He has worked with some of the greatest names in fashion and influenced numerous designers. Described as “London’s most outrageous dresser” by American Vogue, Lismore’s looks have been exhibited at Tate Modern and Tate Britain.  

Lismore’s outfits reflect his outlook.  “I get a bit bored being human sometimes.   You’ve got to be and live exactly how you want to be.  Just bloody do it.”. Recycling is an important part of Lismore’s ethos. “I’ve found some of my best looks on the street. I don’t see objects as what they are: I see them as what they could be”.  

Daniel Lismore studied photography and fashion design at college, which was interrupted by a modelling career at age 17. Since moving to London, he has been photographed by Mario Testino, Phil Poynter, Mert & Marcos and Ellen von Unwerth, featured in magazines such as British Vogue, L'Uomo Vogue and ID. He progressed in the publishing world, illuminating the wardrobes at magazines such as Vogue Russia, POP and Vogue Nippon.   

Lismore is also renowned as a stylist. He has frequently collaborated with international celebrities on music videos and red carpet events. His image has been the inspiration behind many fashion designers’ collections and pop stars’ artwork imagery.  In 2012 Lismore co-founded luxury womenswear label SORAPOL, merging artisanal techniques with subversive silhouettes to form idiosyncratic couture, and in 2015 Lismore joined high street makeup brand Illamasqua as a consultant, working on creative concepts and brand development, and recently became the face of H&M's Close the Loop campaign to promote recycling. The campaign ran worldwide with Daniel’s face in every H&M window from London's Oxford Street to New York’s Times Square. 

Lismore has made use of his recognition. “I’m quite shy, but I feel like I’ve become a warrior, using my outfits as armour: it amplifies the impression I make, which people respond to. People stare at me anyway, and it’s good to give them something to look at.”  In 2014, Lismore became a patron of Graduate Fashion Week, where his work has taken him to support young designers, presented at the Houses of Parliament.  In recent years, he has used his influence to help causes such as Vivienne Westwood's Climate Revolution, climate change charity Cool Earth and NWI Kenya. He has been involved with supporting the LGBT community, human rights issues and free speech movements.

“I think it’s important to look good, smell good and sound good, which always make me feel good. I don’t feel like my look is finished without these elements.”

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Daniel Lismore SCAD exhibition: ‘Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Already Taken'

Photo by Simon Harris

Daniel Lismore exhibition: ‘Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Already Taken'

Friday, Jan. 22-Friday, April 1, 2016
Atlanta, GA
1600 Peachtree St.

SCAD FASH is delighted to present “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken,” the first U.S. exhibition of London-based artist, stylist and designer Daniel Lismore, whose distinctive flamboyant style has earned him the title “London’s Most Outrageous Dresser” by Vogue. Lismore is known for his outfits that brilliantly combine haute couture garments with charity-shop finds, yards of vintage fabrics and tartans, plastic trinkets, found objects, ribbons, feathers, chainmail, shells, ethnic jewelry, retro accessories, millinery and more in an expression of eccentric, creative energy and his unique sartorial point of view.
The core of his artistic practice is sustainable fashion, a growing design philosophy that espouses creative reuse, upcycling of materials and reduction of impact on the environment. In recognition of his efforts on this front, the retail clothing company H&M selected Lismore in September 2015 to be the face of their “Close the Loop” print and video campaign promoting recycling in the fashion industry. Curated by SCAD director of fashion exhibitions Rafael Gomes, “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken” features 30 ensembles styled by Lismore exclusively for SCAD FASH from among hundreds of items on loan from Lismore’s extensive personal wardrobe.
Lismore is a prominent feature of the London fashion circuit and his personal style has been the subject of exhibitions at the prestigious Tate Modern, London in 2013 and Tate Britain, London in 2014. He studied photography and fashion design until entering into a modeling career where he was photographed by Mario Testino, Phil Poynter, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, and Ellen von Unwerth, landing him on the pages of Vogue UK, i-D magazine and L’Uomo Vogue. He progressed from modeling into editorial work, contributing to and illuminating the wardrobes of various European magazines. Lismore has collaborated with American rapper Azealia Banks to concept shows and the artwork of her first album, "Broke with Expensive Taste," and he was the inspiration behind pop artist Iggy Azalea's “Glory” EP cover. Additionally, Lismore has been featured in the music videos of Boy George, George Michael and Alexandra Burke, and he has appeared in “Made in Chelsea,” “Britain's Next Top Model,” “Denmark's Next Top Model,” “The Kylie Show,” “Styled to Rock” and the upcoming 2016 feature film “Absolutely Fabulous.”
Since 2012 Lismore has been the creative director of Sorapol, a luxury womenswear label worn by fashion influencers such as Naomi Campbell, Kylie Minogue, Nicki Minaj, Paloma Faith and Debbie Harry. In recent years he has supported organizations such as Vivienne Westwood's Climate Revolution, climate change charity Cool Earth and New World International Kenya, and Lismore lends his support to the LGBT community, human rights issues and free speech movements. Lismore lives and works in East London.
Museum hours:
  • Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The exhibition and reception are free for SCAD Card holders and SCAD Museum of Art and SCAD FASH members. Open to the public with the cost of museum admission.

