Meet Pandemonia, the quirky front row icon who has shaken up the fashion world.
Words: Debbie Mc Quoid
Photo: James & James
At 7ft tall and covered head-to-toe in Latex, Pandemonia is hard to miss. Like the larger-than-life love child of Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons, she is the creation of a very secretive, self-styled conceptual artist, and has gone from Fashion Week party crasher to VIP guest in three seasons. And the cult of Pandemonia is still gathering pace, with many guests ignoring hosts to approach the bombshell – usually breaking the ice by petting her inflatable dog, Snowy. Currently causing a stir on the front row of all the best shows at Fashion Week, she found time in her schedule to speak to Stylist…
We have to ask, are you willing to reveal who is behind the mask?
I’m just an idea. It’s irrelevant who is behind the mask. We all hide behind masks of identity at some time; both in the real and the virtual world.
When did you first become Pandemonia?
Back in 2008 the newspapers were full of celebrities. I was drawn towards creating art that documented our time. It seemed evident to me that the best way to parody this world would be to create my very own celebrity. I created a truly artificial one, in the spirit of consumerist values. Slim, tall, glossy, forever young and, of course, famous.
When was your first public appearance?
Gosh, I can’t remember. It really started when I brought it to the general public. I started going to gallery openings. I went to a Tracey Emin show at the White Cube [in 2009]. I guess it started then.
How did you first get invited to the front row at Fashion Week?
I was spotted at a party at the Metropolitan Hotel. The organisers insisted I attend. I think you have to be in the right place at the right time.
Who do you hang out with when you’re there?
The rich and famous… actually I chat to everyone.
What are your fashion rules for the front row?
Are there any?
How do you survive/prepare for Fashion Week?
Taxis and hot tubs.
What are your favourite shows?
Who do you think are the most interesting characters in fashion?
I met Philip Colbert of The Rodnik Band at Leon Max’s Easton Neston Party. Philip’s work is very exciting. He’s doing a fashion version of Warhol’s Factory. Instead of paintings they are making dresses. He even did a Marcel Duchamp Urinal dress, but went a bit Claes Oldenburg if you know what I mean. Take a look at his fashion.
Do you think you have influenced any designers?
They tell me big hair is back in. Could that have something to do with me?
How long does it take you to get ready; from creating outfits to actually getting dressed?
My work takes months to create. My last hair sculpture had 74 intricately constructed panels.
What do they feel like to wear?
Do you think some people are intimidated by you?
You can always find people who are intimidated by the unknown. At least I provoke a reaction.
What sort of reaction do you get from the fashion pack?
I get a good response. They see a bit of them in me; the fashionista’s fashionista.
What wouldn’t you be seen dead in?
What do you wear at home?
Do you have any fears?
Deflation! Luckily there’s not much of it around at the moment.
Pandemonia if fashion was a person…