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Chitchat With Always Different Johny Dar

Always one step ahead, USA born Johny Dar (known previously for his all over body painting and floor-length wigs on the catwalk) continued his fascination of the female form and returned to the runway for his second Berlin Summer Fashion Week S/S collection. Launching his first fashion label in 1999, Johny Wonder, Dar creates timeless pieces that flatter the womanly figure. Intricately hand printing every piece in the collection, as well as composing and mixing his accompanying music, his shows are a fusion of his seemingly endless talents.

I managed to briefly catch this one-man band after his show on the Friday, to see what he had to say about his new collection and hear his thoughts on authentic Berlin street fashion, before he jetted off to his Beijing exhibition.

Where did the inspiration for your SS16 ‘inspired by me loving you’ collection come from?

The desire was to show the different layers of the female body; the parts that are usually expressed in the media but are not usually accepted in society. The sensual parts. Mainly, I truly wanted to give that power back to the woman, to adorn her own sexuality and not be judged for doing so. I wanted to change the audience’s perception of themselves and their relationship to the world around them.

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I use futuristic leather ‘armour’ pieces and luxurious silk and satin dresses. I like to use fabrics that express the woman’s personality; whether that is the soft side of her or the more edgy side. All sides of a woman are beautiful.

Describe typical Berlin fashion…

I don’t fit into Berlin fashion. Well I don’t fit in anywhere. Fashion in Berlin is a tough one because it really presents the German practically. Keeping it practical doesn’t allow for creativity. Of course, international influences in Berlin have played a part in Berlin’s fashion industry but I still find their [Berliners] style quite repetitive. It kills inspiration. It had an edge some time ago but I am not inspired by it anymore. They need to experiment more.

Why did you come to Berlin to work?

Because it is not defined, the big players haven’t settled in yet. There is still room to make your mark here.

Dar felt like his creativity wasn’t being pushed hard enough solely focusing on fashion so he now exhibits artwork and installations in his gallery on Friedrichstraße to entwine his arts and nurture both passions. His unique creations express the body’s movements with a seductive sense of glamour. With plans to do both AW collections and menswear in the near future, he is one to watch.

By Holly Amber

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