photo of woman holding white and black paper bags

A Closet that combines fashion and art

photo of woman holding white and black paper bags

It is not a career path but it would be a good choice. My background is in fine art, painting, and architecture. I have done some of everything in the world of art. I have worked in galleries. I have worked for an art magazine. I have worked in museums. I see everything as essentially the same discipline, with a different outcome and medium. The only thing left was to start my own business.

“I started working as an art consultant for Rex Sinquefield, and he wanted to start a chess club. Even though I had never opened a chess clubs, I was invited to the initial lunch. It was like an architectural project that I approached. I was free to do whatever I wanted. It was great because I could use all my previous experiences. The World Chess Hall of Fame wanted to relocate from Miami to St. Louis due to its success. I was assigned to this task. It was designed so that the chess hall had the hall proper on the top and the floors below it, which we were able design, were basically museums. It was a museum that combined fashion, art, and music. The theme of chess being a universal language meant that people who don’t know chess or don’t play it can be inspired by it. We had the show I wanted because I wanted to include fashion. It was called “A Queen Within”.

“It was sort of this hole that I saw in the art world because in the United States, we don’t address fashion as art, not like they do in Europe, for example. This was what prompted me to open my own gallery. Many of the designers joined me and we began as a fashion-based gallery with contemporary artwork, showing fashion as art.

“I’ve always wanted to use my career the same way that I would approach anything that I did in art school. Once you have a general idea, then you can start to find your way to where it leads. Art school gave me the tools to take chances, to take risks, and be open for failures. There have also been many circumstances that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. That path has been a blessing.

“I grew up going to a private all-girls school until I was in college, which means really ugly uniforms. On the platform of changing the uniform, I ran in high school for student council president. This was my claim of victory. Because I didn’t have the creative ability to dress up every day, I believe that my hunger for fashion is because I wasn’t creative enough. Since I was a child, Vogue magazine was the only magazine I ate. Growing up, my aunt, grandmother and mom were very fashion-conscious. I was always looking for vintage pieces in their closets, which I loved. My favorite pieces to this day are still vintage.

“I’ve always been very unafraid to pull clothes together and to pull them together in a way that makes no sense to most people but brings joy to me. Because clothing is another expression of me, I’m willing to take risks. It can change how you feel about yourself. Pretty birds make pretty feathers. It should bring joy to you. But I also notice that it brings joy and enjoyment to others. My friends are more likely to be amused by my eccentricity the more I dress.”

“I tend to gravitate towards the most dramatic and– I was going to say ‘elegant,’ but it’s really not elegant, but the sort of thing that you need a very special occasion to go to. It’s always a dream to me. I don’t shop with a specific goal in mind. Never, ever. I shop only accidentally. I believe in fashion and the power of magazines to create these fantasies and place me in them. Part of why I gravitate towards avant-garde is because I want to be there. I would love to live in a place with those pieces. But, I also enjoy the drama and the humor and the art.

“I always have a ton of vintage. Right now, I gravitate towards Richard Quinn and Molly Goddard–these are happy, bright pieces. McQueen is someone I have loved since childhood. McQueen is someone I love their craft and work. He has now become a huge part of my personal life and work that I cannot even speak of in the same sentence with the others.

“I’m a mood dresser, so it changes every day. If there were a uniform, it would probably be the one I wear when I run to the grocery shop. It’s the same thing that I have worn since eighth grade: jeans with holes at the knees and high tops. There are so many high tops that I own, and this would be my uniform.

Dress: Dries Van Noten I shop online. I shop in boutiques. If I go to a city for work or something, I will look for their local boutiques. I love to shop for young local designers. I will buy anything that catches me’s attention.

Favorite purchase of all time: It has a white pleather and large black flowers. This is my favorite piece. It’s been my favorite piece for at most 30 years. It’s as fresh as ever.

“It is making me absolutely bonkers crazy that I don’t have any of the McQueen armadillo shoes. They are rare and hard to find. The woman who was in charge of Christie’s auction in London’s fashion division used to be my friend. She would reply, “Oh, there are a couple coming up.” It was three pairs that were up for auction many years ago. I am bidding. I am bidding. They didn’t come to me. They were so expensive that I couldn’t afford them. My friend called me and said that she knew who I was bidding against. Lady Gaga. She always wins. Glenda Bailey is always the winner. I was fortunate enough to sit next to her once and tell her my story. She laughed and laughed. She laughed and giggled. She got all three!”

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