Meet Christian Joy: Costume Designer for Karen O, Santigold, & Oh Land

For designer Christian Joy, textile prints are just as important as a garment's silhouette.

1. What brought you to Brooklyn/NYC?

It was always my dream to move to NYC. My brother was living here and so it made it easier for me to move. I really never thought of being anywhere else in the world. 


2. Did you always dream of having your own line?

More than anything I wanted to be an artist. I fell into creating clothes by accident and after meeting Karen O, I became her costume designer almost by default. I really didn't have any idea what I was doing, but I decided that if I was going to pursue making clothing and costumes that I would need to learn all of the different aspects of design and so I began buying books and taught myself. 


Karen O performing in an outfit by Christian joy. Photo Credit: Rachel Warner


3. Tell us about the musicians and performances you've worked with. Any fun collaborations?

Well of course, Karen O is my favorite. I really couldn't ever ask for better than the relationship I've had with her. It's endlessly inspiring and always fun and exciting. I've also worked with the Klaxons, Santigold and Oh Land, and I have really enjoyed making costumes for each band and performer. One of my favorite parts of working with performers is learning to understand how they move on stage and complimenting their performance style with a great costume. Recently I've also had the privilege of working with two amazing dancers, Anna Sperber and ballet dancer Isabella Boylston who was just promoted to a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater.  


Christian Joy's "Bok Joy" exhibit at the Knockdown Center.


4. What inspires you?

Food, l love eating with friends and having exciting conversations. Artists who inspire me are John Waters and Sonia Delaunay. My husband, he has a really amazing voice. I wish I could sing like him. My whole life would be made.


5. Describe your ideal day off.

Eating my way around the city and thrifting. 


Dancing Amoeba's. Photo Credit: Ioulex


6. What is your favorite thing about what you do?

I have to say that I love almost every moment of what I do. I find it so exciting to constantly get to come up with new ideas. 


Linen Dress by Christian Joy, available at Line & Label. Click on the photo to see other Christian Joy pieces available at the shop.


7. Talk to us about your process.  It seems like you design many of your textile prints as well as the garments.

Yes, I love creating prints and embellishments. I really prefer fairly simple pieces that have a lot of flow to them. They're a lot more fun to print and I love the idea of them drifting through the air on stage or making a big statement with a pose. I love movement so in my costumes especially I try to create movement whether through an optic print or color combo or by using lots of fabric and fringe. 


Yarnz Teal Hen Woman Cashmere & Silk Scarf


L&L Grey Leather Bucket Bag


8. Besides your collection, do you have any favorite pieces at L&L?  

Well, I have to say that it looks like my favorite pieces are also everyone else's because they're sold out! I love the Batik pieces especially the skirts. The Yarnz scarves and of course the Line & Label Grey Drawstring Bucket Bag. Sounds like my perfect combo of prints and a bold color in a beautiful shape!

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