Style Icon: Lady Miss Kier

by:   |   May 27 2014

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Running into Lady Miss Kier at the Paradise Garage block party a few weeks back was a watershed momentit straight split me open with some early ’90s NYC club-kid feelings. After the event, I went home and spent a solid few hours combing over her blog and entering many subculture Internet rabbit holes that were nothing short of a raging delight.

I’ve always loved Lady Miss Kier for her bangin’ voice and unmistakable style. And yes, GAL is definitely not the first site to honor this vision of a woman, but my love for her runs deep and true. As I scoured her blog, I had so many moments in which I realized that the two of us are really kindred spirits. I mean, both of us are obsessed with the Patty Hearst scandal AND loved Faye Dunaway in Network? It’s like our meeting was meant to be.

Beyond having great taste in all things weird and beautiful, she’s a strong supporter of human rights and makes dad jokes like, “I had to Cher this amazing photo of Cher.” Oh LMK! Her unique style, voice, and openhearted vibes makes her a legend and an O.G. Grown Ass Lady.

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Lady Miss Kier in Times Square, among the peep shows and strip joints. (Image: theladymisskier.tumblr.com)

Lady Miss Kier grew up in Pittsburg, PA, and landed in NYC when she was 19, to study design; she soon submerged herself in the late ’80s art and music scene in the East Village. Eventually, like so many artists who came before her, she got priced out of the E.V. and moved to Willamsburg, which was an industrial ghost town back then. In 1989, after a brief stint at FIT, she met Dmitry Brill (“Supa DJ Dmitry”) and they started their musical experimentation. Soon afterward, they befriended DJ Towa Tei, a Korea-raised Japanese musician, and they formed the infamous retro dance/electro band Deee-Lite.

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In 1990, Deee-Lite’s  unique club/house sounds—and over-the-top fashionexploded, and made the band major stars. And let me say that as much as “Groove Is in the Heart” is what essentially put them on the map, and was, of course, a super catchy pop-dance jam, it was a mere sliver of what made them so rad. There’s countless fantastic tracks on their 1990 debut, World Clique, most of which didn’t become mainstream hits like that song did. (Which is probably for the best, anyhow.)

Lady Miss Kier’s style was straight-up revolutionary. It revisited a ’60s retro vibe, but exaggerated it and made it almost cartoony, with extreme silhouettes and aggressive candy-raver touches. This post-disco, space-age drag queen look wasn’t easy to pull off, but she did it with aplomb. The woman can rock a skin-tight Pucci catsuit like nobody else. She was largely responsible for making Fluevog’s “Munster” the hottest shoes in the Manhattan club scene and beyond, and LMK’s out-of-this-world spin on vintage looks made her a style visionary.

LMK_club style

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Lady Miss Kier and Willi Ninja

Miss Kier continued her music career long after Deee-Lite split up in 1995. And today, at age 50 (!), she still DJs worldwide. Always a supporter of LGBT rights and racial equality, Lady Miss Kier is not only a fashion icon, but she makes her voice heard about things that matter: just check her Tumblr for nonstop cleverness and plenty of philosophizing about the environment, politics, and love. This woman is truly, in her words, de-groovy.

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Jenny

Jenny

Creative Director of G.A.L.
Jenny

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  • NumChuck Lee

    Totally agree – she was also smart and brave – supporting bernie on her facebook 🙂