"My clothing is a way to offset my shyness," the Woody Allen bespectacled Shirley Kurata told us. "It's my way of being a little louder." In a vintage Geoffrey Beene dress, army surplus berets that come in every color, and a mod black jacket with white elbow pads, Shirley's style is more than loud: it's a scream, an explosion of intelligence and ingenious combinations -- Folkloric American capes mix with prim Mad Men secretary dresses and Godard glibness rubs elbows with scrappy Goodwill treasures. As Shirley says, "I like to mix up the eras. Beauty is a combination of something visually appealing and something that has meaning to you in a personal way." For example, Shirley's eye glasses, which she wears to suit the small shape of her face as well in reverence to one of her style icons, Edith Head.
Shirley's journey to fashion started when she was ten, flipping through fashion magazines and sewing. A lover of costumes and anything precious, she studied at Studio Berçot, a fashion school whose alumni include Isabel Marant. "After Paris I wasn't sure if I wanted to start my own label," revealed Shirley. Her embrace of styling was encouraged by the remarkable photographer Autumn de Wilde and the opportunity to style her shoot of the equally original artist/writer Miranda July. A record-collector who loves to discover, the stylist who once dressed Yellowstone National Park scientists in Rodarte, shows us what it is to be unique, declaring her love for "the old lady that's trapped in the fifties coat with her little handbag."
xo, Elisa & Lily
Shirley's video was edited by Aileen Haugh.