14 November 2005

J'adore Christian Joy

I punched up this post with photo from stylelikeu.com in 2012. But I interviewed Christian Joy in 2005. Which was before stylelikeu.com even, like,  existed. Just, you know, sayin'...
If you don't know who Christian Joy is, come from under your rock now. She does clothes for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O. She's also a nice girl from Iowa nice enough to email me about her stuff this past spring.

How'd you get interested in clothes?
Accidentally. I was working at a clothing store (Antique Boutique) because I had just gotten fired from a different job. My friend and I held this contest to design t-shirts and I won—I guess that's what got me interested, not so much in clothes themselves, but in making stuff myself.

What brought you from Iowa to New York?
A train and dreams. I was bored, man! There wasn't a direct route from Iowa to New York—before coming here I had actually lived in Chicago and Dublin. I moved to New York because I figured I had nothing better to do.

You worked at Daryl K, right? Is that where you met Karen O? I think I read that somewhere.
Correct you are, madam. Karen would come in all the time and eventually we became friends, I guess. I showed her a prom dress that I had made - the 'Teenage Car Crash Dress' and she liked it and wanted me to make some for her.

You're perhaps best known for the pieces you've made for Karen. Yet, your fall 2005 collection is going in a different direction. What inspired that?
I wanted to make something that I could wear. It feels like everything in stores right now is boring and ugly—I wanted to make interesting, wearable clothes.

What kinds of clothes do you like? Or what are you likely to be wearing on an average day?
Somebody told me that I looked conservative the other day, but I'm not sure how true that is. I don't really have a fashion bible that I live by, I guess my style is pretty eclectic. At the moment I am way into these pointy white shoes. I also have this amazing giant blue necklace that is pretty awesome.

Are you part of the New York fashion scene?
Hell, no.

Do you also consider yourself an artist?
I guess...I mean it feels kind of pretentious to think of myself as CHRISTIAN JOY: ARTIST, but I do believe that fashion is an art form.

If you do have a fashion idol, who is it?
Issey Miyake comes to mind immediately, but there are a bunch of people who I admire tremendously as designers.

In which shops can you buy Christian Joy stuff?
None, at the moment.

What was it like starting your own line for (I assume) production?
It was super hard, because it I am pretty much alone. I have someone sewing and two interns, but it is definitely not easy.

Where do you see yourself fitting in in the fashion universe?
I don't; why would I want to fit into the fashion universe?

What's your opinion of the fashion system as it currently exists?
BORING! UGLY! Fashion needs more of a sense of humor and more originality. Also, I think that consumers need to realize that they aren't limited to what's on the racks. People can go out and make their own stuff or at least make what they have more interesting, rather than just buying another velour suit.

Which designers do you like? Who are (underground) designers people should be checking for?
The Salvation Army is my favorite underground designer. Seriously, though...Shenan makes incredible jeans and tops. She had a really good fall collection. She is also doing a line of mens’ jeans. Rebecca Turbow of Safe Clothing has an interesting concept, which I admire her for. I've seen some pieces from 'ojoj' which are really rad, I'm super excited about that. My intern, Louisa Pillot also makes some sweet bags and shirts.

What's in your future?
I am going to continue working with Karen, and developing my own line. The future is bright.

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