Saturday, 10 December 2011

Style Inspiration: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Today’s post is a fairly picture-heavy affair. I want to document and celebrate my newest stylistic inspiration source, the band Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. These three siblings from London create awesomely fun music with a vintage R&B/swing/country and western/blues flavour. They are ridiculously young and ridiculously talented. Check this tune out:

All three of them play pretty much every instrument you can think of and when they play live, as I witnessed them doing last week, they swap positions behind each the instruments throughout the set, each having a turn at vocals as well. Oh, and their mum and dad play with them when they are on tour to produce a fuller live sound. Too. Cool.
This band were kind of drip-fed into my consciousness, I can’t remember exactly when I first heard about them but I do recall Harriet (of the Poetry and Clothing Project fame) at some point this year insisting that I ‘You-tube’ them as she was convinced I should love them. They are a fascinating bunch. They’ve been playing together onstage, as a family, for over ten years, which would mean the youngest was in single figures at that point. Lewis in particular has a deep obsession with the technical aspects of recording music (as this article proves). He even built and later expanded a recording studio using predominantly pre-1950s equipment which spread through their family home. This was whilst he should have been doing his A-levels.

How this family managed to develop and explore this jointly shared passionate for the same types of music PLUS sustain a working relationship that spans the entirety of three separate adolescences is beyond my comprehension. However it was/is achieved, it provides the Kitty, Daisy & Lewis band some depth that you hope will provide the longevity that young acts rarely achieve. All I can say is that I guess none of them spent too many evenings with their mates drinking cider and smoking fags down the park.

Their influences are worn firmly on their sleeves as well as imbedded in their music. It’s unlikely to have escaped your notice that I’m a fan of retro/rockabilly style in general and I find their take on it really fun. Kitty and Daisy wear retro-style modern garments as well as original vintage pieces. They usually through it all in the mix, with kitschy makeup and hair styles straight from 1950’s Hawaii. I love that the evolution and experimentation in their looks reflects that they are real young women (currently aged 18 and 22), not manufactured pop starlets with stylists calculating their looks for each appearance and photo shoot. These girls clearly dress themselves. They look like the most exciting characters in Grease. They are the girls at school who’ll teach you to smoke and let you hang around as long as you carry their bags and don’t expect a smile from them.

So, how are their looks comprised? They can often been seen in Pin-up girl separates like high-waisted shorts, tight scoop neck tops, halter-neck tops, diner-waitress blouses and hip-hugging capri pants.

When it’s time to go glam, they opt for stunning vintage wiggle dresses. The demure length of the mid-century wiggle dress off-sets the figure hugging silhouette, references their curves whilst still looking totally chic.

The vintage dresses they wear are usually made from the most awsome fabric, reflecting the craziness and imagination of many of the 1950s/60s fabric designers. I wonder how aware they are that their clothing reflects their music so well? Gingham (country and western), leather (roll and roll), early 1960s dress silhouettes (R&B), and so on, I find it fascinating. I'm also so happy to see a clear dose of Hawaii-iana. I'm really obsessed with that whole mid-century tiki vibe. I should make like Kitty here and russle up myself a look to reflect that in time for next summer:

Are there any bands or musicians that are inspiring you stylistically at the moment?


Unknown said...

OMG I LOVE these guys! I heard about them a little while back but lost the details and couldn't find them again. Thanks for a great post! I love the clothes they all wear, and the tiki look is growing on me, I feel a potential NYE look coming on ... assuming I have anywhere to go!

I love that the entire family play together, it was something I used to hope my family would do (we're all musical and play different instruments) but we never really played together (literally and figuratively) so it never happened. I love it when other families do manage it, I think it really adds to the music.

Caro Emerald is really the only other style icon I currently have in the music world. I'm terrible, I don't really listen to music unless it's a film soundtrack or is played in a show I work on so I'm not really 'up' on current music or bands.

molly said...

So Awesome! I love this type of music, it reminds me a mix between Cake and old school R&B. Thanks for sharing it!

Amy said...

I totally need that parrot dress pictured last. Where is it from?!

Unknown said...

I adore "Kitty, Daisy & Lewis"! I remember going to one of their concerts when they first came to Australia. It was so fun! I also adore those patterns you picked out. Beautiful! xx

Roobeedoo said...

Oh yes I love them too! You know Imelda Mae?
I love that they look so squeaky clean and sharp!

Meg the Grand said...

I saw them in concert when they opened for Coldplay - I was in love with their style then! Thanks for sharing this style post!

Vikki said...

I'm going through my rolling stones phase (I love the young keith richards look, lots of eyeliner an he just looks so cool!) also still obsessing slightly about the waterboys raggle taggle look. In the new year am definitely gonna try and make myself a highwayman/long jacket like their violinist wears :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! So nice to meet another SA blogger :) Your gift of choice is a truly unique and lovely one. Not only does it look fantastic but its functional too! Cant get any better than that! Christening gifts .

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