Kara Leinfelder Meyer
Today I’m meeting Kara Leinfelder Meyer in Raleigh, NC. Kara is a museum Associate Director at the North Carolina Museum of History and owns a design business, Karakurt Creative. We met because of our mutual love for art! Follow Kara @thekvlm.
Hello, It’s Ann. It’s great to see you. Can I interview your closet? Of course!
What’s your favorite T-Shirt? Where and why did you buy it? My favorite t-shirt is gray and says “Boo Radley Home Security Systems.” I picked it up at a Lit/Book Fair in Nashville. I have a degree in English so I’m a bit of a lit junkie.
Are you a sweater person or a sweatshirt person? Hmmm...really depends on the day. I have 3 or 4 sweatshirts that I have “redesigned” (ie. cut up) that are simply cozy and perfect for a cold night at home. But I love a good black cowl neck sweater. They go with everything.
What did you wear on your last date? A white vintage dress I bought in Kilkenny, Ireland. It has a tiered skirt and really delicate buttons. It’s super romantic and girly which is not my norm so I only break it out for special occasions.
How did the date go? What did you do? Well, we are still married so...went pretty well! We shared food over candlelight and wildflowers in mason jars then walked around downtown under the twinkling lights of the city.
What do you like to drink while getting ready for a night out? Champagne or red wine!
What music do you listen to while getting ready for a night out? Either Madonna/some kind of dance mix or straight up rock ‘n roll!
What was the most important thing you packed? It’s a tie: because you never really know how quickly the weather shifts in Ireland, I always take wraps...preferably plaid. And my rock ‘n roll combat boots, much to the dismay of my husband and customs. Being in the UK and Ireland always brings back my inner punk rocker. They look chic with jeans or a dress.
What was the most non-essential thing you shouldn’t have packed but packed anyway? Stilettos. You should always have a pair when you travel.
What rules if any did you have about getting dressed when you were young? I am the youngest of three girls so I got a lot of hand me downs. I always made sure I reinvented or redesigned things to fit my personality. I didn’t want to lose my identity.
What is the first item of clothing you bought with your own money? I started working when I was 15 at The Limited. I bought this white flamenco-style skirt and top that was 100% out of character for me. I think I was going through a phase of trying to be “normal” and white felt so safe and frilly. I wore it once.
What is the biggest splurge or investment piece you purchased? When I was in school in London, I bought three pieces by Ghost. At the time, that was a lot of money for me. It was the summer of 2001, Harrods was having their legendary end of summer sale and I just couldn’t resist! It was two black dresses cut on the bias and a rose colored gown with a fish-tail hem also cut on the bias. I still have that one!
Do you feel the investment has been worthwhile? Yes, 100%. Like Vivienne Westwood says, “buy less, buy better”. Those investment pieces will last a lifetime.
What is your favorite fashion bargain? How much do you wear it? I got a black silk Marc Jacobs dress on the clearance rack for $80 because the belt was messed up. I fixed it and probably wear that dress at least once a year. My overall bargain game is all about vintage, which I wear weekly.
Who was your style icon as a youngster? Madonna, Siouxsie Sioux, Michael Hutchence, Princess Di.
Who is one of your style icons now? I have two, for different reasons. Vivienne Westwood because wow...she’s just amazing and she really was the first to sound the alarm on the fashion industry’s impact on the environment. And, honestly, Angelina Jolie. Her style is timeless, super feminine and chic at times and totally minimalist and even masculine at others. I adore that.
What do you wear when you work out? Black. Head to toe. Usually yoga pants, black tank and tee with my black, silver and hot pink Adidas. Adidas forever!
What do you wear to the grocery store? See above!
What shoes do you wear when the weather is bad? Combat boots I’ve had forever if it’s really bad or a pair of over the knee wedge boots that have lots of straps. They are very “Joan Jett does the monsoons.”
What shoes do you wear when you want to show off? My closet is mostly made up of boots...I’d say my lace-up suede 4.5” heel granny boots. They are very sexy.
What do you wish you had in your closet but don’t have? Any and everything Vivienne Westwood, vintage Dior, and Alexander McQueen but not necessarily in that order.
What do you have in your closet that you should throw away but still haven’t? A black asymmetrical very Japanese/origami/Yohji Yamamoto inspired Marithe + Francoise Girbaud dress I have had since I was 25. I just can’t let it go.
What’s in your closet that you inherited from another person and still like to wear? My mom’s vintage navy Anne Klein clutch. My mother has great style. She wore YSL’s Rive Gauche when I was a kid. This bag just reminds me of that time period.
What is the best piece of clothing or accessory that someone else bought for you? My sister bought my wedding dress for me which just made it 1,000 times more special. It was a 1940’s Old Hollywood style strapless with so much bling. I’m not really a blingy person but when I put it on, I jumped up and down like a 6 yr old wearing Tinkerbell wings. It was ridiculous.
What piece(s) of jewelry do you wear everyday? A leather cuff my husband had made for me. It has a Charles Bukowski quote engraved in the round piece of silver on top that says “She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire.”
Do you wear a fragrance? I used to, everyday! Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir was my scent for years. Now, I mostly do essential oils like lavender or sandalwood. I like scents that are warm and earthy.
Thanks for letting me interview your closet Kara. I’m glad I got to know you better too. Now would you mind if I borrowed that 1970s dress you found at Gas Lamp Antiques in Nashville ?