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Meet The Muse: Kristine Karnaky

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Girl-about-town Natalie Joos spends her days casting for shows like ADAM and Yigal Azrouël and editorials for the likes of Mario Sorrenti and Mariano Vivanco, but her passion is vintage clothing. Joos’ blog, Tales of Endearment, spotlights Joos’ “Muses,” impeccably styled girls (and now, guys) who share her secondhand obsession. In a new partnership with Style.com, Tales of Endearment’s subjects will preview their shoots right here on Style File.

On her recent L.A. trip, Natalie Joos was inspired by local costumer Kristine Karnaky, who is perhaps better known as Miss KK. “The name [KK] has been going for three generations in my family, so I kind of just adopted it too,” she tell Style.com. “Plus, no one can ever get Kristine right, they call me ‘Kristen’ or ‘Kristina,’ even though it’s a pretty easy name.” She is equally as finicky about fabric quality and picking out vintage pieces as she is about the pronunciation of her name. Here, she explains why she wears almost entirely vintage clothes and what era she is stuck on these days. In the video by Moses Berkson (above), catch a glimpse of KK’s photo shoot with Joos.

What are you up to these days?
As of now, I’ve joined the union as of yesterday—my new title is Women’s Custom-made Cutter/Fitter. It doesn’t sound very creative, I know. That’s not my goal in life though; my goal is to make costumes for film. Most stylists and costumers will do anything, even if it’s a set of all-black suits for a British boy band or something. I’m into fairy-tale and ethereal. People know that’s what I do so I get hired a lot for that specific thing. I’m not always styling the next 90210 or whatever.

What were some of your recent projects?
The last video I did was a music video for an artist named Ren Harvieu from Manchester. She is super beautiful and very kind of waif, witch-looking. I did this music with Belles of the Black Diamond Field and it was a very creepy, mystical forest dance music video. That’s not out yet, unfortunately. I gravitate towards music videos because people have the most freedom to do what they want. It’s much more theatrical but I would also love to do movies.

Where did your love of clothes and costumes come from? Do you have parents in the industry?
My mom and my dad are very unfashionable, but I can see where I picked up things from them. My dad only wears 100 percent silk clothing because he is allergic to other fabrics. I’m a little bit the same way in the sense that I am specific about fabrics, but I’m not allergic. My dad would always go to the thrift store and buy silk shirts. My mom would just wear a Mexican muu muu and moccasins and oversize paisley print dresses. My grandma, on the other hand, wore leopard fur coats, stilettos, dyed her hair red, and all of that.

You only wear vintage, correct?
I pretty much only wear vintage, yes. I don’t know why that is. It’s not because I’m against new clothing; I am not into mass-produced clothes. I will try to buy new clothes and there is something about it that’s so unauthentic to me. Maybe because I’m living in a past life, I have no idea. I used to have a clothing line and I was into magazines and all of that and it really turned me off from the industry in the end. I am really into the craft element of things. I either make myself clothes or support local designers who have the same handcrafted look, or wear vintage. Specifically, pre-forties clothes.

Do you collect specific vintage pieces then?
I collect vintage in general. Not just thirties, but right now I’m into clothing from the teens. I just bought a really awesome eighties, hand-painted silk dress last week, though. The only era I’m not really into is the fifties with all that tightness, taffeta, and stuff. That’s not my style at all. I go with whatever mood I’m in and right now it’s Art Nouveau, flowery.

What movies would be your dream to costume?
One of my favorite movies is this movie called Peau d’Àne, which translates to ‘donkey skin,’ I think. It’s from the seventies and it has Catherine Deneuve in it. It’s like a fantasy version of Beauty and the Beast—it’s beautiful. Also, The Boyfriends, with Twiggy; it’s set in the sixties but based on the twenties.

Finish this thought: What’s old is new again when…
You create it that way.
For more from Kristine’s shoot, visit Tales of Endearment.

Photos: Natalie Joos

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