This guy has created some pretty amazing things for Katy... many things!!!!http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/asked-answered-johnny-wujek/
Johnny Wujek is one of a new breed of stylists who are becoming as well known as their celebrity clients — in his case the pop star Katy Perry. Since the early “I Kissed a Girl” days, Wujek has been pulling the strings behind Perry’s playful and sexually provocative image, including the cupcake bras and whipped cream bikini for the Candy Land-themed “California Gurls” video. “It’s all part of being a pop star,” says Wujek when asked whether he feels Perry’s look is appropriate for a younger audience. “Just look at Madonna, Prince or Michael Jackson, who all have had such emblematic and often controversial styles.”
Wujek’s career in fashion began at age 20 when he was scouted by an agent from Next Model Management at a birthday party. He left his hometown of St. Clair Shores, Mich., for Los Angeles, where his first big gig was a Dolce & Gabbana charity fashion show at Steven Spielberg’s house. “I was completely blown away,” says Wujek, who quit modeling a year later to pursue work as a stylist, but only after he had appeared front and center in Vogue, photographed by Mario Testino. The Moment caught up with Wujek recently in New York to talk about dessert dressing, celebrity and why pop stars have more fun.
Q.Was it easy making the transition from model to stylist?
A.Looking back, it seems like an easy transition. I was 24, and I assisted a costume stylist for free on a movie called “Wonderland,” with Val Kilmer. I totally killed it, so she hired me after the movie as her assistant. A year later producers started calling me directly, and slowly I quit working with her and started styling on my own.
Katy Perry performs during her “California Dreams” tour.How did you team up with Katy?
I met her about ninet years ago at a fashion party. She was with this cute model boy, and I was at the bar when she came up and asked me, “Are you on my team or his?” and I said, “His team.” We were at this really nice house up in the hills, and she turns around and screams across the party to her friend, “See, I told you he was gay!” Later she called me and and said, “I’m a musician, I’m doing this and that, can I borrow a dress?” So she just started coming over and borrowing stuff, but this was all before she got superfamous.
Once her career started taking off, was there ever a moment you thought she would drop you for another stylist?
Well, one day she called me to say that she got signed to a label and that Terry Richardson was going to shoot the photos in New York. She really had her label put up a big fight for me to style the shoot because I was just this random kid. We went to all the costume houses together in New York, did the whole shopping thing, did the shoot — which was amazing — but about a month later she called to say her label had dropped her so nothing really came of those photos. A year passed and she got signed with Capitol Records, and we did it all again with “I Kissed a Girl” and just kept going.
What is it about you two that makes such a good team?
We both like to be different and try new things rather than just wearing a bunch of designer clothes. Katy didn’t care so much about designers in the beginning — it was more about being unique, making cool costumes, and coming up with things that people aren’t doing. Nothing is ever too much.
Who came up with the idea for the whipped cream and fireworks bikini for the “California Gurls” video?
It was her idea. We were trying to figure out how to defeat the gummy bears, and she said, “Maybe I have a Cool Whip bra, can you make that?” and I’m like “yep,” and that was my project. After that, for Halloween I noticed all these people going around with cupcake bras. That was the video that made me think, Whoa, she’s like a big pop star now.
Do you ever think of what may or may not be appropriate for her younger fans?
No, not really. It’s all part of being a pop star. Just look at Madonna, Prince or Michael Jackson, who all have had such emblematic and often controversial styles. In the end Katy does her own thing, and she gets away with a lot. She just won’t wear fur or do anything she feels is sacrilegious.
What’s the difference between styling a model, a celebrity and a pop star?
A model can wear anything, and doesn’t have a say in the matter, while an actress always wants to be best dressed, look beautiful and amazing. With pop stars it’s more about the music and performing. You can take risks. Even if she is on the worst-dressed list, she can still be on the top of her game selling out tours, it doesn’t matter. Pop stars have the most fun!
Do pop stars need to be increasingly sensational with their image to be successful nowadays?
I think there are so many different pop stars right now. There’s Taylor Swift, who is very wholesome and pretty; then there’s Gaga, who is over the top and extravagant; Rihanna, who is just sexy; and Katy, who is sexy in a funnier way. It kind of goes hand in hand to be in a crazy outfit dancing onstage.
Your profession used to be strictly behind the scenes, but now you have stylists like Rachel Zoe who are becoming household names. Is fame one of the perks of being a celebrity stylist?
I think it helps. Definitely working with Katy has exposed me to more. My career has risen with hers because everybody is looking at her. So whatever I’m doing a lot of people are seeing. And because of that I’ve gotten other clients, like Shakira. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.