Danny Hilton spoke to “London’s most outrageous dresser” Daniel Lismore about becoming one of Britain’s most unique fashion icons.
Where are you from and how did you get to where you are now?
I’m originally from a small village in the middle of nowhere. I was lucky enough to be scouted by a model agency at a young age, which is where it all began. I worked in nightlife and the fashion industry for over ten years before launching my womenswear fashion brand last year.
You’ve been described as London’s most outrageous dresser. How did it all start?
It all started when an ex-boyfriend of mine took me out to a club. Some people from my model agency saw me dressing up in extravagant creations and gave me an ultimatum. I then wore a mask every time I went out, for a year, to avoid getting dropped. In the end I decided to be true to myself – I was living a double life. That was when I became me.
How do you put together an outfit?
I shop like crazy. Get home. Put everything in the right place. Then I analyse the shapes and colours and build a look. I buy what I actually like, I try to avoid hype. If something is beautiful to me, I must have it. Random is good because I’m quite often surprised by the outcome of my outfits. It makes creating my art more exciting.
Why do you do it?
There are one hundred different reasons, but for me it’s now become like wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The reason I exist as a form of art is to create attention and to gain influence. So I can work on causes I believe in and help others. It’s a strange way around it but the only way I know how.
I really believe in supporting people. I believe, for example, in artists and designers and what I love to do the most is help save the planet, by saving the rainforest or to help save lives in deprived countries. And helping political prisoners, like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning of Wikileaks.
What’s your message?
Be who you want to be. Love, create, and be fearless. Live your dreams.
Tell us about your most outrageous outfit?
What is outrageous? I’m not too sure, but I went out one night unhappy with my outfit, and raided a skip for inspiration. I’ve found all sorts of unusual objects in skips, mainly large-shaped objects I cover in fabrics to create interesting silhouettes.
Prior to that I was wearing a very-expensive haute-couture jacket, which needless to say was destroyed.
What’s the best and worst reaction you’ve had?
All of my idols have become friends through dressing as an art piece. I guess that’s the best reaction one could want. The worst has to be when I was stabbed.
Who are your style inspirations?
Isabella Blow is my biggest inspiration. I met Issy at the On/Off party. She marched right up to me and told me I was the only interesting person in the room. We became friends and spent a bit of time together. That time set my path in life. I learned that I could be me without caring of others’ opinions of me. She asked me to document her wardrobe, and that was enough to start believing in myself. She gave me the confidence to be somebody and I will forever be grateful to her.
London is full of eccentrics and creatives. I am inspired by the most aesthetically interesting people I meet.
What kind of guys do you go for?
I don’t go for guys, they come for me – in the form of straight men. Usually a bad thing because they have wives or lead a secret life and that is far from my beliefs.
I find it very hard to find men I like. The ones I’m attracted to are either very beautiful but have nothing about them or they’re older, wiser, cultural figures who I respect. It is very hard to find someone in between. I vowed to marry my wardrobe once. A full time relationship with my many selves is enough!