by Jaime Lin Weinstein
"Be Yourself; Everybody Else Is Already Taken." It may be trite, but if there's one person who truly owns that idea, it's Daniel Lismore, and I'd challenge you to find a more fitting title for his new exhibition at SCAD FASH — his first in the U.S. The London-based artist, stylist and designer has lent some 3,000 items from his personal wardrobe — Alexander McQueen dresses; Louis Vuitton scarves; Chinese and Indian jewelry and headpieces — to create more than 30 looks that can hardly be defined as “outfits” or “ensembles.” Costumes seems more appropriate. But they are each a true reflection of Lismore’s unique aesthetic and sartorial standing — complete with hand-painted mannequin faces that mimic his own.
Inspired by the ancient Chinese terracotta soldiers — thousands of figurines dating back to the late third century BCE and depicting the armies of the first emperor of China — the exhibit itself, curated by Rafael Gomez, is laid out like Lismore’s own army of style. His army is English, of course, and the giant mannequins (Lismore himself is 6-foot-4) are each named after a member of the royal imperial court: Viscount, Bishop, Duchess, etc.
The 31-year-old has come a long way from Catholic school in the Midlands in central England. (Though an altar boy influence is still apparent through alb-like apparel.) A former model shot by the likes of photographer Mario Testino, Lismore’s most recent accolades include creative director of brand and atelier Sorapol — where he dresses stars like Nicki Minaj — and face of H&M’s “Close the Loop” campaign, promoting the company’s recycling initiatives, in addition to being dubbed “London’s Most Outrageous Dresser” by Vogue.
It’s not for shock value, though. Lismore is the first to assert his style is genuine. He may wear physical armor (chainmail and steel gauntlets are a part of both his wardrobe and the exhibit), but he doesn’t use it to hide who he has become.
Through April 1, 2016.
1600 Peachtree St.