PARIS, France — “I’m very linked to the surrealist and Dadaist universes, it’s what I love. The surrealists were the first punks, they didn’t have any boundaries.” So says Vincent Darré, a true Parisian eccentric and fashion’s favourite punk polymath. “I do furniture, I love it. I do interior design, I love it. I do magazine editing, I love it.”
The witty and whimsical Darré has worked alongside Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi; served as artistic director of Emanuel Ungaro and Moschino; contributed to the French and Italian editions of Vogue; designed sets for the theatre; decorated André Saraiva’s nightclubs; and created his own surrealist furniture — all with a unique blend of intellect, humour and child-like fantasy.
“My motivation is realising everything I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid.”
Darré, who once described himself as “an anarchist of taste,” comes from a family of leftist Parisian intellectuals. His mother worked in publishing; his father was a sociologist. He attended the elite Ecole Alsacienne, followed by boarding school, but acquired an equally powerful education at the famous Paris nightclub The Palace (frequented by the likes of Andy Warhol, Roland Barthes, Karl Lagerfeld and Mick Jagger) where he was an under-age regular along with Eva Ionesco, Christian Louboutin, Farida Khelfa, and Cyril and Olivia Putman.
“We were punks. Really. We were awful with people, we were crashing parties, we just didn’t care about anything in the world,” he recalls, without a hint of remorse. “At the beginning, I was more into costume and set designs, then the Palace came along and I started to have fun putting together [looks]. It was a time where there were huge parties, costume balls, and everyone would to dress up in a very creative way. We didn’t have any money, so we had to improvise outfits.”
“I’ve learned you just have to do what you want,” he says. “Be open to anything that might fall in your lap and just follow your instincts.”