West Village Model Karen Rempel on Hudson Street
WEST VILLAGE MODEL KAREN REMPEL in ruby velvet coat and boots. Photograph by Dusty Berke.

You might not recognize me this month with my new hair color. Even though the color has changed with each month of this column, this time it is a real surprise. Brunette! When she first saw it, my friend Rhonda at LifeThyme said, “Karen, what happened, your hair is normal!” She was shocked.

The brunette was inspired by a fashion shoot I did for The Face magazine. They asked me to dress as Kris Jenner, the mother of all Kardashians, for a spoof of the family that will be featured in an upcoming issue. For details of the shoot, and lots of pix, see my blog entry. I had so much fun that day, I thought I’d try owning my inner Kris Jenner for a while. I wonder what color I’ll be next month!

Rubywine Velvet Is So Luxe

I love the ’70s rock star look of this Anna Polan coat, though you might notice it looks a bit too big for me. There’s a reason for this. I saw the coat at the Autumn Craft Fair at Lincoln Center, and I fell in love with it. I immediately channeled Mick Jagger when I put it on. But it was a size too big. I wanted it in time for my birthday, so I asked the designer, Anna Polonsky, if she could do a rush job to create this custom coat in my size. My birthday was just a few days away, but she said she could do it. When I asked her how, she said, “I have my ways.”

True to her word, the coat arrived the day of my birthday. But when I put it on, it was still a size too big! She had simply changed the label inside to XS. I didn’t want a hassle on my birthday, so I just put it on and dashed up to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola to see Ravi Coltrane with my sisters. But I’ve never forgotten this trick, and every time I wear the coat I feel a little ripped off. Take heed, Anna, you think you got away with it. But did you really?

Style Notes

  • Anna Polan burgundy velvet coat, Lincoln Center’s Autumn Crafts Festival (CraftNewYork) outdoor market.
  • Donna Karan olive green suede leggings. Rare Donna Karan storage sale, next to Urban Zen on Greenwich St.
  • Michael Kors burgundy suede boots with stacked leather heels. Macy’s at Herald Square.
  • Patchwork quilted purse. Angel City Thrift Shop across from Housing Works on W. 17th Street.
  • Red and black silk scarf. Gift from friend.

For more stories, style notes, and fun photos, see and connect @karensquirkystyle.

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