Gary Card is an illustrator, prop-maker, and set designer who's done a good job of making himself and his sinister, otherworldly creations indispensable to a ton of fashion's heavy hitters. He's also responsible for plenty of those bizarre props and headpieces that you see featured in publications like Vogue Homme Japan, i-D, Dazed & Confused, Pop, and just about any other fashion magazine people care about, so I visited Gary in his Hackney studio and had him introduce me to all of the stuff he has lying around in there.
"These bone things were for a shoot with Nicola Formichetti and Steven Klein for Vogue Homme Japan. Lady Gaga got obsessed with them and asked me to make hundreds of the bloody things for her last Monster tour, so I made about 30 of them. She wore one in a Nick Knight shoot, too. Weirdly, all of the latex has started to melt off them now, so they're all gross and sticky."
"I was experimenting with plastic a while ago—I'd never worked with it before—and decided to make these massive glowing head, lantern things. The nose on the white one reminds me a bit of the creepy puppets on Grotbags, that old British kids TV show, which is cool, but they're not actually very successful as models. They took ages, cost a fortune, and I think they're a bit shitty."
"I did an editorial with the photographer Daniel Sannwald for Pop a while ago, and they needed a load of cakes, so I made these weird sculptures and we put icing all over them and sat them on top of these massive, insane cakes. That was a lot of fun."
"This was originally made for a Comme Des Garcons window display, but I've reused and repainted it about ten times since then. One of the times was for my friend Ferry's music video, he's in this band called Semifinalists."
"This one was just for fun, and I've had it sitting around for so long now that's it's just kind of turned into a studio ornament. I painted it like this for a RAT:ATT:AGG music video I did the art direction for, and I haven't done any music videos since then. I kind of miss doing them, but they were also always quite tricky, because the cameraman sees all the loose ends and scrappy bits you've left. It's a lot easier in editorial when you're just shooting the object from one angle."
"This one's been with me for about eight years, and I've repainted her again and again and again. She's been so many things in so many different still-lifes, and it's got to the point now where I'll try and get her into any job I can. Right now, she's covered in icing, but she might be on a headpiece or something in the next one."
"I shot Atlas Sound with Daniel Sannwald, right after he'd done all the music for Where The Wild Things Are. The idea of the shoot was that he morphed into this monster frame by frame, so this is one of his post-mutation arms. The thing was, no one had told him this was happening, so I spent all night making this massive costume, and he decided he didn't want to wear it."
"These are the remnants of the headpieces from the last Comme Des Garcons show I did. They asked if I could make some headpieces, but they said they weren't going to tell me anything about the project whatsoever and just told me to make whatever I wanted. I really like the distorted idea; that everything is slightly squished and deflated and sad."
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