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/stīl/ /kyo͞o/ noun 1. a sequence of people with a distinctive appearance 2. A style column for The Sound whereby sustainable style blogger Jennifer Moore (a.k.a. recovergirl) interviews locals with unique style
This week, we talk with local artist Kate Crowell about wide-leg jeans, her ballet recital, and transformative sunglasses.
What is your dream job?
Making more than enough money doing what I love. It would be fun to collaborate with a designer in some way, and ever since Kiehl’s discontinued my favorite essence oil, I’ve wanted to develop my own fragrance.
How would you describe your personal style?
I started widening the legs of my jeans in college, and the wide leg has definitely become part of my uniform. I used to wear a lot of colors and patterns together, but over the years, my aesthetic has become more minimal, even utilitarian. My style is high-low, usually a combination of handmade and vintage, with a splash of paint somewhere.
Tell me about your outfit.
My earrings were made by Melinda Salazar, a local jewelry designer. I found this ring in the medieval town of Erice, Sicily. I bought this shirt in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1998. It was a big and boxy button down, but I really liked the color and the marbled pattern. I altered it to be more form fitting. These jeans fall into the category of my “old favorites.” I have repaired them and patched them from the inside many times over the years. They are essentially retired, but very comfortable.
What musical artists are you listening to a lot lately?
I’m mostly listening to podcasts right now. I found a really great list of podcasts on the Brain Pickings website, titled “Nine Podcasts for a Fuller Life.” Some I was familiar with, some I was not. It reconnected me to “On Being” with Krista Tippett and I am working my way through her archives.
Describe an outfit you wore for a special occasion that you really loved.
When I was 6, I was a mouse in a ballet recital and I had the cutest little outfit. It was a gray felted leotard with pink lace and ruffled trim with really light pink tights. My ballet slippers were spray-painted silver. I wore a headband with two big, round, satin, pink ears sewn onto it and a little tail that attached to the back of my leotard. I wanted to wear it every day. My dog ended up eating my left slipper, but I still have the right one.
Describe an article of clothing in your wardrobe that you love.
I was visiting Pistoia, Italy, in 2001 and I walked into a store and gravitated toward a pair of sunglasses that I immediately put on and could not take off. They had pink lenses and silver frames in the shape of an infinity symbol. I felt immediately transformed. I wore them almost every day for like 12 years.
What is something you love about your body?
My body and my heart and my mind all work together when I’m making art. There is nothing not to love about that.
In what ways do you practice sustainable style?
I make or modify most of my clothing. I buy for color or pattern or texture. I enjoy the process of deconstructing and reconstructing and creating pieces that otherwise would not exist. If I like something, I find a way to make it last; if I don’t, I make it into something else.