Elvis’s whole aesthetic was built on a mix of references, artifice, and Americana. In his 1989 film Mystery Train director Jim Jarmusch filters the kitsch of Elvis and dusty backdrop of Memphis through the perspective of both tourists and locals as they stay at the Arcade Hotel. The film doesn’t gloss over its locale—dilapidated rooms exist alongside depictions of the iconic Sun Records; Jarmusch allegedly wrote the bulk of the story before visiting the city and filled in the details later. It’s this combination mythic idolizing and gritty reality that make the film what it is.
You might know Katie Serbian better as Bambi Davies, the former bassist (and only non-brunette member) of Dum Dum Girls, a Wornette favourite. Katie has since moved on to Cheap Curls, a solo project that is anticipating its first release. Naturally, I’m excited to see the aesthetic possibilities a new musical act brings; will those iconic Dum Dum Girls tights be topped? Read on to find out!
Can you tell us about what you’ll be working on now that you’re leaving Dum Dum Girls?
I’m actually working on several different things. I have my own project called Cheap Curls that is releasing a 7″ on ArtFag Recordings early this year; I am finishing my MASTERS (!!!) at UT Austin
Nice! What are you studying?
It’s sort of interesting to explain. I am studying Rehabilitation Counselling. The name often conjures up a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, but it’s not that. It’s similar to a social worker for people with mental and physical disabilities. Very different from music!
So, I guess (because this is, after all, a fashion interview) there’s a huge range in your closet between what you wear to class and what you wear on stage.
Let’s start with that! Dum Dum Girls has such a defined aesthetic—was that intentional, or did you all have similar styles to begin with?
It started out as just a suggestion: “Let’s all wear black vintage dresses?” And then it grew into a strong aesthetic as the band also grew. As far as our personal styles, I think we were all fairly similar. The first day we showed up to practice together we were all wearing the exact same pair of jeans. I think it was the Urban Outfitters Cigarette pants? In black, of course.
When you played the Toronto show, you all came out in [Worn Crush] Zana Bayne harnesses. Was that coordinated?
Yes. Zana Bayne gave us all samples of her line. I LOVE HER. We got to meet her in New York when we played on Fallon. She is a gem and super talented.
In the week since the Academy Awards aired, the internet has been abuzz about the best and worst looks. The way you’d hear the tabloids talk about it, a starlet who dares wear a dress that is “unflattering” (read: doesn’t make her look as skinny as possible) is far more offensive than a host in blackface.
There probably isn’t a ton of new things to say about awards ceremony dresses (rich people in fancy dresses!) but it’s still fun to see favourite runway looks in action. Usually, though, it’s the same dresses that end up on every best dressed list. We definitely don’t aim to disparage the popular looks (even though Gwenyth Paltrow has the unfortunate habit of being Gwenyth Paltrow, many of us thought her minimalist Tom Ford gown and cape ensemble was killer), we still thought there were some overlooked or critically panned outfits that deserve our respect. Here, the wornettes compiled some of our favourite looks.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Bunto Kazmi
Sharmeen, who won the Oscar for the documentary short Saving Face, took her moment on the red carpet to highlight a designer from her native Pakistan. I am loving the pattern on this dress, apparently a combination of a Persian motif, birds, and French knots. My favourite aspect of this dress is definitely the beaded loops coming out from the sleeves: it’s like a necklace for your shoulders. // Anna Fitzpatrick
Kristina is one of my favourite people on the internet, who is always up to something interesting. Whether it’s capturing the styles of Austin and New York City over at her street style blog The Rebel Waltz, chronicling her own daily outfits, or contributing to Bust Magazine, her optimistic approach to fashion will make you want to play dress up.
How did you dress in high school?
I went to an all-girls uniform-clad high school, so my options were limited. I wore lots of big, crazy earrings and bracelets to try to “express myself” during the week. I think I got in trouble pretty regularly for my fabulously tacky accessories! On the weekend, I experimented more with things like hot pink fishnets, cut up band tees, and funky skirts. I think by senior year my style evolved into something similar to what it is now — more vintage oriented. I do find it funny that years later I’ve reverted to wearing saddle shoes and loafers of my own free will all over again.
Is there a dress code at your internship? Have you ever had to “tone down” your wardrobe for work?
No, thankfully I’ve been lucky when it comes to working and interning in non-corporate dressing environments. Sometimes I can feel overdressed or even costume-y, but people are usually pretty complimentary, especially in NYC, which is where all my internships have been. I felt more overdressed going to college classes in Texas. I definitely remember trying to tone it down a bit there. I tried to only break out the pill box hats and cat eyes on the weekend.