☆ Daniel Lismore ☆
Raised in a medieval Warwickshire village, this charismatic night creature first cropped up in London’s clubland of the mid noughties, usually hiding his aristocratic good looks and luxurious long hair under a mask and some gigantic headgear. Never saying very much, he would swish around places like Anti-Social, Boombox and Kashpoint. If his “major looks” often bordered on the dressing-up box or the novelty shop rather than sophisticated installation art à la Transformer or Bowery, they were nevertheless impossible to ignore. However, Daniel soon honed his style in a most spectacular way and wasted no time cutting his teeth on the scene by going out every night, each time working a totally different look. He naturally befriended the other up-and-coming kids on the block. One of them, Jodie Harsh, asked him to help promote Circus, the weekly Soho club night she launched in 2006. That immediately helped get the ball rolling, not only for himself but for the club. Besides plying his wares as a living sculpture, Mr Lismore began compiling through relentless social media networking London’s most extensive “Scene Who’s Who”. That proved more than useful when he started promoting his own club nights.
By day, Daniel likes nothing better than shopping, be it at Harrods, Bond Street or local charity shops. His favourite form of escapism, you guessed it, is dressing up, yet he never knows what to wear until the very last minute.
As a child, he kept a dressing-up box and amused himself working looks using shoe polish, leaves and, erm, chicken bones. He was later papped outside Harrods clad in his biggest fur coat, while lobbying anti-fur campaigners. Thankfully Daniel has a heart and he’s long turned his back on wearing fur to become an ambassador to pressure group Cool Earth and Vivienne Westwood’s climate revolution project. He also campaigns to halt climate change and to save the bees.
Additionally to being a selfie addict, the fabulous narcissist is undoubtedly one of the capital’s most photographed guys. His other trump card is his rare ability to get on with just about everybody, from aristos to tramps, young and old, which guarantees him popularity virtually all across the board.
Just as notably, Lismore is the only club promoter who can afford dictating exactly what he wants punters to wear at his parties. ”Dress like me,” he quite simply says and he more often than not gets results by attracting the most outlandish crowd in London. He loves offending, but also pleasing people, which he concedes is a contradiction in itself, just as he insists being a complete contradiction himself.
Having flirted with photography and modelling in his teens, Lismore’s now-achieved ambition was to make his mark in fashion and also eventually launch his own club in earnest. In the meantime, he garnered much attention during four years being involved as creative director with the über sophisticated Sorapol couture brand, up until the end of 2016. Since then, among many other things, he’s been appointed ambassador for cosmetics brand Illamasqua and circuit ambassador at Tate.
Having already been the subject of exhibitions at Tate Modern and Tate Britain, 2016’s “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken” held at Scad Fash in Atlanta, Georgia and later at Miami Art Basel, as well as at Gamma in Iceland, then Venice, Poland and Coventry, really pushed the boat out. It featured, amongst many other related items, 32 sculptural ensembles designed and styled by himself. A beautifully produced book bearing the same name was published by Rizzoli in February 2017. Daniel promoted its release by giving a sold-out conference at the V&A and a TED talk in Vancouver. Also noteworthy is his appointment as designer by the English National Opera for their stunning 2019 production of The Mask of Orpheus. 2021 saw a Sky Arts-produced film in which he launched Coventry’s Capital of Culture by “redressing” with much panache the statue of Disraeli, which hopefully made him turn in his grave.
All that was missing was a London show and it finally materialised at the V&A with Fashion In Motion in August 2022, which featured a selection of the best sculptures from Be Yourself.
However, when night falls, Daniel still promotes and hosts unmissable hotspots which are often one-off events or short-lived residencies. His last project, the promising monthly Lipstick Club he launched at Muse in Soho in June 2017, alas didn’t make old bones. Many scenesters are hoping that Daniel hasn’t yet thrown in the towel in the club promotion ring. It would be a pity for all involved if he had lost interest.
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