Dada - The Sex Project
Dada's clothes are sold at
the following US locations:
In New York:
Blank, 678 Broadway, 2nd Floor,
In Los Angeles:
For further information,
|When I first saw Tunji Dada's
clothes, I was enthralled. His work really excites me. It's like nothing
else out there. The fashion press has been talking about John Galliano's,
and a few other designers', "hobo chic." Frankly, I think
Tunji Dada's vision of deconstructed fashion is by far more original and
Tunji Dada's exquisite designs go beyond the raw look. They have great intellectual depth. Over the years, his work has encompassed a series of political, theological, philosophical, sociological and spiritual themes.
This year, for spring/summer and for fall, Tunji has chosen as his theme sex and sexuality, and he has titled this year's line The Sex Project.
"Sex sells, of course," Tunji told me, "but my intention is to work this theme in a subliminal way: to think about pleasure, how we dress, how we are perceived, the fact that clothing attracts. I am also interested in other social subcultures, like S&M and Goth, and the sex aspects of those movements. I want to bring them more into mainline fashion. These elements are all a tool for fantasy and allure."
"How we dress at places of work, what is too sexual, always seems to be in the news, what people are talking about." Tunji wants to design clothing that challenges dress codes. Latex is a central ingredient in his designs. "Latex has a certain sexual connotation. I want to bring normalcy into the controversy. For fall, I plan on continuing and expanding The Sex Project even further, with more layering, and things like that. It will be like Episode 1 and 2 [spring/summer, and fall, respectively]."
The political themes running through Tunji's work stem from his peripatetic early years. As a child, Tunji traveled extensively. Originally from Nigeria, Tunji began his solo wanderings as a teenager, after the untimely death of his parents. During his travels he saw the world, saw the depths of poverty, the unbelievable wealth. It is these experiences, Tunji believes, that injected the political and sociological element into his art.
Tunji always drew, and his family was very proud of his talent. His mother was a seamstress whose clients would come to the house for fittings. Subconsciously, perhaps, the memories of patterns and designs, sewing machines, and all the other accoutrements of the trade, planted a seed.
Fluent in French and a native of Nigeria, Tunji also feels that the African nations that were once French colonies have a distinctive fashion flair. The influence and gelling of the fashionable French esthetic with the gorgeous indigenous textiles, patterns, and styles of dress, create something special in the post-colonial culture.
After living and working in Paris, London and other European capitols, Tunji arrived in the US, and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, where he received his BA in Fashion Design. He then established Dada Clothing Design, dressing private customers. Eventually, Tunji made his way to New York, establishing a private clientele here as well, and showing his designs at clubs like Mother/Jackie 60 and the Spy Bar.
In 1998 Tunji was discovered by the Japanese apparel company Clutch. Their collaboration has led to the production of Tunji's ready to wear collection, and the opening of Clutch's New York store, Blank.
Tunji is "enjoying immensely the creativity and the
challenge of the wonderful opportunity that Clutch has offered me. I owe
everything to Hiroki Kobayashi (of Clutch), he was the one, he believed in
|On May 11,
2000, there will be a
fashion presentation called Total Blank
by the cutting-edge store, Blank
(Tunji Dada, Clutch, and
7:00PM at Madame X, 94 W. Houston St.
Video and music presentation by
courtesy Clutch USA.
|Tunji Dada: The Sex Project continues on the next page.|