How to end the show, Johny Dar LFW SS20

Known for his unpredictable moments and extra-ordinary ventures, artist, designer, musician and director Johny Dar pioneers original artistic expressions and experiences through a plethora of mediums. His London Fashion Week event at Aures-London showcased not only a dazzling new collection, but also his ‘Dardelica’ music – an unusual yet catchy fusion of organic and electronic sound featuring his own original language (he has actually invented one), Johny Dar art-couture (bespoke designs painted onto the body), and live 3D motion graphics.

Held in the renowned ‘Banksy’ Tunnel, Leake Street, where graffiti was recently legitimised, the event fittingly took place where both notorious and unheard of artists collectively won the day in the name of art. A celebration of creativity and innovation, Dar’s event aimed to explore themes of art as life and life as art – choices that sculpt reality and experiences that awaken new possibilities. Aligned with the brand’s ethos to empower and elevate its global audience, the dynamic presentation was designed to inspire guests to become the conscious designers of their own lives and lifestyles, by re-imagining the potential of their own creativity and power to choose.

Incorporating both catwalk and presentation styles, Johny Dar’s models emerged like captivating amazonian goddesses from another galaxy, with gathered hair rising above winged eyes like unicorn horns. Casually smoking aromatherapy vaporisers as they posed, their looks were a dynamic combination of military jackets with silk skirts, and couture dresses embroidered, painted and embellished by hand.The ceiling was awash with Johny Dar’s illustrations and designs, creating a sense of another world and electrifying the room with splashes of colour and the infamous ‘DAR the BOOK’ art series, which celebrates the (naked) female form. Jaegermeister cocktails abounded, creatively named to add to the sensuality of the experience. An adjoining room offered an unexpected chai tea bar and steaming aromatherapy installation, as well as comfortable wood and bamboo seating, and virgin cocktails. It was both a scintillating and nurturing environment to relax in, while the dance floor rocked to Dar’s mystical chant and the tantalisingly different Dardelica set, played by producer Dan Vinci.

As London Fashion Week came to a close and the fashion pack, suited and booted came out to play.

First on my evening’s dance card was the beguiling immersive creation by Dar. A show is never JUST a show and a party is most certainly not JUST a party in the wonderful world made by Johny Dar and this year was no different. “Sensoria” by Johny Dar’ at Aures-London was the most unexpected and enthralling London Fashion offering and, before the revelling became too raucous, I met the man behind the creative endeavour for a quick natter about the evolution of fashion, the challenges and controversy behind LFW and his take on the style…

Who inspires you?

Everyone who is living their true colours. Unfortunately this is becoming more rare… it might be linked to our extinction of wildlife… so the wild human nature is dying as well. I feel a need in my work to make up for that lack, and inspire people to embrace their wild nature and colours and bring those to life again. I am inspired by life in all its expressions and I am always determined to find more.

What is the importance of ethical and sustainable fashion to you?

At the base of my creations is a sustainable flow of energy and emotion.

You can never give what you don’t have: I have focused on creating the art, music and fashion that will assist in showing each individual how they can be sustainable within their bodies, their attitudes, expressions and emotions. Therefore that sustainability will eventually show up on the outside and become the way to be.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

 
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

Teach me five things about fashion through your eyes in 2 minutes?

Fashion needs to assist you in expressing your personality.

We are colourful beings, whether we admit it or not. Therefore only dressing up within one or two colours, dismissing the rest of the colours, is the beginning of the death of your personality and true character.

Most of the fashion out there is an escape from addressing our true state of being.

Fashion needs to be an honest expression of the true feeling we hold underneath the skin. When we are honest with our emotions and feelings, that’s when we realise we are not alone and can cut through the confusion of trying to place each other into a box.

I believe everything around us is art. From the natural landscape to the cityscape. I believe fashion needs to assist us in finding our place in this bigger painting of life.

Who is your dream collaborator and why?

James Cameron to bring my trilogy to life so that people can experience the full spectrum of my work within one motion picture.

How do you seize upon and incorporate ever evolving campaigns, causes and developments into your brand?

Because I am not stuck in one direction – I am not trying to prove that I am right and the rest are wrong. I am participating in life with my full colours, therefore the rainbow of possibilities and creations is always in front of me, and it doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon.

What do you think are the strongest trends right now and what do you predict for the seasons ahead?

I am not the trend guy. I don’t look at trends or think about them. I do what I feel is needed to balance out what is missing in society’s journey.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

 
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)
 
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)
 
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

How do you stay relevant?

I mastered bridging the gaps and connecting the dots in ways that are unprecedented. I make sure that my work is like protein for your muscles, like air for your lungs, like water for your body.

Is fashion and style nature or nurture?

Both. It is supposed to be our nature nurtured through fashion and style.

The importance of fashion?

Again, the language of symbolism that everyone can relate to and understand. The more precise and clear we get within our expression in fashion, the easier it is to find our purpose in life.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

 

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: A model poses during the Sensoria by Johny Dar Party & Private View during London Fashion Week September 2019 at Aures on September 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

What other projects are you involved in at the moment?

Dardelica, Jeans For Refugees growing into a new stage that we will be announcing soon. New books coming out…

I have mainly been involved in my own projects, since I have an overwhelming amount of projects that I already started and am working on simultaneously. One of them is my super clothing which has been challenging to complete due to furious competition and protection issues etc.

One of my major projects is to show that AI and technology came from exploring our own nature – how we are put together- and now we are watching it externally. It is coming to a point of discomfort for me. I am seeing humans replaced by AI. I feel like we are loosing our control over our creations due to the fact that we separated ourselves from realising that technology is reflecting what is really within us. I want to bridge those gaps and show that AI is inside us first, before anything outside us. Becoming a super-being is a must if you are watching what humans are facing next.

For the very first time, LFW opened itself to the public this year. Is there a difference in how you put a collection together for fashion insiders and the public?

No, I am always looking at the public before the editors, the press, the buyers. It didn’t change anything for me. I always loved to integrate the public throughout my career.

What is fashion?

Fashion is a reflection of your true intelligence, which is the intelligence of your emotions. Style reflects your emotion. Style is birthed from the feeling. You feel colourful, you wear colourful. You feel dead, you wear black.

What are your thoughts on the protests staged by PETA and Extinction Rebellion at LFW20?

I am in support of it, love it, and they should do more of it until we are able to end the destructive force within the way humans tend to create. We need to find a way to change the philosophy behind our creation. When you look around, almost every creation is based on the destruction of another creation. This might be one of the main diseases that society is facing, and one which is more dangerous because it is being perceived as an accepted way of being.

(Extinction Rebellion staged a funeral march in Trafalgar Square to mark the end of LFW. The funeral is the culmination of Extinction Rebellion’s actions at London fashion week. They also staged a die-in outside one of the show venues on Friday and a swarm outside Victoria Beckham’s show on Sunday, with protesters holding placards reading “fashion = ecocide” and “the ugly truth about fashion AND A group of PETA supporters gave London Fashion Week attendees an eyeful as they poured buckets of black “toxic slime” – representing the harmful waste generated by the leather industry – over their heads. Text on the buckets read, “Leather Is a Dirty Business” and “Dump Leather.”)

What would you do and be if you weren’t in fashion?

Be an artist.

What is the worst piece that you have seen during LFW this season?

I don’t look around. It’s not the way I flow. I don’t give myself the headache of keeping up with the Jones.

What’s next? The future.

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