Eventually he moved to New York City, where the course of his life would change again after meeting Rick Owens in 2008. “The Rick store elevated me into a very visible position,” Curry says of opening Owens’s first American boutique. “My image became very known.” He counts Owens and wife Michèle Lamy as incredible sources of support. In New York’s “extraordinary scene” of fashion parties with The Misshapes, Ladyfag, and Amanda Lepore, Curry remembers it as, “an amazing time in my life, but I was also fading in and out of drug abuse.” After being brutally attacked the night before a flight to Europe, he spent months in Antwerp recovering. It marked another turning point in his life. When he ultimately stepped foot on London soil, Curry says, “I felt like I had arrived.” He learned to DJ, his “bread and butter,” and poured himself into performances. “I started pushing the envelope and doing different looks, and just started using bandages and connecting wires to my face or a lot of duct tape,” Curry shares of his technical evolution.
Now that he’s so deeply embedded in British nightlife, one might not anticipate that Curry originally hailed from a town called Normal, Illinois, and spent his teens at Baptist school in Dallas, Texas. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become,” is a Carl Jung quote that Curry considers his tagline. “Every single moment and experience in my life is deeply woven into all my states of becoming,” he explains. It was in a Dallas record store that he first spotted posters of iconic English dance-pop bands Culture Club and Dead or Alive. “I managed to shoplift them and put one in each pantleg, and I put it between my mattress, and just knowing it was there gave me so much life,” he admits. Soon, he started “breaking the dress code” with experimental punk styles and made his first appearance at a new wave club. Outside of the familiar “holy bubble,” suddenly “everything just started happening so fast.”
“Who I am today isn’t an act of bravery or rebellion, but a daily choice of total freedom,” says Chadd Curry, otherwise known as Dahc Dermur Vlll. The American-born DJ, performance artist, and “mother goth” has become a figurehead of London’s underground scene. Cloaked in swirling, hand-painted body art and facial armor, Curry’s aesthetic signatures follow a monochromatic code. “I always operate with black and white,” he says. “They are one and the same, and my language.” It’s a familiar dialect within the walls of the city’s clubs like Electrowerks, Wraith, and Kaos, where Curry’s social network includes next-gen conceptual artists and collaborators like Salvia, Parma Ham, and Lee Adams. “Lee Adams, the founder of Kaos London, they’ve greatly influenced the way I look at myself,” Curry says of the artist and fellow DJ who opened Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2020 afterparty earlier this year.
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