The front rows of fashion shows are usually reserved for celebrities, editors, buyers, and influential bloggers. In London Fashion Week’s front rows you’re also likely to find Pandemonia, the human blow-up doll.
The creation and alter-ego of a British artist, Pandemonia is a man who conceals his real name and goes around town wearing a plastic outfit and various accessories that resemble pool toys. The celebrated front-row sensation took time out of her fashion week schedule to talk to BuzzFeed Shift over email.
BuzzFeed: When did you start getting front-row invites to fashion shows?
Pandemonia: When I went to my first fashion show, I assumed I’d get placed somewhere at the back of the room. How wrong I was! They placed me bang in the center of the front row. I’ve never seen a show from any other position.
BF: Are you paid to attend?
Pandemonia: I never talk about money — it’s so crude.
BF: You’ve appeared in outlets like Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair. How did Pandemonia come to be?
Pandemonia: I am a Post-Pop Artist. Around 2008, celebrity became the currency. Being interested in popular culture, I decided to construct a celebrity. I built my celebrity, Pandemonia, out of current day myths and symbols, like, forever young, shiny, blonde glamour, etc.
Instead of showing my work traditionally in an art gallery, I took it directly to the people. Everyone is a photographer now — we all have camera phones. I started showing up (exhibiting my work) at society events.
BF: In terms of the costume, can you explain what’s going on mechanically? How do you breathe?
Pandemonia: Artists just can’t give every thing away. As with all art, one has to use their imagination. The Pandemonia “look” is designed like a logo. I use the silhouette and simple colors so it can be easily reproduced. You can recognize her even in a bad photograph.
What I find “mechanically” interesting about Pandemonia is the public participation. Pandemonia transforms the public into viewers and photographers. It’s the public reaction that makes her a celebrity.
BF: What are you hoping to accomplish or say with your work?
Pandemonia: The ultimate meaning of my work lies with the viewer. It means different things to different people. Pandemonia is a democratic form of art, people “vote” for her with their phones.
Any favorite designers or celebrities you’ve gotten to hang out with?
Pandemonia: I’ve hung out with top celebs and designers like Jerry Hall, Stella McCartney, Natalia Vodianova, Agyness Deyn, Nancy Dell’olio, Andrea Dellal, to name a few. However, it’s the strength of my own work and not the just the star dust rubbing off on me that gets the attention.