This hair salon receptionist mixes yesterday's classic styles with today's trendy finds.
'I always knew I didn't fit in wearing conservative clothes but couldn't really dress the way I wanted when I was younger," says 26-year-old Kat Zielinski, who grew up in the small suburban town of Reading, Connecticut. But after attending Fordham University in the Bronx and spending her junior year in London, the Allston resident says the experience "opened up my eyes a lot more, especially to the punk scene." Mix in a love of both rockabilly and movies from the 1940s and '50s - Funny Face is her current favorite - and you get a free-spirited wardrobe that definitely turns heads. "People comment how different I look," says Zielinski, who works as a receptionist at the Mitchell John Salon on Broad Street. "It's the financial district. Most people are in suits." So a size zero platinum blonde sporting tattoos and vintage garb tends to get noticed. When asked how she describes her style, Zielinski says she doesn't like labels. "Just say eclectic." Done.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
Where She Shops
white-blond hair with
black accents is easy to
maintain, since she works
at a salon. ''I don't know
what the real color is anymore,
I've been dyeing
it for so long,'' she says
with a laugh.
Since her waist is tiny, Zielinski
had to poke extra holes in this
wide belt from H & M, then cut
off the extra fabric and refinish
While Zielinski is a vintage bargain shopper, these
retro round-toe pumps from Saks Fifth Avenue in
Boston were a Christmas present from her mom. ''I got
them about four years ago, before platforms were in,''
she says. ''I thought they were 1950s pinupish.
(Michele McDonald / Globe Staff)
In keeping with her love of vintage styles, she scored these
rhinestone-trimmed eyeglasses at See on Newbury Street. All her
many frames are flirty cat's-eye shapes.
Zielinski bought this scoop-back T-shirt at H & M to show
off her back art from Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge. The
design is taken from a ring that her grandfather gave her
grandmother, who shares Zielinski's love of fashion. ''She
gave it to me when I graduated from high school.''
''I love full skirts. They're
so comfortable,'' says
Zielinski, who bought
this circle skirt for
$5 at Love Saves the
Day in New York's East
Village. The crinoline
underneath is from the
1960s. How can she be
sure? Her mom wore it
to her junior prom.
FOR VINTAGE Since Zielinski likes to combine clothes from various fashion eras, she frequents thrift shops like The Garment District (200 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-876-5230) and Urban Renewals (122 Brighton Avenue, Allston, 617-783-8387). "I'm so little, I often find great things to fit me in the kids' departments," she says. FOR TRENDY Admitting she's addicted to celebrity photos in tabloid magazines, Zielinski says she often mixes the latest styles in with her retro pieces. She says H & M (350 Washington Street, Boston, 617-482-7001) is the best place to go "for up-to-date things you don't want to invest in." FOR TATTOOS Zielinski went to Redemption Tattoo (2094 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-576-0097) for the striking design on her back, as well as the grouping of "Salvador Dali ants" on her left foot. "I grew up in white middle-class bubble world," she explains. During her summer trips to Spain, Dali's "surreal, confusing art introduced me to a different world."