By Karen Rempel
For me, having fun with fashion is about finding pieces I love at the most unexpected moments, and then combining them with old favorites to come up with an entirely new, unique look. I call this “Karen’s Quirky Style” because you won’t find these ensembles in Vogue, they don’t cost a mint, and no one else wears the same thing. Part of the joy is remembering the stories of the clothes—who I was with or where I wore them. I’m sure you feel the same way about your favorite pieces!
These six-inch clear jelly booties bring great good fortune. I first wore them to a David Bowie tribute concert in Vancouver and was invited onstage to “conduct” the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (that is, dance and wave my arms) to Bowie’s song “Golden Years.” I wore them again the first time I went to the National Arts Club, and I met Iris Apfel and was invited to join the club. Wow, good mojo!
I modeled the jumpsuit for Mlle. Mirabelle in a fashion show at the Nigerian Embassy, and loved it so much I bought it. The pantlegs are outrageous! And Dusty photographed them to perfect advantage on a fun late afternoon we spent together on Bleecker Street.
The gorgeous orange brocade bolero jacket is literally a treasure. I found it while browsing vintage shops in the East Village with my cousin Sarah from Vancouver. I tried the jacket on and it fit like a glove, and then I saw the price. $15! Gasp. It was love at first sight, and of course this Bill Blass vintage piece is worth at least $1,000 now, and cost many thousands brand new at Bergdorf’s. But the key selling feature was that it matched my hair, natch.
It warms my heart, feeling the interconnection that these clothes and stories weave with the people and events in my life.
Silver and orange glass bead earrings.
Artrageous, Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC.
Moonstone, opal, and pyrite fan necklace by Irina.
Moon Child NYC, 45 Christopher St.
Amber sun necklace
Gift from my sisters.
Long silver necklace.
Studio DuArte, 84 E. 7th St.
Labradorite lariat ) by Irina.
(worn as bracelet
Moon Child NYC.
Vintage ’80s Bill Blass orange silk brocade bolero jacket.
Made in the USA by the Union of Needletrade, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE!). AuH2O, 84 E. 7th St. Originally sold at Bergdorf Goodman.
Joseph Ribkoff black sleeveless jumpsuit.
Mademoiselle Mirabelle, 330 Bleecker St.
Translucent, nude jelly, flower-patterned platform boots
By Melissa + Alexandre Herchcovitch. The Bay, Vancouver, BC.