If you’ve been to an open mic at Moe’s or dang near any other music spot in town, you’ve seen Kelsey K. Parks hosting the event or singing in it. Parks sparkles, sometimes has pink hair, and is built in equal parts of adventure, effervescence, and hella intelligence. The woman spent five years in China, can speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, is available for translating work, and the air around her crackles with positive energy.
DGO is enchanted with Ms. Parks, and she quite kindly took the time to talk with us about her compelling, minimalist street style.
“I mostly stick to things I think have a good line or color. I like to have a few Easter eggs in whatever I’m wearing, too, like buttons, colorful socks, and small pieces of jewelry that have stories.
A lot of my stuff has stories … I have a necklace that my friend JoeBob gave me before I went to China. It’s a little sun face … It’s graphically stark, and the lil’ guy, he kinda has a grumpy face. I can pair it with any of my outfits and it looks like a tiny secret that slips out from my shirt or under a scarf. (JoeBob) gave it to me because it has the color red and red is a protective color for travel.
I am a minimalist. I don’t like to have more than I can put in a large suitcase. I’ve moved between China and here and haven’t really stayed in a single place very much, so I like to have everything compact. I live in a RV, too. The space isn’t there for a large wardrobe, and I like it that way. I think that you can create hundreds of outfits with the right pieces.
When I do (wear makeup), I like to make it a special thing. I call it my war paint. It pumps me up and I am ready for battle – a job interview, a date, a performance … When I was growing up, I never wore makeup because I was pretentious about it and I thought it wasn’t natural. Now, I can wear makeup and feel totally comfortable with it because it is playing dress-up and painting and art and armor, and it can tell a different story about me.
When I was younger, I used to like everything to be tight: You’re thin, you show it off. After being in Asia, there’s this magical, quiet way of enveloping your body in flowy, large shirts. It’s sexy. You move in a certain way and your fabric falls on your body and people get glimpses but don’t get to see the whole thing. Also, it’s so damn comfortable wearing these flowy shifts and big sweatshirts or having your hair in a normal bun. I picked up a lot of that. I like the modest, elegant flair to fashion in Chinese metropolitan cities.”
Interview edited and condensed for clarity.Got rad style or know someone who always looks fab? Send DGO a heads-up on who to interview next at [email protected]Patty Templeton