Whenever Lorraine Kirke loses a shoe, she adds the widowed sole to a chandelier.
“A good shoe should always be seen!” says the British-born clothing designer. “My inspiration for my clothing comes from my interiors.”
An unorthodox display? Maybe. But once we set foot inside Kirke’s brownstone—a stunning Greenwich Village dollhouse-brought-to-life with a gothic vibe—it all kind of came together. Think: retrofitted antiques, multicolored tin ceiling tiles and a wraparound bookshelf that envelops the kitchen and dining room like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast. It’s no wonder the house has been scouted as a backdrop for many a fashion editorial. The woman behind the West Village boutique, Geminola, is a hunter-gatherer of the fabric variety—ripping up and repurposing vintage finds into one-of-a-kind wares. Kirke shares the same design doctrine for fashion as she does for interiors: Both should be something you never tire of looking at.
“The idea for Geminola started with interiors and I thought all the fabrics, textiles, and upholstery would make beautiful dresses,” she says. “And I love recycling and re-using.”
She and her daughter Jemima, who plays flower-childlike free spirit Jessa on Girls, share identical smiles, a to-the-beat-of-their-own-drum sensibility and a penchant for frocks that look like they were slipped out of the Game of Thrones costume department.
“I think I've remained true to my original style over the years,” says Kirke. “I still wear lots of vintage dresses and jeans (with a little less holes now).”
While Kirke’s style errs more on the side of black-tee-and-jeans today, the Geminola girl is “eclectic, sassy, colorful, and a little Boho chic.” She had her girls play dress-up in Geminola’s lookbook—obviously the natural thing to do when you and your rockstar husband (drummer Simon Kirke of Bad Company infamy) give birth to a bunch of babes—she even launched a kids line after her granddaughters were born!
“There is nothing better than spending time with my grandkids,” says Kirke. “And when they go home, they take my heart with them.”
Another perk of being a Kirke? Getting decked out in Geminola for everything from prom to your character’s wedding day (throwback to the off-the-shoulder lace dress paired with a flower crown that Jessa wore—any chance that can be our “something borrowed?”)