Where the Wild Things Are is starting to feel like an impossibly cool Six Degrees of Separation game, as new collaborators enter the film’s fray on what seems like a weekly basis. This became ever clearer last Saturday, when the soon-to-be-released flick was honored with a pop-up shop and gallery exhibition at Urban Outfitters’ Space 15 Twenty concept store in LA.
A room in the vast Cahuenga Boulevard complex has been transformed into a life-sized Wild Things world, from a towering blanket fort in one corner to the hive-like shelter made of sticks that dominates the one opposite. But we went specifically to see the costumes created for the pop-up by designer Christian Joy, each inspired by one of the monsters from the Maurice Sendak original. They’re just as arresting as the outfits Joy makes for Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O, who, if you’ll remember, composed and co-produced the songs on the Wild Things soundtrack. We especially liked “The Stripe Tee Monster,” all fringed felt and stringy fluoro Converse sneakers, along with Joy’s space-age take on “Wolf Max,” whose PJs have been rendered in tinsel-esque silver material with an extra-long, fuzzy grey tail.
For those who don’t have $3,500 to shell out on a Joy original, the shop isn’t short on affordable Wild Things memorabilia, from graphic tees to dolls, throw pillows to Mary Meyer harem pants — and, naturally, several versions of the book itself.
The neighboring art gallery is hosting a companion exhibition, filled with prints of film stills, on-set photography, and original sketches by the film’s art director, Sonny Gerasimowicz (who was introduced to Jonze by — again — Karen O. And lest you think this is all just marketing hype and commercialism, there is a charitable lining — proceeds from the sales of Christian Joy’s monsters and the gallery’s print series will be going to 826LA, a non-profit that promotes creative writing among children. Incidentally, the organization was co-founded by Dave Eggers, who co-wrote the Wild Things script with Jonze. Kevin Bacon, watch your back.
Where the Wild Things Are Pop-Up Store and Exhibition will be at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood through mid-October. www.space15twenty.com