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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
the nogoodforme.com interview: Kime Buzzelli
Lucky ducks in Portland get to go see painter Kime Buzzelli's latest exhibition at Motel gallery starting today. And even luckier ducks in L.A. get to go visit Kime's beautiful boutique Show Pony any time they please. Our favorite little pink paradise in Echo Park, Show Pony is like a gem-encrusted treasure trove of so many dreamy vintage and D.I.Y. creations, plus Kime's own one-of-a-kind, handcrafted fashions that have shrouded the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal and those Jane's Addiction boys. Here, the artist/proprietress/designer herself tells us of her lifelong George Harrison crush, her most adored celebrity customer (hint: we like her too), and all the magic things that go on inside that "crafty gypsy den."
Tell us about how you started Show Pony. I was working on making things at home and really wanted a space to make messes outside of my kitchen. I originally wanted the space to be for work, but some stylist friends thought it should be open for rentals. It ended up becoming a sort of installation art/one-of-a-kind clothing space where people had shows - sort of a co-op. When it came time to name it, my pals and I brainstormed. They said, "Well, what do you plan on selling?" and I replied that I hoped we would sell things that are frivolous and unnecessary - like a corsage, or a giant show pony feather headdress. Things that trick out a dull wardrobe, or tell a story. The store was put together with the help of all of my good pals, who helped hammer and build up the loft and decorate. We wanted to create a craft treehouse of sorts.
What was your original vision for the store? I loved the idea behind the 60s shop Paraphernalia: that clothes were displayed as if art pieces (resembling more an art gallery then a shop), that it was promoting some type of lifestyle. I also loved the shop in the movie I Love You Alice B. Toklas, where it was sort of a hippie/gypsy hangout. While shopping, they're playing records and the lighting is dim and magic cookies are available. Originally I wanted it to be a sort of cozy and organic. I bought these gigantic red lacquered display wardrobes that seemed almost flapper-like. I suppose if we had more space and money, I would have liked the loft to resemble a real treehouse with a giant swing at the bottom. A crafty gypsy den.
Who are some of your favorite fashion designers? Zandra Rhodes, Kasik Wong, BIBA, Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, Tsumori Chisato, Vivienne Westwood, Grey Ant
Who are your style idols? The girls in the movie Daisies, The Cockettes, Penelope Tree, Annie Hall, The Marchesa Louisa Cassetti, Stevie Nicks, The Warriors, Auntie Mame, artist Niki de St. Phalle
Who's your dream customer? And who's been your most exciting customer so far? I would most love to have Zandra Rhodes pop in or maybe Christopher Walken - ha ha. The most exciting customer of all time: Miranda July is always a fun shopper.
Whose closet would you most like to raid? Shiva Rose, or Karen Elson
What's your favorite clothing item lately? My Grey Ant voile Persian kitty-cat print off-the-shoulder dress.
Who are your favorite bands/musicians? Karen Dalton, White Magic, Blank Blue, Kate Bush, The Zombies, The Beatles, Electrelane, Cat Power, Ike and Tina Turner
What music do you like to listen to when primping? Serge Gainsbourg, or soundtracks to movies that I wish I was in
Name one record you loved when you were a little kid that you still listen to today. The Beatles' White Album, and a whole lotta Blondie
Favorite makeout music? Heart, "Crazy on You" (ha ha). Or maybe, for the romance, Jefferson Airplane's slow jams.
What music do you like to play in the shop? Girly stuff - like CocoRosie, CAT POWER, Joanna Newsom. Stuff from the Valley Girl soundtrack, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ike & Tina, The Zombies, Electrelane.
Who's your number-one all-time music crush? George Harrison, who was my mother's crush as well. I also had a girl crush on Bat for Lashes' music.
What are some of your favorite clothing shops (around town or in the whole wide world)? I like Madley in Venice, Screaming Mimis in NYC, Some Odd Rubies and Scout in L.A. I like the new shop on Glendale called Lake. In Tokyo I love EVERYthing...especially all the shops in the Laforet Mall. WOW.
Any advice for girls/boys out there dreaming of opening their own shop? Well, opening it is the easy part. You have to really love it unconditionally (like a kid that no one else wants to babysit). There are good times and bad times. If it's a labor of love, it will flourish. It will work if you're selling merch that you believe in, and love. You have to learn new ways to change it up: Fashion can often be fickle and the routine gets monotonous like all other jobs. If I had a dollar for all of the "Gone Fishing" signs posted on the Show Pony door these past seven years, I'd be rich!
What's your favorite thing about running Show Pony? I like the constant networking that happens daily between designers and people and watching people have successful art shows. And seeing the kids who start out making clothes get better and better and gain momentum, and then move on to bigger shops like Barneys.
Kime's Motel exhibition "Initials in Apples and Other Futile Spells" (whose title "refers to superstitions and magical spells, like carving initials of the one you love in an apple to divine true romance") runs July 5-18.
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