Behind-the-scenes of Daimorf’s fall ’16 lookbook shoot
Photography: Jett Johnson
Designer Olivia Galov, of rising NYC label Daimorf, is proudly obsessed with clowns—something that’s inspired this season’s new look, as well as her party pursuits in Brooklyn nightlife. Though the iconic character has become loosely associated with fear in contemporary culture, Galov doesn’t relate to this, instead happily reveling in all things circus-associated, and especially sad clowns.
Her latest collection, which will debut Feb. 20 at the New York BBQ joint Johnny Utah’s, is an exploration of this campy aesthetic, lacing in western influences for a tongue-in-cheek lineup loaded with cow print and distressed denim. Daimorf designs gender non-conforming silhouettes, from a pair of wide-legged frilly red pants and matching crop-top, to a black topcoat with silver grommet detailing. Black-and-white striped prints echo the tents of a traveling circus, while silhouettes dance on the line of costume and ready-to-wear.
Still, there’s something subtly gritty about what she’s created, like a lone clown, who’s tirelessly traveling across the Chihuahuan Desert, their colorful attire wearing down with each mile. We went behind-the-scenes at Daimorf’s lookbook shoot during NYFW to catch a glimpse of Galov’s fall ’16 collection and further dissect this unusual, clownish craze.
Tell me about this season’s inspiration.
“The circus [and] clown aesthetic has been a part of my personal lifestyle for a while now, but it’s really been bleeding over into Daimorf. I took a lot from the extravagance and caricature of it all. I enjoyed imagining the Ringleader and what they might wear, as well as the following acts. It allowed me to be a lot more free with the design process than I might have been in the past. Although in a general response, I do find it interesting how culturally clowns, who once were meant for light-hearted entertainment, now have become so frightening to most. I’m excited to see how that aspect reflects in people’s reactions to this work.”
How has Daimorf grown from pervious collections?
“I’ve felt a lot of duplicities throughout this collection’s process. The theatrics that go in line with the circus aesthetic have allowed me to explore very different avenues of design that I would have never imagined possible within the strict-but-not-so-strict confines of the previous Daimorf ‘aesthetic.’ I tried to push away any ideals I had for the brand, and experiment with different colors and styles I may have dismissed previously before their final outcome even came to fruition.”
Street-cast models play a chief role in Daimorf’s vision. How do you choose who wears your clothing?
“I love everyone who models for me; they’re the ones who give life to the clothing. They’re all beautiful, unique and alluring individuals who I feel best represent fashion’s future aesthetic. To me, they’re so much more than models. I chose people who I think look fabulous in the clothes—who can be themselves, not fake and also who someone else can see a morsel of themselves in. I feel like I am really designing for anyone and everyone at this point. I’ve developed a really like corny ‘live and let be’ outlook to life as of late, and I think if someone can wear Daimorf and feel their personal best in it, that’s all I want.”
What’s your relationship with clowns?
“I don’t know what my relationship with clowns is, really. My family really appreciates humor—my mom literally has a Jester tattooed on her forearm, [so] maybe it stems from that. Otherwise, I just enjoy the makeup, and all of the theatrical elements. It can be beautiful, sad, dramatic [or] comedic.”
There are subtle Western elements in this collection, which is an interesting complement to clown imagery.
“This collection is definitely ‘Rodeo-Clown’ themed. I love the western elements involved. I’m super excited for [my friend] Abby to DJ the show Feb. 20 at Johnny Utah’s, home of NYC’s one and only free mechanical bull—lots of slowed down Dolly Parton. I used cow print in the collection, and definitely took chaps and 10 gallon hats into account. I think they mix perfectly together and really help define the final outcome of this season.”
Daimorf welcomes you to laugh (or cry) during its fall ’16 presentation this Saturday, Feb. 20, at Johnny Utah’s, 25 W. 51st St. As Britney Spears once said, “There’s only two types of people in the world—the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe.” See the full invite, below: