Ms. Karen Schijman – Photo By Paul Storey – San Francisco 2012
I was lucky enough to meet the inimitable Karen Schijman at the beginning of the last M83 tour about a year and a half ago. She is, in a manner of saying, my style Goddess. I’ve always been simultaneously fascinated if not a little judgmental about the role of fashion and beauty in the music world. For some reason, it never made sense to me. Why were we focused on what female singers were wearing, what fashion shows they were playing, let me fall in love and focus on the MUSIC! Designer collaborations, capsule collections… It has always been a world I failed to comprehend. And then I met Karen. I was a chucks, t-shirt, glasses woman on stage prior to meeting her. One look at tear sheets of what I actually dreamed of wearing and Karen make it very clear that by the end of the year I’d be in sky high heels and dresses so mark her words. I initially bristled and found it over indulgent to start collaborating with someone on something as quotidien as clothing, but I ultimately surrendered.
To this day I thank my lucky stars that I did. I remember stepping on stage in New York in my first K. Schijman creation and I was transformed. My feet tapped differently, my chest was held high. With a cinched waist and double stick tape for days I owned my performance in a new and staggeringly more confident way. I finally understood the role and creative genius of the incredible designers, artists and stylists so many gifted female musicians surround themselves with. It was a revelation in the art of performance and how a simple shift in what you wear aids your audience in digesting your music and helps a performer tell a story, plain and simple. You dictate your vision as a musician just as much with your songs as you do with your presentation, from set design and photography to clothes and jewelry. It is, after all… a show. Karen’s brilliance has led to me fostering wonderful relationships with several designers which I’d like to share with you now. These artists have lent their creations to me and I am lucky to have growing bonds and admiration with them and their work. Enjoy!
First are foremost, the iconic Pamela Love. I am doused in her jewelry from head to toe on any given day of the week. Whether on stage or in the ocean by the ruins of Tulum (picture below Pamela) I live in her gorgeous pieces and I’m constantly stopped on the street when they catch people’s eye. She consistantly makes unique, tough, timeless yet feminine pieces.
Last year for Lollapalooza, Karen went on the hunt for a dress that would stand out in the Chicago heat. When we started working together, I quickly became quite the little black dress devotee, but at the time, in light of a some crappy life turns, we decided to go brazen and make sure I felt like a mother fucking princess. I wore a red dress that left very little to the imagination and it was as liberating as I could have hoped for (above). The dress was by the lovely and gifted Kimberly Ovitz who had no idea until after the festival that I had worn her frock (pictured above). Since then she has been absolutely wonderful with me and I have a feeling we will be doing many more collabs together in the future.
Next is Houghton. What is there to say? Katharine made my Grammy dress and my god it was a job well done. Anthony raised his eyes higher than high when he saw me and proclaimed he had never seen me look so beautiful. Her pieces are so gorgeous and unique and truly tell a story.
Last but definitely not least, Esteban Cortozar. My god this man is a genius. I was lucky enough to wear one of his dresses during Grammy week and I couldn’t have felt more badass. I canot wait to see what he does next, hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to work with him again on all things White Sea.
If you want to contact Karen about any styling etc. she can be found through this blog. Please just write me a note!