Lady Gaga used Armenian Rug in the video clip
I was happy to “lend” my “Floral Alien” to Lady Gaga
Artist and designer of Armenian descent Karina Akopyan was involved in the making of Lady Gaga’s 911 music video. Karina tells about her work for Lady Gaga in this exclusive interview with Mediamax.
What was your specific input in the “911” music video? Did you work on costumes or you were involved in general artistic works?
The costumes featured were created in 2017. As with most of my costume designs, they were first created for my own shoots and art projects. I started as a painter over 10 years ago but later a costume element found a way into my work as I got an urge to bring my characters from paper to reality. I certainly don’t consider them fashion garments, but art pieces. They are very uncomfortable, restricting, some of them you can’t see or walk-in properly and the costume Lady Gaga worn is one of those.
She is very experienced with extreme looks so I am sure it wasn’t very difficult for her. There were actually a few full costumes of mine that could have been in the video but it was “Floral Alien Rug” that made it in as a complete look.
The costume is made of leather that’s laced all the way through with floral appliqué and has painted elements. The headpiece is a pointed shape inspired by the shape of the Kokoshnik. There are a few cultures with a similar decorative pattern but that one that inspired me was on a black khokhloma spoon. With my work, I play on contrasts such as beauty and ugliness, femininity and aggression, ancient and modern, history and tales.
Taking the look in the darker direction I linked it to black leather creating a character that is potentially alien shaped with a long head and legs emphasized by heelless shoes. After all that the character got a nickname Floral Alien. I would also say it figuratively represents a figure of death, like a body that decomposes on the ground, that grows flowers out of it, eventually starting a new cycle of life.
Have you been invited by director Tarsem Singh or by Nicola Formichetti? And can you call yourself a Lady Gaga fan?
I was approached by the Nicola Formichetti team. It’s not till a bit later I found out the director was Tarsem whose work I absolutely adore. The Fall is a masterpiece, I remember being utterly shaken by its creativity and complexity when I saw it.
I am definitely a big admirer of Lady Gaga. She is a strong and intelligent woman who speaks out for a lot of issues that matter. Not only she is a very talented musician, she is a chameleon with a great creative eye for bringing styles and artists together.
Did you have a chance to talk or socialize with Lady Gaga and did she know anything about the “Armenian footprint” – Armenian Rug of her new music video?
As you can imagine with a project like this a lot of things had to be kept a secret till the very release date. Unfortunately, I haven’t met Lady Gaga and I was not aware of the Armenian influence until the very end. When I was approached for the project I was told that the style of the video has strong connections to my own artistic style and therefore they wanted to feature them.