It might sound a little creepy, but I’ve known about Keiko’s style for a long time. I remember hearing about her clothing line, Postlapsaria, on some Livejournal community (LJ 4eva!) and was inspired by the mixture of colors and interesting shapes. Years later, I stumbled upon her blog, and was hooked on her awesome use of color in her own outfits, the perfect poster girl for her own line. So I was more than thrilled to find her here on Chictopia (as user Keiko_lynn), and a style icon no less! Here’s what she had to say about her life, fashion, and inspiration. <3 Wendy
How would you describe your personal style?
Girly, whimsical, quirky.
Who/what has most influenced your style?
I’m highly influenced by the past; I am always most inspired after watching an old movie or searching through old photographs at antique shops. As far as direct influence from an individual, I have three:
The first is my great grandma Moe, an expert seamstress who always made her own clothes and dressed impeccably (down to the hat and gloves). I used to tell her I was born in the wrong era, because I wanted to dress up like her.
The second is one of my mom’s old friends, Colette. When she would babysit my sisters and me (I use the term babysit very loosely), she would let us rummage through her extensive closet and borrow or take anything we wanted. She was extremely eccentric and had expensive taste – she was the first person I ever met who was completely enthralled with the fashion world and I found that intriguing. She made getting dressed so much fun.
Last but not least, Iris Apfel. I admire her sense of style because it’s so personal and identifiable. She wears what she loves and wears it only for her. That, to me, is a true love and understanding of fashion. It should be personal.
As a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
According to an article in a local newspaper, when I was four years old, I wanted to be a model. I don’t remember ever wanting to be a model; I think I was just put on the spot. Truthfully, I wanted to be Paula Abdul. I don’t think that answer would have gone over very well, so I gave them a stock answer from my tiny little back pocket.
How did you get into designing and making clothing?
I always had a hard time finding clothing that suited my tastes; I was never one to be able to walk into a store in the mall and come out with something I loved. Plus, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. I started buying clothing at thrift stores and altering them – sometimes just minor alterations and other times, I would completely deconstruct and reconstruct the whole garment. Eventually, I moved onto creating my own patterns and making my clothing from scratch. I started selling select items because people always asked about them, and I needed money to help put myself through college.
What drives your creative design process?
I make clothing that I would want to wear. I’m not trying to be overtly innovative – I’m simply designing and making pretty clothes with the intent to make the wearer feel good about themselves. I don’t take it too seriously; I just think fashion should be fun. So, I don’t put too much thought into each garment. I just think, “What would I like to have in my closet that isn’t currently available to me?” and I go from there.
What is your favorite self-designed piece of clothing?
As far as more current pieces, I’m fond of the Merrylegs skirt (3rd pic). I have it in several colorways; it’s my go-to skirt because it can be paired with so many different options, but it makes more of a statement than your basic skirt.
As for something exclusively in my own closet, my favorite is this skirt (1st pic). It has a bit of a bustle effect in the back and it’s very fun to wear. Each tier is ruffled and trimmed with black bias tape. The only reason I don’t offer it for Postlapsaria is because of the amount of work that goes into it!
You have awesome makeup skillz! Any tips? Which products are your favorites?
Thank you! Always use primer, that’s my number one tip. As for eye makeup: blend, blend, blend. I’m working on some tutorials; they will be up on my blog very soon.
My favorite products: Smashbox photofinish (all over primer), MAC bare canvas paint (I use it as a primer for eye makeup), MAC blacktrack fluidline, Julie Hewett Cheekie Cheek and Lip Shine, MAC mineralize skinfinish.
What kind of music do you listen to?
M83, The Velvet Teen, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Broken Social Scene, Billie Holiday, Animal Collective, The Decemberists, lots of 80s and 90s music, so much more.
What are some of your favorite foods?
Quiche, crepes, soup, arepas from Caracas (the restaurant in Brooklyn), comfort food. I love comfort food, which of course tends to be really bad for you.
What are some of your favorite things to do for fun?
I love to play Scrabble! I’m a huge scrabble nerd. I’m quite a hermit, so I spend a lot of time working on clothing or playing with my little critters. I also love to read, go on spontaneous adventures and partake in many picnics during warmer months.