We Asked Karen O's Costume Designer to Relive the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Singer's Best Style Moments

Getty / Michael Bezjian

Karen O is someone I have admired for years on end when it comes to both music and style. I’ll never forget turning on MTV one summer and watching the music video for “Maps” for the first time. I remember being completely drawn in, thinking to myself, “I don’t know who this badass woman is, but she’s someone I definitely aspire to be.” From that moment on, I watched the Yeah Yeah Yeahs become one of the most iconic bands and saw Karen take the stage (and the Oscars!) in one eye-catching outfit after another. Who is the designer behind most of her iconic looks, you might wonder? It’s costumer designer Christiane Hultquist, aka Christian Joy, and I had the pleasure of speaking with her about some of her favorite style moments with the lead singer. (It was truly a “pinch me” moment!)

“The really extraordinary thing about my relationship with Karen is the trust she put in my work. Most of the time, especially in the early days of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I would just show up with her look right before the show, and she would put it on after seeing it for the first time. As time went on and her looks evolved, she would ask for certain pieces like a leather jacket or suit. Then, we would send inspiration images back and forth, but she would still allow me to go for it and often wouldn’t know what the look would be until it was sent. That can be very daunting because that trust means that you’re constantly working to outdo yourself,” the designer revealed to me.

Keep scrolling to read more of my interview and check out all of the creative and inspiring outfits Christian Joy created for Karen O.

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