For more info please go to

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

New Sorapol website up!

View our latest collections and archives here:

(I have now left Sorapol)

After 5 and a half years 13 collections. I resigned from Sorapol as Creative Director

Here is some of the projects I worked on. 

See all of our collections and archives here.

Volt Magazine interview

Daniel Lismore on Manette street, by Damien Frost at Harmonyhalo

Self-proclaimed ‘social alchemist’ Daniel Lismore’s constantly evolving, organically constructed image has created an extraordinary visual presence that reaches far beyond its clubland origins. A beacon for London’s culturally curious, his kaleidoscope of looks serves as an agent of genuine social change.

While all creatives, to an extent, invest their own identity in the act of creation, only a handful can successfully meld together self and sentiment to a place of inextricable convergence in order to power up their message. London-based Daniel Lismore – artist, host, creative director of fashion label Sorapol and political activist – is one of the latter group’s best young contenders (he celebrates his 30th birthday this year) and a creative who is considerably more intriguing than the easy-come blogosphere sound bites and life-lite visuals of Insta-world might have you believe.

With an outré-extravagant, heavily ornamental, nocturnal look that hovers on the borderlines of medieval-meets-oriental, Lismore is frequently misaligned in interviews as just another – albeit impressively put-together – darling of the club scene. But his extraordinary visual presence belies an impassioned belief in the liberating power of fashion and art, which is what’s made him a magnet for a wealth of iconoclasts and cultural icons such as Vivienne Westwood, Stephen Fry, Adam Ant, Boy George and even Julian Assange positing him as a genuine force for positive social change.

By default, not rebellion, striking looks have long been Lismore’s first line of communication. A remarkable-looking child growing up in the Midlands, and now a 6ft 4in man whose superbly dandyish daytime attire embraces an enigmatic mane of long, wavy hair, Victorian suiting and prominent millinery, Lismore has always made an impression. ‘I stood out anyway, so I always felt as though I should give people something to stare at. Even in our village I’d march around in platform shoes with cyber hair,’ he says.

At 17, having been initially scouted by Select Models (which ditched him almost immediately for fear his look was too ‘strong’), he moved to London (‘still the most brilliant cultural soup’), switched agency to ICM and began shooting for titles as influential as L’Uomo Vogue while also working as a ‘struggling’ photographer, at one stage even documenting the personal archive of the late, great and infamous fashion director Isabella Blow.

Clubland, in particular East London’s BoomBox and Anti-Social – both Noughties strongholds for Britain’s subcultural renegades – quickly became his playground, but initial requests by his agent not to be seen in his self-realised flamboyant glory, be that make-up or clothes, persuaded him to wear a mask while clubbing. This kick-started more extreme characterisations, including looks involving prosthetic legs and bin liners.

He describes the East London scene as competitive to the point of hostile, fuelling a switch to hosting for DJ/promoter Jodie Harsh’s Soho club night, Circus, ‘for which I would collect people from all kinds of other clubs – above and below the radar, from dodgy sex clubs to disco bars’, building his reputation as the Pied Piper of the weird, wild and wonderful. A bona fide ‘cool-hunter for freaks’, Lismore was once approached by photo-legend Mario Testino to help source unusual characters.

