Stage Beauty

Costumer Christian Joy softens up her chic-punk ideas for the street. By Valery Joseph
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After years of designing stage costumes for rock's raven-haired wild child, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, costumer Christian Joy was ready to take it down a notch. "I wanted to do something more wearable and basic," she says. "After working with Karen for such a long time, I wanted to challenge myself to do something different."
She refers of course to the rocker-by-way-of-carnivale-ingenue looks—from wildly patterned jumpers to poufy futuristic bodysuits—she masterminded for O, which helped amplify the singer's outlandish stage persona. "In a way, the costume stuff is limiting, as it is so specialized," Joy says. "I was really interested in exploring another avenue of fashion, and ready-to-wear seemed like the ideal challenge."
The switch seemed to be a smart move. The designer's debut spring 2008 line, a thoroughly modern but whimsical collection of dresses and separates, makes a somewhat subdued rocker statement in a sharp all-black-and-white palette (and, yep, that's O in the designer's lookbook shots). Though Joy's influences are varied—she points out Russian Constructivism as a reference—the real inspiration for the collection was a little more simplified. "When it comes down to it," says Joy, "these are really just clothes I would wear myself."
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Christian Joy is available in New York at Eva, 227 Mulberry Street, 212-925-3208, and in Los Angeles at Milk, 8209 West 3rd Street, 323-951-0330. For more information, go to www.christianjoy.us.
Costumer Christian Joy softens up her chic-punk ideas for the street.
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