- Lance Victor Moore is a bespoke mask and fashion designer living in San Francisco.
- He created pieces for celebrities like Lady Gaga and Milla Jovovich.
- Moore takes us inside his studio and shows us how he brings these whimsical face pieces to life.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Lance Victor Moore: I worked my butt off, and I created about 20 pieces for Gaga in about two weeks. And it was every day, all night.
It’s just crazy to see someone like Lady Gaga wearing your work, knowing that’s part of pop culture zeitgeist.
The horns that I got for Lady Gaga I got from here.
Have them pointed down if you want it to look more fierce,
or have them more pointed up if you’re trying to look flirty.
I love sourcing materials at Paxton Gate when it comes to natural things like horn and bone, some leather, some skins.
I have to look at it and say, this came from an animal, or this came from a beautiful plant, and how can I honor it and make it continue to have a life even though its technical life might have ended?
I have these and I have a couple more bones at my studio.
Welcome to my studio.
Been wanting to make similar, but not the same mask that I made for Lady Gaga at the VMAs this year.
First thing is to get them a little bath. Nobody wants to buy a mask from me and find out that it’s still got gore on it.
Polishing stage, just to make sure you don’t have any kind of hard edges or anything on it.
My favorite tool that I have is basically like a little microdrill.
Add all kinds of attachments to it, which you can do polishing and cutting and drilling, and there’s already a natural hole, which was part of the animal’s anatomy. So I’m just going to drill into that.
This will be the fun part. I have to yank out one of these teeth. This guy’s going to get a pretty nice metal grill.
It always doesn’t come out so nice. I’m not a dentist. I’d probably not be a very successful one.
His new chompers.
So now that I’ve finished mounting all the pieces on here, that are going to go in and created a place to attach it with screw bit.
I’m going to paint on the inside because I like everything to look good from inside and out.
This is pony skin, leather that I’m going to be using for this mask.
It’s also what I used on Lady Gaga. It’s been treated so that it’s a really smooth leather underneath.
This is called a rotary cutter. This would be almost impossible to do with a pair of scissors, to get, like, that close and that clean of an edge.
Now I’m going to start building the muzzle that everything’s going to get attached to.
Producer: How about you tell me about your upbringing?
Moore: My upbringing, OK.
I learned to put on my own mask at an early age.
I knew what gay was. I knew that it was this thing you’re not supposed to be, and that you were going to burn in hell and all these things.
These were things that I was taught. So, I kept it pretty hush-hush to make sure that I didn’t get beat up or that my parents didn’t single me out.
So you put on a mask and you hope that nobody sees through it until you’re either ready for them to or until you can make your own way in the world and can take off the mask.
My dad was probably my first experience really seeing a mask.
And what I mean by that was his mask in public versus his mask in private.
There was a famous poem he got commissioned to do the painting behind.
The painting became almost an instant success.
He was always asked to travel around the country and go speak at these megachurches.
And my dad would always show up at these places and talk a good talk and walk a good walk.
It was hard for me to understand how people could tell us, “Your father’s a conduit of God.” And you’re just thinking in your head, like, Lady, you don’t know the half of it.
My dad’s a jerk who drinks and, you know, hits his kids and swears like a sailor.
One of the things about masks that I find the most interesting is you’re literally putting this thing on your face that covers up part of who you are.
Yet for a lot of people, putting on a mask, it’s a freeing thing and actually opens them up a lot more because they can show off a part of their personality that maybe they’re scared to show off, or a part that they’re not used to showing other people.
I’m using these pieces of animals and parts that have basically been thrown away or discarded so that when you look at it from far away, it looked more traditionally punk rock, but as you got closer up, you could see that it was all broken bone that you wouldn’t have thought much of.
It can be something of value if you take the time to make it valuable.
If you would have told me I was going to be working with Lady Gaga in the middle of a pandemic, I wouldn’t have believed you.
And I almost dropped my phone. And once I finished reading it, I was like, “I think Lady Gaga’s stylist just contacted me, and they want some of my stuff.”
So I made about 20 pieces total that I brought in about two weeks, and it was every day, all night, I was here working. So we turned on the Music Video Awards, and Gaga came out in the red-horned mask that I had made.
It’s different to see something you’ve created on a mannequin, but to see a real moving body, someone full of life, that’s the best part about fashion as an art form.
As I continued to watch the show, she came out in a second piece of mine.
It was a bit of an out-of-body experience.
I texted Marta and I said, “Thank you so much for involving me. I’m so glad things went well.”
And Marta said, “Oh, we’re not done yet! That was just today! We still have your video coming.”
And that was the “911” music video.
Inside, I was so emotionally charged that she put pieces of mine on the most important part of her visage.
But my masks allow a lot of your face to actually still be seen. I like pushing the envelope.
How far can I push these pieces out before it’s so heavy in the front that you can’t wear it?
So it’s an articulated cats’ spine here, on the inside.
Believe it or not, it’s quite comfortable, because the majority of the weight of the mask actually lays on the top of your head.
And so the mask itself just barely kind of cradles right on your chin, and everything else projects out.
The pricing is based not just on the materials, but also on the time involved in creating it.
Prices range $600 to $700 if it’s a small mask to upwards of $2,000.
And you’d be surprised, it’s not always the Lady Ga gas of the world that want my work.
Sometimes it’s someone who is completely unassuming.
I try and work with people. I mean, if someone says they really love something of mine but they only have a certain budget to spend, I’ll say, “Well, this is what we can do within that budget.”
At the end of the day, what I’m making is not a necessary product.
But in life, and in the world, sometimes we need some frivolity.
Mother Nature was definitely having a good day when she decided this was what she was going to come up with, I mean I’d rather have this than a diamond any day in a ring.
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