Kirsty McKenzie designs imaginative clothing, which has been shown at Toronto’s Alternative Fashion week and can be found on her etsy. She also creates one of a kind costumes, favored by many creative musicians and performance artists.
What did you dress like in high school?
High school was kind of a confused time…started out in vintage tees, baggy pants with boxers and life jacket belts… then took a weird preppy/ but raver-ish style blend… then kinda 70s ghetto fab in my last year, with Fawcet hair, fur coats and distressed bell bottoms.
What are the biggest differences when you design costumes as opposed to a regular collection?
When I design costumes I try to reflect the artist(s), or band’s character/ persona, and have a very specific individual in mind. Costumes can stand alone, and aren’t always harmonizing with a group of designs. Costumes are usually more free and fun, and although my collections are somewhat cheeky at times, I usually go for a more luxurious evening feel, but often with a dark twist.
Who do you imagine to be the typical person who wears your designs?
The customer can be a musician, an eccentric, or simply someone who wants some special pieces. I have seen/dealt with customers of all ages almost – from early 20s to 60! My biggest customer of the moment is 48 and lives in Florida, and I recently made my mom’s dress and jacket for my sister’s wedding. I can totally do some more “toned down” designs, but I personally don’t believe in “dressing one’s age”.
What were some of the major influences behind your most recent collection?
Grace Jones and Siouxsie Sioux… Japan, flowers, Gothic punk, romance…it was aptly named PARADISE POISON – dripping with flowers and gems, and licked with a poisoned tongue. Music was a huge influence, and I mixed the music for my show combining Grace Jones vocals from her new album, layered over an 80s Ministry industrial beat.
What was your last Halloween costume?
Psycho Clown Nurse (nurse costume with crazy clown makeup, bloody gloves and needles!)
Kirsty’s Top Ten Fashion Designers
Jean Paul Gaultier
Comme des Garcons