Dressing to impress, then as now, meant crafting an extension of his mood (‘not a persona – a reflection of myself’) as an intuitive activity. A typical look takes only 35 to 40 minutes and incubates as organically as it does swiftly, including instances when he’s picked items out of skips to alter his outfit en route. Looks, which he generally premieres on public transport, are rarely pre-planned and evolve from an insatiable appetite for pattern, shape and silhouette rather than a theme. ‘It’s not about anything and then it’s about everything,’ says Lismore. The ripple effect of such a life-as-art, access-meets-excess philosophy was substantial enough to make him Boy George’s first choice to play the legendary Blitz Club performance artist Leigh Bowery (a cult figure to whom Lismore is often compared) in Taboo, the musical based on the New Romantic club scene of the Eighties – a role he eventually declined.

‘Amazing as Bowery was, he wasn’t an influence. Until [fashion designer] Kim Jones showed me The Legend of Leigh Bowery [a 2002 documentary tribute] I was completely unaware of who he was,’ says Lismore, for whom the sticking point, and a key misconception to dispel, is that he does not see himself as a performance artist. For his role is less about performance in the traditional sense and more about absorption – a re-seeding and entwining of disparate cultures by way of social stewardship.

Following a childhood surrounded by the curios of his antique-dealer parents, and a seminal year, from 18, living with the Maasai in Kenya as part of an eye-opening charity initiative (‘I came back slightly broken, understanding the extent to which our world is so fabricated, and wanting to use that fabrication to make something better’), he is now professionally wedded to Bangkok-born fashion designer Sorapol Chawaphatnakul, with whom he co-founded the Sorapol label in 2011 after meeting at a club night (of course): the now-defunct electro midweeker Nag Nag Nag.

Running on the peripheries of mainstream fashion but with a staunch music-industry following (Kylie Minogue, Paloma Faith, Azealia Banks), Sorapol’s collections splice couture-level glamour with surrealist theatricality, influenced by poignant historical moments as diverse at tsars and tsarinas or their favourite rock’n’roll stars. Such is the power of Lismore’s magnetism that, for the first show, they hired a church; for the second, 1,500 fans descended on the Old Vic Tunnels in London.

Lismore’s personal compulsion to promote change is an especially pertinent consideration considering his access to and influence on youth culture – ‘I want to change bad ideas into better ideas, or at least educate people about what’s happening’ – but such a seductively rich visual persona – or in his case, a full-blown entity – doesn’t come without problems. Social media’s innate capacity to cement nuanced visual creations into flatly immutable stories has, he says, somewhat mournfully, ‘meant that it’s getting harder and harder to be or express myself’. It’s reached the stage where he now feels far more like ‘a voyeur than an exhibitionist. Most of the time, people are looking at the creation around me rather than me’, but the advantages of this outweigh the sacrifice; the entity has become an invaluable tool for making some real-world headway.

Lismore raised a significant sum for the rainforest-preservation charity Cool Earth by simply asking Vivienne Westwood (whom he regularly supports on her own Climate Revolution action plan) to attend a club night – a process, he says, which is about giving as much as possible. ‘Just as I did with Circus, I collect people. I put them in a room and make things happen. I’m a social alchemist.’ Which is exactly why he’s currently in the middle of divining a new venue that he describes as being ‘similar to Warhol’s Factory’: a space in which he and another collaborator, Chinese photographer Linda Cooper, will use as a visual studio and a destination for events and dinners. More connections. More transformation.

While the axes of Lismore’s numerous endeavours almost exclusively revolve around such highly visualised, ultra-socialised touch-points – as exemplified by his Westwood allegiance – it’s the desire for comparatively invisible, internal change that’s ultimately his deepest driving force. He recalls how an appearance on reality-TV show Made in Chelsea was cut owing to politicised comments regarding climate change – an experience that’s validated his decision to reject the multiple offers he regularly receives to star in his own reality show. All those baying for the screaming-drag-queen archetype have most definitely been disappointed. As married to extremity as his extraordinary, media-ensnaring looks may be, it’s the meaty, messy world of real life (and its infinite, fascinating and often hidden characters) that pushes Lismore’s buttons. Paraphrasing American writer-musician Gil Scott-Heron’s famous poem, he calmly reminds me that ‘the revolution will not be televised.’
words by Katie Baron

An interview I did last year...