Kilo Kish Explores the Best of 1980s Vintage


Exploring the Best of 80s Vintage With Kilo Kish

Kilo Kish is only in town for a few days. However, before she returns to her home in California, she's chosen the boutique Spark Pretty for our shopping expedition, which she located on Google. My boss, editor Chioma Nnadi, insists we'll get along despite the fact that we've never met. We couldn't help ourselves, could we? I am immediately taken by Kish after only a few minutes of meeting her. The L.A.-based singer is dressed in a vintage black lace Victorian top, Doc Martens with leopard print pony hair embellishments, and a XXL leopard print hat outside the vibrant Lower East Side business. "This was the first item that popped up when I put in 'fluffy leopard hat,'" Kish says. It's only fitting that she's a Taurus with the same birthday as myself. Extreme comfort is a must, but so is unrivalled glitz.

Pull-no-punches lyrics and electronic thinks evocative of hipster tracks from the mid-2000s are mixed into Kish's music videos. (She mentions Karen O. and Courtney Love as fashion icons.) She wore glittery pink prom dresses a la Pretty in Pink in the video for "Bite Me," and a Canadian tuxedo in the video for "Bloody Future." Kish is a chameleon in the truest sense of the word. Her style has recently taken on a Dynasty tone, with vibrant colors, huge shoulders, and a teeny-tiny nipped waist. She admits that she's been drawn to sequins as well. She usually has her vintage finds—which she typically buys secondhand—tailored and tweaked. "I'll completely rework the dress," she explains, "so I end up making it my own in a manner."

Exploring the Best of 80s Vintage With Kilo Kish

Spark Pretty, a vintage store, seemed to be the ideal location for Kish and me to explore. It's a homage to '80s tunes, complete with all things be jeweled and acid-washed. Pink paint covers the room, with images of big-busted ladies adorning the walls. There are rows and rows of trolls, Barbie, and a pink bubble television on the shelf. There are several chairs in the style of high heels, one of which is covered in leopard-print fabric. Amanda Dolan, the woman behind the counter and co-owner, has her hands full today. The store was featured on NY1 that morning, and her phone line was ringing nonstop. "We like to inject a touch of levity into our collection—truly there's something for everyone." She later writes to me, alongside her business partner Meagan Colby, "Statement pieces with a twist to start conversions!" "Our style is a homage to the past's greatest, cheekiest moments." The store's wackiness complements Kish's appearance. I can picture Kish pinching the waist or decreasing the length of a sequin-strewn dress or a beaded cropped jacket to fit her style.

Exploring the Best of 80s Vintage With Kilo Kish

Kish claims that her style wasn't always so edgy and Molly Ringwald-esque. She recalls, "I grew up in the South, and my school was really preppy—Lacoste polos and madras shorts, Vineyard Vines." "At the same time, I grew up during the Myspace craze. I saw these people in New York and was able to observe their fashion choices." She used to buy from Buy Bea issues as a kid and try to recreate what she saw in the magazines. She eventually travelled to New York, where she studied textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and resumed making her own outfits. She continues to design apparel; in 2018, she released saucy-cutesy items flecked with cherries. She aspires to have her own clothing line in the future.

Exploring the Best of 80s Vintage With Kilo Kish

I enjoy watching the singer become enthralled by clothing. Like a hip mom at a Bat Mitzvah, she wiggles into a hot pink long-sleeve dress with a dropped ruffle skirt. Another dress, black with polka dots and tiered ruffles, is a little loose, but Kish adds that the waist can be easily cinched. She fashioners me to the point where I try on a small pair of high-waisted denim jeans with a squiggly green design. These pants, unfortunately, flatten out my buttocks, and Kish agrees that they're a no-no. (Spark Pretty sells clothing from tiny independent designers as well as antique.)

Kish eventually surprises me by foregoing the bold-shouldered gowns and quirky frocks in favor of an oversized Mickey Mouse-printed T-shirt. "When I dress up, I go beyond with the formality. "But aside from that, I always wear huge T-shirts," she explains. (Again, there's a lot of Taurus energy!) She also buys three plastic charm bracelets for herself and her friends that are sprinkled with cherries and dice. I follow her advice and purchase one as well. I'll never be able to pull off Kish's delectable jazzy appearance, but if I can have a piece of it, I'll take it.

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