“I’m just really interested in the notions of beauty and ugliness,” Spooky Kid tells Vogue. “I find it really interesting to turn something undesirable into an aesthetic goal.” The French-born, London-based DJ and designer creates performative fashions ranging from pillowy cocoons to reflective inflatable suits accessorized by lobster claws and cone collars he utilizes to “create an extension of my own silhouette,” and makeup techniques intended to appear “like a skin disease, or like chickenpox.” The latter reflects his own reaction to the stress of moving from Montmélian, a small town in the French countryside, to The Smoke two years ago without a cushy setup–just one bag and a plan to learn English while finding work. “I got a really bad acne case when I first moved to London,” Spooky Kid shares. “I decided to celebrate it.”
Thanks to the universal language of basement club dancing, he found a space where his ideas could expand. Though he doesn’t always consider what he creates “fashion,” Spooky Kid pulls inspiration from designers and artists who exaggerate the proportions of the human body through clothing, like Rei Kawakubo and Leigh Bowery. “I think he really pushed this art of dressing up to a point where he would just go out and he would feel physically uncomfortable in the costume he was wearing,” says Spooky Kid of Bowery, who similarly moved to London from Australia as a party promoter, muse, and face of the underground New Romantic movement. As someone who has suffered from body dysmorphia since the age of sixteen, Spooky Kid also references the experience through his designs, which are often stuffed with balloons that can be manipulated at will. “Creating my pieces was, and is, a way for me to transform the shapes of my body,” he says.
To begin the transformation, cosmetics serve a role without taking total focus. “I pretty much always used cheap makeup, as I’m not looking for a polished result–I hate polished makeup,” Spooky Kid notes. “I just really make sure to protect and take care of my skin with products from the brand The Ordinary.” After applying primer, a stick of white foundation creates a familiar base–in his youth, Spooky Kid tried out goth looks with inky lipstick, black hair dye, and a paled-out complexion. “I was at school and a teenager told me, ‘Oh, you look like Marilyn Manson,’ and I was like, ‘Who’s that?’ and he was like, ‘Oh, just a weirdo killing chicken onstage,’” he remembers. The comparison ultimately led to his alias, pulled from the original band name Mariyln Manson and The Spooky Kids.
Today, red eyeshadow and a light dusting of Revolution Pro Supreme Highlighter serve to offset a meticulously painted canvas of inflamed “spots” and blemishes accentuated with dots of white liner. In the final flourishes of his look, Spooky Kid draws on an extended black lip that resembles the curves his signature suit might make if caught in a windtunnel. “I love to do my lips in this