The Fake is Chic


Arnaud Yves Dardis chats with Pandemonia about the work he has been inspired to make by Pandemonia, and a joint obsession with what is fake in a celebrity-orientated culture.

Arnaud Yves Dardis is a French costume designer and graphic designer living in Paris. He creates costumes for French performer Céline Perrier.

Drawing – @Arnaud Yves Dardis

Style break down.

Hair – Inflatable blonde.
Clothes – AYD dress.
Shoes – Louboutin.
Accessories – Inflatable botox breast bag.

Pandemonia: How did you become aware of me in Paris?

Arnaud Yves Dardis:
I keep seeing your image in the fashion magazines. Your name is in the latest Be Mode mag, in an article about
PPQ at London Fashion Week. I love your image.

P: That’s so exciting, to hear about my image getting around. What kind of magazine is Be Mode mag?

ATD: It’s a very nice French glossy fashion and people mag.

P: Tell me about your work, how do you chose your subject matter?

ATD: I am a costume designer and freelance graphic designer. I make costumes for artists like Miss Botero, Queen Mimosa 3 (aka QM3), Pierre Pascual and my best friend Céline Perrier; she’s a gay icon in Paris. As well as costume I am the fashion designer for the French band, DIAB’LESS. Check them all out on YouTube. I also draw (

P: Who’s your inspiration?

ATD: My inspirations are David Lachapelle, Amanda Lepore, Pierre et Gille, Dita Von Tees and Lady GaGa.

P: When you approached me on Facebook you said that I inspire you, why is that?

ATD: I love plastic fabric, vinyl and latex. I love the sex universe. I love Pop Art. Your image captures all of that which I love.

P: You mention you like plastic and latex textures, are these materials that you use in your costume designs?

ATD: I use this fabric because it’s of its associations with fetishism and S&M. You can see this influence in Tierry Mugler and
Alaia collections from the 80s and 90s.

P: I’m so flattered that you drew a picture of me. Can you tell me about the ideas and symbolism you use in the image?

ATD: You’re a Plastic Girl so I drew you in a Plastic, Botox and in a silicon world. I find many inspirations in erotic symbols and S&M, which your look echoes. I drew you, in an AYD, (Arnaud Yves Dardis), dress and bag. It’s a tubular and very skinny dress. I’m now going to make it in a real fabric.

P: What does beauty mean to you?

ATD: For me beauty means Me, Myself and I, sexuality, fake beauty, lipstick, fashion, Louboutin, Swarovski, Céline Perrier, Fur, Botox, Fetishism, I love the surgical look. Beauty is a Polytheistic Religion and the God is creativity. It applies to guys and girls.

P: You link beauty and eroticism to surgery, what are your thoughts on
Freud’s death principle, the view that humans are drawn to repeat painful or traumatic events – even though such repetition appears to contradict our instinct suffer seek pleasure?

ATD: Freud described the orgasm as “little death”, we can say that life is just to hurt all human life. We find pleasure in hurting ourselves, we have surgery to mutilate our faces. Everything we do for pleasure hurts us in some way. Don’t we say we have to suffer for beauty? I think that we were born to experience joy and pain of the flesh.

P: I noticed you put me in a pair of Louboutins. I hope they aren’t fake. How is fake beauty beautiful?

(laughs) Even before I was born it was already. Fake is Chic. Take Barbie, she is beautiful, Amanda Lepore, she ‘s really beautiful, and all Disney Princess are beautiful. It is a fact!!!

Throughout time, we have always modified the body. The Ancient Greeks were doing it with their sculptures. Polycitus was conforming the body to the golden section, Cult of the ‘body beautiful. It’s no surprise the Greeks also invented the Olympics. Today we exaggerate our images and even our body’s through surgery.

A: I completely agree with you and I will even add that humans will even fantasize about anatomy today….with the creation of Barbie and Ken for example, or with imagery of the stars…

P: What’s next for you?

Maybe I’m too young to be famous now but I know something: although I am humble, I am fabulous.

What is it about Fame that fascinates you?

Fame is final culmination of supreme recognition and credibility.

like Imortality?

ATD: It’s what we artists exist for.

P: Your love of “fakeness” and of fame are quite closely associated, in what ways does fakeness result in fame or vice versa?

ATD: I think anything that becomes famous gained fake imagery and an inaccessible aspect. They become divine in people’s eyes. Take Lady Gaga for example. She is just a woman, a human, she’s like everybody else but when she started creating her art everybody started talking about her until she became a demi god. She named herself THE MONSTER – a human being that has become superior just via TV, Magazines and talk. I love this crazy, FAKE, reality.

To see more of Arnaud Yves Dardis go to

Edited by Laura Havlin

One thought on “The Fake is Chic

  1. Anonymous says:

    interesting insight.
    i don't know if i agree with the fact that artists live for fame/recognition. I think artists exist to offer a commentary on life, whether social, political, or other aspects, and that fame is an extension of their work, and is an "effect" of their work, and not an obtainable, tangible goal.

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