Darren epitomizes Renaissance menswear
by Amber Goodwyn
Who: Darren Lacey – Dance artist, freelance business consultant, host, NDH’s Secret Gardens Tour Coordinator. Where: In a Cathedral-area back alley, leaning against his red Mini.
Darren is a wonderfully charismatic and multi-talented human being with mad dance skillz and off-the-chain business savvy. But more importantly, the man can dress.
How would you describe your style?
Eclectic. I’m kind of into eras. I’m into the ’50s right now, that kind of aesthetic. Currently, my hair is kind of classic but a little on the long side. Clean cut. For me, I think fashion and dress is expressive. As a dancer and artist, I really do see clothing as a medium.
What kind of styling are you tending toward these days?
I’m into jewelry and that’s kind of new for me. I have a silver chain and a jade bracelet I really like. I also bought a Longine watch. And subtle pieces like a tie clip or a handkerchiefs can really add a lot to a look. It’s all those thoughtful details that can really complete a look.
Have you experimented a lot with different looks?
There was a time when I only wore neutrals, like navy blue, khaki or brown or black. And I went through a phase where I was really into luxury brands like Gucci, Armani and Prada. Lately, my style has kind of relaxed and I’m not so single minded (about what I wear). Oh, and, for a while I was dressing in themes, for example, a preppy lumberjack or a surfer trucker or an Asian grandfather.
What’s your prized piece of clothing?
I just bought a wood tie from Seed. I chose it over the wooden bow ties because that would be, like, doubly quirky and too much. I chose this particular tie because the wood grain is subtle and it makes it more surprising when people realize what it’s made of when they see it up close. When I was little I had a favourite t-shirt, my Mom couldn’t get it off of me; I wanted to wear it all the time. It was a velour striped V-neck with a little collar and I can remember rubbing my stomach and feeling the shirt and liking the texture of it.
It’s amazing how clothing is a form of communication.
I remember wearing a pair of overalls to university in ’92 or ’93 and no one else was wearing them and I was really worried about what people were going to think. More recently, I went through a phase where I really didn’t care what people would think and maybe even tried to provoke a reaction to my attire. Now, I’ve really come to a place where sometimes the way I want to dress is preeminent, but at other times I choose to dress in ways that are respectful to other people and the context of the situation I’m in.
Any general observations about the current state of fashion?
I would say that over the last several years, across the globe, people have become less conservative in how they dress and less judgmental about what others wear, and I think, culturally, we’re even more into fashion and dressing uniquely. I think there are certain artists who really make it okay for people to dress how they want… Lady Gaga for example. For a long time I wasn’t sure about her, I was like, ‘what is she doing’, but then I saw the full-length “Marry The Night” video and I realized that she’s making art and that whatever she’s doing, it’s real to her.