August 30 2014

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3 posts tagged "Karen O"

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” »

MoMA Brings Mayor Bloomberg, Hugh Jackman, And Karen O Together At Last


“I’m only here for one reason,” said Hugh Jackman. “To get this party started.”

Mission accomplished. Jackman was at MoMA to announce Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who gave a raucous performance for a crowd that included Mayor Bloomberg and about as many art-world heavies as are allowed in one room at one time. The dress code was black tie, but MoMA being MoMA, a few took it with a grain of salt. Chuck Close was wearing his tuxedo jacket but shrugged off sartorial inquiries to talk about his gorgeous companion, Sienna (she, for the record, was wearing a taupe raw-silk dress). And more than a few ladies piled on the color: Karen O, onstage, opted for a riot-colored batwing-sleeved tunic dress (pictured); Nicole Miller, in the crowd, was wearing a layered blue and green gown. Ronald Lauder, the evening’s honoree (along with Jo Carole Lauder), surveyed the crowd with a smile. “I very much approve,” he said. “They are beautiful.” As arguably the U.S.’s premiere beauty magnate, he should know.

Photo: Will Ragozzino / Patrick McMullan

Yea, Nay, Or Eh: Karen O At Bonnaroo


What: A printed bodysuit with matching kimono

Why: Bodysuits are everywhere, and the hills of Tennessee are no exception (for more on the trend, see our Bonnaroo Style Notes). As the festival’s most fashion-forward performer (with David Byrne in a tutu taking a close second), Karen O paired her graphic top with a pair of zebra-print leggings—and we do mean graphic (check out the placement of that hand print).

What do you think of the style maven’s festival gear? Would you go so body-con?

Photo: Gary Miller / WireImage