Whurl Gurls: Interview with @KateGabrielle

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I’ve loved following your blog for years now! What are your thoughts on the evolution of blogging? What was your favorite part of blogging when you started vs now?

Thank you! Based on the blogs that I’ve been following for the last several years, it seems like most of them have either turned blogging into a full time job or they quit entirely. There aren’t many “just for fun” blogs left out of the ones I originally followed in 2010-2011. I think a lot of people have moved over to instagram for outfit posts, but I miss SO many blogs. There are a few that I still check in on once in a while, even though they haven’t been updated now for over a year! There’s even a few that have disappeared entirely from the internet and I’ve used the wayback machine to view them, lol! There was just something special about each blogger having their own little corner of the internet, and I feel like instagram just doesn’t have the same vibe. Especially since I personally prefer bloggers who write little daily scribbles to go with their posts and that doesn’t happen quite as often on IG.

My favorite part of blogging is the same now as when I started – the idea of having a semi-consistent journal of the last seven years of my life. I was much better at posting regularly at the beginning (I think sometimes I posted three times a day, which seems insane to me now!!) but I still try to post at least once a month. I also love the idea of being part of a community, and I have found so many lifelong friends through blogging 🙂

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At what age did you discover vintage and how has that influenced your personal style? Do you have a single piece of vintage that’s the most meaningful to you?

I’ve loved vintage clothing since I was like 7 or 8 and was obsessed with the outfits Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden wore in Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. And I got even more obsessed when I discovered classic movies when I was 13. But I didn’t realize buying that clothing and wearing it myself was even an option until I was 22! It definitely allowed me to add more fun to my wardrobe. I feel like many 60’s and 70’s dresses are much cooler and more exciting than most of the clothes for sale today, so I feel like my own personal style became cooler and more exciting by proxy once I brought some of that vintage goodness into my closet.

Each piece in my collection feels special (even the ones that I agonizingly part with for closet sales) but the most meaningful piece is a pink bell-sleeve lace dress with a giant pink bow on the front. [I attached a picture of it] It was one of the first vintage dresses I purchased that actually fit like a glove. Being a 5’ tall modern size 8, that doesn’t happen very often lol! But it’s so perfect that I’ve worn it for a lot of special occasions, and that’s just made it even more special to me over time.

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Your portraits are stunning and your pop culture pins are hilarious. Anything new coming up with your art?

Thank you so much! Right now I’m working on holiday designs, like a 2018 calendar, Christmas ornaments, and some new Christmas card designs. And long-term I’m working on a book of drawings inspired by the artwork in classic movies (like the portrait of Laura, or the painting of Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.) I’m obsessed with films where a piece of art plays a key role in the plot of the movie, and I want to pay tribute to those films in my own small way 🙂

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What’s a typical day in the life of Kate?

I’m a night owl so my day typically starts around 11:30AM, when I say ‘good morning’ to my cat, Arrietty, who sleeps in late every morning with me. Then I get dressed, pile on eyeliner, and make my breakfast. I check my emails and usually have a message from my brother, who manages my business, with a list of made-to-order items that I have to produce for order packing that day- things like buttons, pocket mirrors, nostalgia kits, art prints, and custom pendants.

After I’ve finished making items to ship, I’ll usually take my instagram photos for the day. Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious and particularly creative I’ll try to take more than what I need for that day but most days I come up with 4-5 ideas and narrow it down to three photos. Then I’ll edit my pictures on the computer and schedule them (I use the Later app for scheduling Instagram posts.) If I’m taking outfit photos, now is when I’d take them. I’d put on my favorite music (usually The Killers) and take about 40 shots to get *one* that I like enough to post.

By this time it’s usually late afternoon and I’ll go for a walk with my dad in the park. I stop at the grocery store on the way home each day to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner (I’m super boring and usually eat salmon with roasted asparagus almost every single night) and get an unsweetened iced tea from McDonald’s.

I get home, cook my dinner, and then the rest of the night is creative time. I usually stay up until 3-4am each night working on drawings, new products, working on the coding on my shop’s website and brainstorming new ideas. I also order any supplies I might need, which is especially fun if I need stock for my 90’s kits. I stock them with all kinds of fun things from the 90’s (think stickers, trading cards, pogs) so it’s actually part of my job to scour ebay for cool things for the kits. I love it!

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I’m obsessed with your new delias tumblr!! I also know your obsession with yesteryear covers a lot of ground including old Hollywood and much more. Can you say a bit about your feelings on nostalgia?

Thank you! For me, I think my obsession with 90s nostalgia is entirely because I had a really fun childhood and things that remind me of that era take me back to a time when I was my happiest. I miss how carefree life felt when I was a kid and silly stuff like delias catalogs, Clarissa Explains it All reruns, and smiley face backpacks are like mini time machines.

Now my nostalgia for 60’s fashion and classic movies is entirely different. I just LOVE the aesthetic of 60’s fashion. Everything from vinyl mini skirts to avocado refrigerators. I love it all! And with classic movies, I am just more attracted to the way movies were constructed back then (my favorite era for classic films is the 1930’s and the 1960’s.) Visually I find them more interesting than modern movies. I love the style of acting, the innuendo, the running time (most movies weren’t 2+ hours like they are now) the humor, the set designs, the color palette in 60’s color films, the way movies just felt larger than life and more grand than they do now (the quote “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” comes to mind, from Sunset Boulevard)

I have to add though, I’ve been making it a point recently to emphasize the difference between nostalgia for vintage style and nostalgia for the values of the time. Especially when you start getting into the 40’s, 50’s nostalgia, you run into a lot of people who like “the good old days” not for aesthetic reasons so much as political ones. That whole “when men were men and women were women” kind of crap. So I feel like it’s important now to differentiate between loving the aesthetics, art, fashion, movies, and style from loving the antiquated value system that went with it.

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