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UO FEATURESChristian Joy & Where the Wild Things Are

In honor of Where the Wild Things Are, Christian Joy—most well-known as the designer behind the Yeah Yeah
Yeahs' Karen O's crazy costumes—created five monster suits based off of the Wild Things and Max. All costumes
will be on display and for sale at Space 15 Twenty, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to 826LA.
Here, Christian gives us a rundown on the ideas and materials she used.

Photographed by Clarke Tolton

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"Everyone knows the way Max looks like, and I wanted to stay within the realm of what a kid's suit would look like. But I also thought that the rest of the Wild Things were already looking like a glam rock band, so I thought he should be a little bit rock n' roll. I found this weird silver fabric, and we made the paws and crown out of Mylar, and then the tail is like a found piece from a fabric store."

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"I forget what this guy's name is; I think it's Carol. Originally, we were going to make it out of vinyl, but that started taking too long, so I decided to make the whole thing out of felt. It was kind of like a real-life drama club costume: 'How do we make this quick?' I silkscreened the leggings and the shoes are Converse. All the costumes are pretty much based of off Karen's size, because I had just been doing her costumes for the Reading and Leeds festivals."

"There's a character in the book that has long hair and it's parted in the middle, so it looks like a girl to me. The fabric was a cream-colored heavy-knit that I silkscreened. It's supposed to look like fur, and then I did the flowers because this character is supposed to be kind of shy. The funny looking hair is just yarn, and then she has these weird balls around her ankles. A friend of mine who is a prop designer turned me on to this stiff called Wonderflex, that you heat and shape, and my husband used that to make the feet."

"Well, I guess the sea creature isn't in the movie, but it was my favorite character in the book because, from a design point of view, you can do so much with it. The whole thing is covered in scales and it has these '70s pom-poms. The character has a weird hair-do. I was looking at the hair and the year the book was made, and decided this character was kind of a beatnik. He has these weird sort of wings, and his legs look like dinosaur legs."

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"I'd never actually read Where the Wild Things Are, so I did, and went off the illustrations in that, but I thought I needed to gear it different, because I didn't want to just make fuzzy animals. This character was like a chicken or a rooster, so I made him really proud and colorful. The flowers are based off the flowers in the front of the book, and I tried to copy the cross-hatching of the illustrations. My husband made the claws from Wonderflex. I think he did a really good job. You're supposed to heat it with a heat gun, but we didn't have one of those, so we used a blow dryer."