August 31 2014

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1 posts tagged "Christian Joy"

Karen O Unzipped: Christian Joy on Dressing Rock Royalty


It can’t be easy to dress an onstage style icon, but costume designer Christian Joy—who’s been creating killer (and often eccentric) costumes for Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O since 2001—has got it down pat. For Karen’s performance at the first weekend of this year’s Coachella festival, Joy outfitted the singer with a lacquer-shiny cape, one studded glove, and a matching papal headpiece (above). Here, talks to the designer about what it takes to dress a rock goddess.

Tell me about Karen’s outfit. Was that created especially for Coachella?
Yes, the costume I made for Coachella was specifically designed for it. In the beginning, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were meant to go on towards sunset, so all of the fabrics were chosen to reflect the sun and really glow against the desert sky. The cape and headpiece were meant to be a little “pope,” to go with the song “Sacrilege.”

What do you have to consider when picking out costumes for the stage?
The two main things I always think about when creating Karen’s costumes are color and movement. I think it’s important not only for Karen to be able to move easily but also what kind of movement can be created. I always love a dramatic cape for that reason. Color is also always important. I hardly ever use black unless it’s highly contrasted. I think color gives the performer a lot of energy, and it makes the crowd feel excited and happy. As far as shiny goes, it can never be too shiny!

Which designers does Karen gravitate toward?
I make all of her stage costumes, but offstage she generally goes for vintage. Continue Reading “Karen O Unzipped: Christian Joy on Dressing Rock Royalty” »