Christian Joy, Closets
Christian Joy

The multi-leveled nuances of texture and colors in Christian's style reflects that of the Cubist-inspired artist she most admires for theĀ "joy" she brings to her work: Sonia Delaunay. A jean jacket with intricate Sharpie drawings and studs (inspired by the folkloric art book Native Flash and Funk) paired with Gaultier men's trousers and any one of her huge repertoire of spray-painted men's shoes, or a floor length patterned dress from the '70s with a silk tangerine kimono are examples of how she channels Delauney. "The more expressive you are, the better," she says. Nothing is going to happen just by being complacent. "I want somebody from any walk of life to be able to come up and look at something I made and either hate it, or really, really love it."

Christian is known for designing stage costumes for Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, beginning with the deconstructed prom dresses she was making when first she started out as a designer. Their collaboration evolved and persists; Christian recalls a seminal moment for herself as an artist on the band's tour for 2003's Fever To Tell. Karen wore a colorful hand-made skeleton suit -- "Kind of Day of the Dead," Christian says -- with lots of embroidery, a three-dimensional heart, and arteries. But what excited the designer most was the thirty feet of intestines that could be pulled out by the audience. Christian never stops creating. "I constantly think about it. I dream about it." Everything in her apartment is silk-screened, from the pillows to her linens.

Christian's clean, slicked-back hair and classic red lips make her feel as though she can go a little further out on a limb with her clothing, and reveals the conscious detail with which she approaches everything. A white jumpsuit looks "Bohemian chic" with a burgundy scarf tied like an ascot, matching socks, and shoes covered in her abstract Sharpie patterns -- and one of her own silk-screened, floor length skirts with a black tank, and a vintage necklace with bold, "unusual combination of colors." But most poignant to me is how Christian's sense of peace in creating manifests in how cool she makes a simple breton shirt from Lands' End, Ralph Lauren pants and an Ann Taylor belt with her splash-of-paint-on-the-oxfords look.

If you love Christian, you may also like Susi Kenna, Jessica Repetto and Shail Upadhya.

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