01 April 2007

Interview: Piney Gir

Hmm. What can one say about Piney Gir? She's a Kansan-turned-Londoner? She plays a mean accordian? She is No. 1 Thrift Store Fashionette? Here, lovely and amazing Piney was nice enough to talk to Ms. Kansas about her unique style. Photo from pineygir.com.

Q. Who and what inspires you?
Life and living!

Q. What town in Kansas are you from? Did you spend significant growing-up years there?
Kansas City. Pretty much my whole life, apart from the farm in Wisconsin for a year and that town outside Seattle where Twin Peaks was filmed for a couple of years.

Q. Do you have a cat?
No, I don't like cats—achoo! I LOVE DOGS THOUGH! But I am not home enough to care for a doggie they are pretty high maintenance pets.

Q. What do you wear as you go about your "everyday life?"
Dresses, every day.

Q. Is there a fashion figure in history you identify with? Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, my Grandmother.Do you have an idol from history? Well Hildegard Von Bingham was pretty cool. I love Dolly Parton but she's still alive. She's a legend though.

Q. Do you wear jeans?
Only if it's really really, really cold.

Q. What contemporary or past designer's work do you like?
I'm into vintage clothes, but I don't champion a designer as such; I get excited by whatever I find. The thrill of the hunt is all part of the fun of wearing something. I can't afford to be into Chanel or Prada, and the treasures I find in vintage boutiques are one of a kind!

Q. Does costuming (in its performative aspect) inform your music/songwriting? Costuming does affect the Piney persona, but the songwriting happens very much inside my head and has nothing to do with anything else really.

Q. Are you much into the London fashion scene?
I did take some evening courses in fashion at St. Martin's School Of Art And Design and have been to a few parties and shows during Fashion Week, but I'm not a designer myself (unless customising things counts as designing).

Q. Did you grow up sewing? Were you in 4-H?
My Grandmother was an amazing seamstress and she taught me a lot. We used to get lost in her basement, design dresses and make them together, that was fun... We started doing that when I was really young like 4 or 5. 4-H was never my scene. I tried to be a Girl Scout, but they seemed more concerned with learning how to moonwalk than making crafts or walking around in nature, and that was the stuff I wanted to do.

Q. Do you knit, crochet, sew or otherwise "craft?"
I have just learned to knit. Galia from Psapp taught me how in the tour van, [but] I'm not very good (yet). I do love to needlepoint! It's so calming. You can't think about anything else; it's like meditation. I like to stitch unlikely things, like a hot dog on a tie or a pin up girl on an apron. I also like to make sock puppets.

Q. What do you listen to?
I love all kinds of music, but lately I've gotten into old stuff like Dolly Parton [and] Johnny Cash. I have just discovered the Rolling Stones. As new stuff goes, I am liking that Beirut album, and The Hidden Cameras are GREAT. Psapp is amazing as well. I just like good music whatever it is!

Q. Has being from Kansas affected your aesthetic?
I don't think being form Kansas has affected my style much [cuz] there are all kinds of people in Kansas City. But I do think my Grandma has affected my style. She looked like a Hollywood starlet, but she was a simple country girl. She had the most amazing dresses and a lot of them she handed down to me (we are the same size!) Even at a young age I wanted a 50s frock, not a new store-bought dress. I credit Grandma Margie for that.

Q. What do your boots look like?
Ummm... Which pair? Right now I'm wearing a pair of cowboy boots: brown with black toe tips and black flames on the top with red piping.

Q. Do you have any style obsessions or quirks?
Yes, vintage dresses, boots or stilettos, tortoise-shell sunglasses, mismatched earrings, flicky black eyeliner.

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