Coventry & Warwickshire

Daniel Lismore has been spending lockdown in Coventry

Daniel Lismore Image copyright Daniel Lismore
Image caption Celebrated fashion icon Daniel Lismore has turned his mum's front room into a temporary workshop

A celebrated designer dubbed "England's most eccentric dresser" has been spending lockdown working on his most personal outfit yet - and going to the shops looking "like Darth Vader".

Daniel Lismore said the new piece, to be covered in keepsakes, was inspired by the period of social distance.

Often seen with celebrities, the artist has spent lockdown with his mum.

He said her front room in Coventry had been turned into a workshop scattered with Swarovski crystals.

The 35-year-old fashion icon returned from London to be with family in the Midlands city just before lockdown was announced.

And that has meant swapping a professional life of catwalks, Ted Talks and collaboration with the English National Opera for a sewing machine in the kitchen, along with trips to the shops in Star Wars-style garb.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Daniel Lismore said his creations had prompted some extreme reactions in the past, including being punched in the face

A bit closer to home than a faraway galaxy, the designer said lockdown had left him reflecting on his past, and wondering how mementoes of his experiences could be reflected in his work.

"For the last 30 years I've been collecting trinkets and I thought this is a point where I'd reflect my whole life," said Mr Lismore, who has made outfits for singers Debbie Harry, Mariah Carey and Nikki Minaj.

His latest creation, he said, would feature glitter he saved from a dance with Kylie Minogue and go alongside sequins "ripped from Michael Jackson's jacket" and rubbish collected from Coventry streets.

The city has become a temporary base after the coronavirus pandemic made him want to be nearer family.

The artist - whose sartorial eccentricity was ranked number one by Vogue - said while he had presented his work "in galleries all over the world", his exhibition right now was in Coventry.

"I've taken over my mum's front room with that, and then the kitchen with the sewing machine and thousands of Swarovski crystals all over the floor."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The designer opened Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief charity event and is friends with many models, including Eva Herzigova

Mr Lismore's work has been seen on stage, including English National Opera's production of The Mask Of Orpheus, and in touring exhibitions.

But stripped of that context, he said the outfits - which he often wore personally - could be confusing to some, including a girl who saw him on a recent trip out of the house.

"I kind of looked like Darth Vader going to the shops, but I don't really care because I'm completely covered up," he said.

Image copyright Ryan Lash/TED
Image caption The designer's TED talk, about living his life as a piece of art, has been viewed more than 390,000 times

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