For me, there are few things more compelling than a room packed to the brim with everything from one’s lifetime. As Kay puts it, “The perfect cringe of discomfort is what makes something beautiful.” The chandelier that hangs in the center of her walls is pretty enough to “remain until she dies” because of its sentimental value – it overflows with graffitti from all who have entered. Her mother, who Kay says “rules” in her tailored pantsuits, transported the fixture from Kay’s previous childhood digs to soften the disruption of a move from LA to NY.
The prettiness in what is usually considered ugly is a theme in Kay’s universe. There is her cutoff floral dress that she feels looks like something that someone would wear on their day of release (in 1994) from an insane asylum. Her bat tattoo with one leg is symbolic of Kay’s propensity towards frequent injuries and the bruising that occurs from a lack of connective tissue in her arteries. When I was there, she had a bad shoulder from tripping over her aging dog on the steps. One of her favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, she explains, explores “the unspoken balance between mania and simplicity,” a sentiment echoed in the way Kay wears a metal studded DIY sling with a no-frills silk slip dress. Kay made the sling as gorgeous as her matching ’20s lace dress. It is so delicately decayed that Kay felt that it was too special for the prom. Her chunky shoes are perfection in their little girl awkwardness and she prefers to wear them two sizes too big, like her Rick Owens boots with straps wrapped around the ankles.
Kay’s appreciation for what is behind the composition of things is unusually conscious. The dots and lines made from Sharpies on her face are inspired by the perfect angles in nature and math, maybe best explained by the source, “If math exists in nature… and angles define beauty, then there are certain ways to treat the face that accentuate the beauty.” Obscure and underground music, like EyeHateGod, The Germs and Darkthorne are meaningful enough to Kay that her boyfriend made her a leather jacket with their names all over it. The acclaimed brains of hip hop, The Wu-Tang Clan, are not just a passing fad, but a love affair that she can not explain because it is so heartfelt. Wholehearted says it all about Kay, like the way her little girl’s nightdress remains a staple, held together with double stick tape.