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Vena Cava

Interview

Interview with KD

K*D is one of those super stylish people with REALLY GREAT taste. As in, everything she picks out is lovely, beautiful, tasteful and elegant. She has one of the best closets I know of and is a true appreciator of beautiful things. I always feel bad because it feels like I’m stalking her sometimes – “Hey, where’d you get that dress? Where’d you get that bag? What kind of shoes are those?” The working title for this post was “Really Stylish People With Lots of Beautiful Things.” Pretty direct, huh?

First of all, what do you do for a living, and where do you live?

I’m a web producer and I live in Oakland, CA.

What is the first “luxury” item you bought and do you still have it and use it?

My very first luxury item was the Louis Vuitton mini Speedy bag.  I still have it, but I outgrew it long ago. It can fit a wallet, small phone, and one set of keys, but nothing more.

What are your top five, all time fantasy wardrobe items you own?

The single greatest item of clothing I have ever owned would have to be my gray Alaia coat.  It has a full pleated skirt made of the thickest, heaviest wool and it drapes perfectly.  I remember the first time I saw it at Saks and fell in love.  I said goodbye to it that day because of the hefty price tag, but I searched online to find a photo and I saw this on Jak & Jil:

The more I stared, the more I was convinced that I had to have it.  I ended up buying it at Saks, but I returned it because I still couldn’t justify the cost.  After doing more research, I learned that it’s possible to find Alaia cheaper in Europe than here in the States, and after many long-distance phone calls I finally found it at Dover Street Market in London for 30% less.

My second choice would be a Jen Kao leather & fur skirt from her fall 2010 collection.  It’s hand beaded and it weighs a ton!  It’s a whole lot of fun though.  I wore it to my high school reunion and danced the night away.  Photo courtesy of Jen Kao:

When I was on my honeymoon in Paris, I was able to make a quick trip to the Alaia boutique.  He has a small store that sells past-season collections up to 70% off.  I found a cream-colored skirt that has lace between each panel of wool forming a full, pleated skirt.  It has a very vintage, timeless feel to it and reminds me of the good times my husband and I had.

Number four would be my Vena Cava silk jersey dress with art deco print.  It’s not the most extravagant item in my closet, but it drapes beautifully and it’s the perfect, effortless answer to a warm day.

Last but not least would be a Diane von Furstenberg laser-cut skirt.  It’s very whimsical and so much fun! 

What are your top three, favorite jewelry items you own?

My favorite would be my engagement ring for obvious reasons.  My second favorite is my Cathy Waterman feather pendant that I had custom made with fossilized coral.  The coral has a pretty pattern that looks like little flowers, but it’s a very subtle effect and it makes you look twice.  Last but not least would be a large jade cocktail ring.  It’s oval and set in yellow gold with a halo of diamonds.  Very old school, and it has a lot of sentimental value because it was passed down from my mother’s own godmother.

I know you are a shoe fiend – your favorite pairs of shoes, and your most practical ones?

Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?  If there was a fire and I could only save one pair of shoes, it would probably be the Valentino studded kitten heel pumps from fall 2010.  It’s my newest pair and therefore at the top of my mind.  After I save that, I would regret letting a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs green linen sandals with multi-colored beads perish, because I love those things to death.  Then I would mourn the passing of my ancient Prada fish sandals.  I visited them regularly when they first came out in stores, and when they went on sale I was overjoyed to find a pair in my size.   I have such fondness for shoes I purchased as many as 6 years ago, like a beige pair of Manolo Blahniks with a vine pattern, but except for the Valentinos, my newer shoes don’t really have the same place in my heart.  Maybe I just need to wear them more and make some memories.


What are the five items you wear the most?

Hmm, good question.  By default it would be my jeans, which include Joe’s, Citizens, and Sevens, followed closely by a gray Karen Walker aviator jacket, my Searle funnel-neck coat, a black tank top from Benetton that’s the perfect layering piece for sheer tops, and my Shipley & Halmos high-waisted pencil skirt.

Your favorite cheap finds?

I have an orange H&M top with pleated details that gets a surprisingly large number of compliments.  What’s more surprising is that I haven’t seen it on everyone and their mother.  I must conclude that orange just isn’t a very popular color.

Speaking of cheap orange finds, there’s also an Inhabit cashmere sweater with orange and gray stripes from a sample sale in 2007.  Sounds like a hideous color combo, I know, but the shade of orange isn’t garish and it’s just so soft and comfortable!  It’s also machine washable.  What more can a girl want?

What in your opinion are the “crucial” investments to make? What are the ones you’ve made, and what do you think you overpaid for (items, brands, etc)?

I don’t really have a list of must-haves.  When I shop, I focus more on whether the print, style, or color of an item draws me in right away.  Something has to make me stop in my tracks, do a double take, say “Wow!” if I’m going to bring it home.  This strategy has worked really well for the most part, and some of my all-time favorite clothes still feel timeless and fresh year after year.

I paid dearly once when I went shopping specifically for a trendy item that I wasn’t in love with.  It was 2004, and every celebrity and model was wearing a Chanel jacket.  I drank the Kool-Aid and decided it would be a perfect, timeless addition to my closet, a real investment.  I picked one out in a grayish-white with pink trim, and completely ignored the fact that I had no strong gut feeling about it.  I was just happy to check it off my list.  Six years and two wears later, I still have no idea what to do with it.

What are your go to brands?

I swoon over Alaia, Lanvin, Jen Kao, Burberry Prorsum, and Boudicca.  My go-to store for special occasions is Elizabeth Charles.

For mall stores, I prefer H&M, Zara, and Anthropologie.

If you could only have one of each, what would be your pick for:

a. LBD?

This is a really tough question.  I have five little black dresses and they’re all very different, but I’ll take the classic DvF silk jersey halter to be on the safe side.

b. Outerwear?

Ok, this one is easy.  My Alaia coat, no doubt.

What do you wait for to get on sale?

Shoes!

I know you’ve been focusing a little bit more on your home décor lately. Any photos you want to share or unique finds?

I have a pottery addiction.  It started out with Whitney Smith’s cute little dogwood flower bowls, plates, and belljars, and now I’m in the midst of placing an order with Molly Hatch  for some of her bowls and tea cups.

She has a lovely website here:  http://www.mollyhatch.com/

What percent of your take home income do you save a month ?

Probably less than I should, but I suppose you can’t really save too much for retirement.

Anything else we should know about you?

My obsession with clothing and shoes is only rivaled by my love of cured meats.