Talking Balenciaga and Tattoos with Gaspard Dal
You know a Gaspard Dal fit when you see one. If not only for his dark take on the biggest trends in fashion and cocky poses, you probably recognise his tattoos which have been reposted everywhere. Iolo chats with him about his view on Instagram, his home country, fashion and his tattoos.
Where are you from, and how is the fashion/youth scene there?
I'm from Poland. Well the fashion scene here is very divided. Obviously we've got the young people who are very much into fashion, know trends and different brands etc. But most people here don't have any deeper fashion interests and they are your average consumer of "fast fashion" ZARA, H&M etc. Also it can be harder for those young people to to express themselves how they want because you can get easily discriminated here.
Do you feel you're discriminated against for the way you dress and present yourself?
Well it's actually funny because I don't. Maybe it's because I don't really care what people say or think about me. But hey I've been definitely getting some weird looks here and there hah. Like people staring at my Triple S for 30 seconds or something. I probably get them quite a bit though, I just don't see them. I never ever had any radical reactions though. But few of my friends experienced such reactions, so it's definitely there.
Definitely self-confidence has to do with it and not giving a fuck what people say or how they react. Where did you develop this look from do you feel, and have you always been this confident with it?
Well I was always doing what felt right at a time for me. Be it tattoos or clothes. I started getting tattoos when I was very young like 16 I believe. I'm a very extreme person by nature, all-in or all-out, so I fell in love with the body art and went all-in. I believe self confidence comes from understanding. Obviously you have to understand that if u decide on something that seems extraordinary, it will have an impact how you are viewed by other people. That's when you can kinda "pull it off" when you accept it. You cannot simply just do something radical and expect everyone to be tolerant.
Is there anyone you look up to in fashion or style or some source of inspiration for your look?
Yea hah, I'm an instagram monster, basically exploring it all time, so mainly influencers. And sometimes it just clicks, like I know what kinda fit I wanna do next or what kinda photo. It all comes very naturally. Speaking about people I really like @fengfan.x and @darts.vader
How much planning and preparation goes into your posts? What's the process?
At first I was very try hard about it. Thinking about what's gonna be a good photo etc. It kinda helped me learn the "game". But I'm not doing this anymore, most of my new content is very spontaneous. So mostly my friends taking some pics of me when I'm out somewhere and then I just pick the best one. Also sometimes I just have those sudden ideas when I know exactly what kinda post I wanna do, like I have clear image of how it should look like, so I just wear the right clothes, ask some friends for help and we work that out. Those are usually the most successful ones.
So it's kind of instinctive for you now i guess. Part of why you're known on instagram are your distinctive tattoos. Did you build up slowly or go all out at the start? Do you have images of the development?
I went all in very fast. In less than two years I got 2 sleeves finished and was already working on my hands and fingers. Then came my back and some tattoos on my neck. There unfortunately isn't any beautiful stories about most of them, I just like the way they look. Obviously I got some meaningful ones, especially those on my neck. Unfortunately I don't have any images of development, it all happened too fast hah.
Tell me a bit about how you choose your tattoos.
My sleeves and hand tattoos have no meaning whatsoever. Just got them because I like how they look. I got big Kali tattoo on my back, it's a Hindu goddess which symbolizes death, time and doomsday, basically means that nothing escapes the march of time. My most meaningful one is the "sanity" tattoo on my neck. It reminds me of some personal issues from the past.
Ah cool. Which brands would you say are your favourite and why do you like them?
My favourite is definitely Vetements. Simply because I love the idea of taking normal clothes and making something extraordinary out of it, oh and charging abnormal prices lmao. I love Demna's work so Balenciaga is definitely up there also, especially after their last paparazzi campaign.
What do you think is on the way for fashion, which brands will be popping next, or which trends will be big.
I think 2018 is still going to be a Balenciaga year. Later on they might actually be starting to fall off. I think dadcore isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Speaking of materials it feels like denim is making kind of a comeback. Also I think it might be a good year for Alyx, but obviously it's not gonna explode to a hype level of Balenciaga etc.
What do you do from day to day?
Working on my own brand's projects and studying, also obviously putting time into instagram.
Tell me more about your brand.
Name's "AN-APPENDAGE". Basically meaning that it's a smaller part of something bigger, more important. And that bigger part is what I have in mind. My own designs and what I feel like making at the moment. So the brand is basically me but I wanted it to have its own name. We've only had our store up for like 24 hours at first drop and the reception was really positive, even overwhelming at times. Especially the belts were nicely received. Maybe you've seen our seat belt belt hah. We will be having restock this week and also adding some new items. That's kinda what I wanna do for now, slowly expand the logistics as best as I can while still giving people some new items to keep it fresh. It's a very difficult process, especially if your starting from zero to launch a brand. I'm very happy that we are after our first and successful drop, but there still is a long way ahead of us and we're giving it our best.
That sounds great. Have you always wanted your own brand?
Yep, I had that idea long time before "Gaspard Dal" was even known to anybody.
That's sick to see someone realising their goals. Do you have any goals for the future?
Yea, I want to keep giving my best to people who follow and support me in what I do. Be it brand or my own personal IG. I'm a very ambitious person and never fully satisfied with my work. I really hate making any bold statements because so many unpredictable things can happen along the way, so we'll see how far that can take me.
What advice would you give to someone who's inspired by you?
Don't do things by half measures.
Interview by Iolo Lewis Edwards