This Stylist’s High-Low Style Is Perfectly Imperfect

When discussing our own wardrobe and style essentials, Coveteur staffers found their feelings could often be summed up with the phrase, “it’s literally the best.” In our new series, we are asking industry insiders to reveal the style essentials they turn to over and over again and simply can’t live without.

Shibon Kennedy described her approach to getting dressed as “chic dirtbag”. I say dirtbag in a loving way. It’s more like I like what I wear. I like dirty things. There is something about the story that comes with them. Kennedy would tell you that her perfectly imperfect manner of assembling looks is low maintenance but high aesthetic. She isn’t afraid of paint splatter or a stain.

When she fell victim to the NYC Omicron surge this past December, she created an isolation alter ego, Quarantina Turner, who was making editorialized outfits as if her life depended on it. She says the frivolity is the thing for her. Kennedy’s closet was made for this. It is home to eccentric faux fur from Junya Watanabe and Dries Van Noten.

A list that highlights modern fashion’s most esteemed includes Wales Bonner, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Van Noten. Classic tanks from Hanro and t-shirts from Uniqlo are included among the greats. Kennedy walks us through her eccentric style essentials.

When buying a new item of clothing or accessory, what are the boxes you want to check?

Even though humanity makes me feel bad, I still care about mother nature and the world. If I’m going to invest in a designer, I want it to be vintage or re-useable. I’m trying to be aware of where I’m spending my money. I get a lot of free stuff or credits at stores, which is one of the perks of styling. I’m trying to tread lightly on mother nature if I’m paying out-of-pocket for things. She is hurting a bit.

I don’t subscribe to the size scale if I’m talking about silhouettes and things. I will buy a double and put it in a paper bag. I’m not a person who looks for a specific size. I look at the shapes. If it’s a question of being too small then I won’t do that but if it’s a little bit bigger then I can make it work.

Do you think the more eccentric pieces in your wardrobe get the most wear?

I try not to wear them too frequently because they are the more identifiable things, but I always add them into a look to make it super special. The novelty pieces in my closet are nice. The classics, like the black blazer, get a lot of love because they can either tone down a look or take a dirt-bag-y look and elevate it.

I love a cardigan. My favorite is Wales Bonner. I tend to run cold in the winter so I layer it or wrap it around my waist. I wear cardigans around my waist in the summer so that I can ride my bike and not be seen as crazy.

I use Hanro mesh shorts to hide my bits from the public eye. I wear the black ones. The jam is them. I wear them under my clothes in the summer.

I like a white t-shirt. I own a lot of white t-shirts. It’s like tissue paper but it doesn’t rip. And UNIQLO. The white t-shirt that UNIQLO does is really good.

Pinstripes are my love language. Both my parents are doing that. I own a Versace men’s double-breasted navy chalk pinstripe blazer. It’s huge on me. I can either wear it as a dress or as a vest and then I can wear these wide-leg chalk-stripe pants. I like that trio.

My mom is a huge part of my style journey and some of my favorites are things she has given to me. She pulled together and was chic. She put a lot of care into her style. I like to look at old pictures of her. She gave me a gold bracelet. She traveled with my dad to different places, vacations and events. There is one from my graduation. There’s one from my sister. It’s like a photo album in the form of jewelry.

I have a lot of white tanks. I like Hanro. I wear the Touch feeling tank in black, white, and nude all the time because it’s smooth and delicious with a thicker strap. They’re amazing. Everyone should have one.

You have to have a trench. People stop me on the street when I wear my Junya Wantanabe trench.

I like to wear short dresses with over the knee boots, but I’m always cold. I’m obsessed with the Brother Vellies ones that are in a kind of neoprene material. The Prada ones are flat with the treads. Those are sick. I have had them in my closet for a short time and have worn them a lot.

I love a mesh top. A long sleeve crew neck is a must have. I’ve been in more of a braless face. Do it while you can. I got a Jean Paul Gaultier birthday suit. It’s great. I’m wearing nothing but underwear on my birthday.

There are gold hoops. Anything is gold. Also Ariana Broussard-Reifel. Her hoop has a beautiful quality and is more of a found object. Johnny Nelson has amazing jewelry. He made me Tina Turner earrings because of her. I wear my ring all the time.

The photos are courtesy of Shibon Kennedy.


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