Taking their clothing cues from a range of artists, Sisely Treasure and Kaz Gamble of Cooler Kids are style icons of the future.
So what exactly does punk debutante-inspired fashion look like? Just ask Sisely Treasure and Kaz Gamble of the aptly named band, Cooler Kids.
These two arbiters of downtown cool have spent as much time defining their fashion philosophy as they have making music. Treasure, whose mother actually named her after a pair of Sisely bell bottoms, has a penchant for Rudi Gernreich and for cutting up her vintage store finds. Her look runs more toward “Dynasty” prom queen with a subversive edge, while partner Kaz describes his style as “kind of like Bob Hope-meets-Duran Duran. Sort of a New Wave golf pro, but then I sneak in a little Paul McCartney from the Wings era with my hairstyle.”
No wonder conventional shopping methods escape these two musicians, who would rather raid fabric and vintage stores to cull together funky getups than arrive anywhere looking like just another designer-dressed rocker.
“We keep our image consistent with the music,” said Gamble. “When we were making the record [entitled ‘Punk Debutante,’ released in July], we wanted to hook up certain elements and reference certain things, and we keep that going with our fashion. So when we show up at a photo shoot and they really want us to wear certain things, if it doesn’t fit with our style then we don’t want to rock that. If they want to do us up Lil’ Kim style that won’t happen.”
On such occasions, Treasure transforms generic wares into funky looks by flipping shirts backward or wearing them as skirts.
This kind of fashion ingenuity lends itself perfectly to the self-made clothes the two love to fashion. They even have a sewing machine in their recording studio, along with piles of fabric, should the urge to design a new outfit strike them.
While the pair serve as each other’s muses, there are other musicians they look to for style sense.
“I love Björk,” exclaimed Treasure. “I mean, come on, the swan dress! She got so much crap for that and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. She was like dropping eggs when she was walking.”Part of their take on fashion, however, is buoyed by a fine-tuned sense of humor about the subject.
“I think it’s really important to have fun with fashion,” said Gamble. “A lot of people didn’t get Björk’s dress, but it just shows that she’s ahead of her time. Down the line, instead of saying ‘that’s the ugliest thing ever,’ people will be like ‘wow, she’s a genius.’ I think geniuses are generally misunderstood. I mean, we’re not at Björk level yet, but that’s definitely what we’re aiming for.”
Treasure also references ’Til Tuesday, Missing Persons and Berlin as style icons, if that gives you any indication of her aspirations.
“There are musicians who don’t consciously make an effort to make their fashion hot, but people still analyze it and people still try and emulate it. We just happen to be stylish people regardless of whether we’re making music and being on stage or not.
“I’m dressed up like I’m ready to go to a show even when I don’t have a show for weeks.”
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