Exclusive Review: Johny Dar @ London Fashion Week

Just some of the artwork on show at Dar's album launch

As we walked up to Blacks Club in Soho, my friend Phoebe and I were greeted by beaming doormen. Walking around Soho during London Fashion Week can be a daunting experience, so the welcoming faces of these men in smart black suits immediately put us at ease. We gave our names, showed our tickets and walked into the townhouse-style club. We were there to attend the Johny Dar X Blacks: Where the Future Starts London Fashion Week event on behalf of Cub Magazine.

Johny Dar is an Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based artist, designer, musician, and ultimate visionary. His work has been showcased in prestigious locations such as New York Fashion Week, Saatchi Gallery London, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing. This event’s aim was to immerse it’s guests into a mini-world of everything Johny Dar and, in particular, his new music. Although Johny has been a prominent designer for quite some time now, creating music is new to him: his first single only being released late last year. This event was one of the first times Johny’s unreleased album had been played for the public. Despite Dar’s unique visions, this brainchild could not have become a reality without the help of London-based music producer, Dan Vinci, who has previously worked with artists such as Justin Bieber, Avicii, Snoop Dogg and Florence and the Machine. Together, the pair have formed the “alien-music” experience, Dardelica.

As soon as we stepped into the venue, it was easy to tell that this night was going to be one of a kind. Johny Dar’s artwork hung from the walls, which gave a colourful, modern edge to the classically beautiful, historical venue. Somehow, the art seemed to fit perfectly in the space, despite the stark contrasts.

There was something happening around every turn. Private gigs were being given on the second floor by up-and-coming artists in dimly lit rooms, which made you feel as though you had just stepped into an episode of Made In Chelsea. Later on, a large chocolate slab was presented with decoration inspired by Dar’s art, next to which stood women painted entirely in gold handing out drinks. The event was surreal, to say the least. It was the perfect balance of sophistication, beauty and eccentricity.

Later in the evening Dan Vinci played a set of music from the upcoming Dardelica album. This set was held on the basement floor, with images of Dar’s art projected onto the low ceiling. The swirling artwork gave psychedelic 70’s vibes, while the music with a heavy bass that was being pumped through the room created a modern atmosphere. The music was simply indescribable and compelled everyone in the surrounding area to get up and dance. The space was transformed in a matter of seconds from a room full of image-conscious celebrities, models, designers and journalists; to a raging house party, with each one of the guests being swept up in an entirely unique musical experience.

The event was sponsored by Jägermeister, which meant stunningly crafted (and intoxicatingly strong) cocktails were being served throughout. The atmosphere was alive and the music was exciting and totally original. The experience as a whole reminded me of a modern Great Gatsby-esque extravaganza in which everyone’s differences vanished entirely in a great explosion of art, fashion and music.

Don’t miss Cub Magazine’s exclusive interview on his debut album Dardelica with Johny Dar himself, coming next week.

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