2020 marks a very big year for Bay Area artist and mask designer Lance Victor Moore. His story is one of inspiration for artists showing that dedication and hard work could be very rewarding. Long before the world starting wearing masks as a result of Covid-19, he was creating an extensive collection of high fashion couture face masks in his San Francisco studio. If your a fan of Lady Gaga then you saw his work on the MTV Video Music Awards followed by the cover of Billboard Magazine and her newest music video 911. Dark Beauty called Lance and received all the wonderful details on his successful journey…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born on Long Island in New York in a town called called Central Islip, now I’m in San Francisco.
Congrats on your big night with Lady Gaga at the MTV Video Music Awards 2020. She wore two of your pieces, the horned couture mask and the silver crown. Did you know she was going to wear both and what was your reaction seeing your work on a big awards show?
Yes I knew she was going to wear two pieces but I wasn’t told exactly what those pieces would be. Marta Del Rio (Lady Gaga stylist/assistant) let me know the night before that a few of my pieces would be on Lady Gaga at the VMA’s and that I should watch. My boyfriend Jaime and I were at home watching and waiting for her to come out, once she came out with my horned mask I screamed with excitement! Later in the evening when she came out with the silver crown also styled with designer Candice Cuoco’s amazing silver jacket, I almost fell over.
LADY GAGA at MTV VMA’S
What has your experience been like working with Lady Gaga’s team such as Marta Del Rio and Nicola Formichetti (House Of Gaga)?
It’s been excellent! Gaga’s team treats the people they work with, with a lot of respect, they’ve been very communicative and my whole experience especially with Marta has been great. She’s answered many of my questions, I had questions like “what can I announce, say or do” and she was very cool answering them with out making me feel awkward. They offered to pay for picking everything up as well as shipping but I decided to bring it myself (7 hour drive) so it could arrive in perfect condition. I went to their Los Angeles location, they had very strict Covid protocol, which was nice to see Gaga and her team walking the walk keeping people safe.
LADY GAGA 911
Bay Area designer Emily Payne (Project Runway/Project Runways Allstars) has played a big role in pushing you into new directions creatively. Tell us a bit about that artistic relationship:
Emily is one of the most talented designer friends that I have on top of being just an excellent person and she saw a fire in me that I don’t even think I saw a few years ago. She invited me to show some of my masks with her work in New York Fashion Week and that opened a lot of doors allowing my work to get seen by a much more fashionable crowd. I’m always happy when Emily and I work on projects together because she brings out the best in me. Project Maiden Lane (A San Francisco outdoor fashion show) was a favorite project I participated with her, it reminded me of Little Italy in NY and we had an impressive crowd of SF fashionistas.
We heard Lady Gaga has been keeping your work in her personal collection. Could you elaborate more on the Gaga projects your pieces are included in?
Marta contacted me and mentioned she’d been watching my work and had a secret project in mind. We pulled out 20 pieces for them to have while in Los Angeles and Marta said they would use them for their scheduled secret project (Lady Gaga ‘911’ music video). She mentioned they’d send things back in a week or so but when that time came Marta asked to hold on to the pieces a little longer. Of course that was more than ok with me and about two days before the VMA’s happened, Marta said I should watch and I’d be happily surprised. At that point I thought WOW my work is in two Gaga projects in one month, that’s amazing. You could imagine my surprise about five minutes after the VMA’s I got a text from Marta with a picture of the Lady Gaga Billboard Magazine cover and her wearing my jewelry, both appearing on the cover and the inside. The text I got from Marta was just one word: SURPRISE! Along with the photos from Billboard. To have Gaga wearing multiple pieces in multiple projects was pretty amazing and very humbling. The hardest part for me was keeping all of this secret because I signed an NDA.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Emily Payne and I have a photoshoot together in mid October with the amazing photographer Chuck Schoenberger. We’ll both be debuting Emily’s new fashion and a bunch of new masks and accessories, it’s already being picked up by a few online magazines. The Estonian model Carmen Kass (Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior) acquired two of my masks recently which is exciting because she’s one of my favorite models. For her to have anything of mine is super cool and her runway walk is legendary.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
DB to me means finding the glimmer of light in the shadows because those kinds of lights shine the brightest.