Drue Kataoka, Closets
Drue Kataoka

I love how Drue approaches life with the feeling that "we have a limited time to create" and as a result, there is an imperative to act on our impulses and intuitions, instead of just theorizing them. At the end of her video, she graces us with one of her many talents, and plays her handmade gold flute. The moment and the music leave you filled to the brim with emotion and wanting more. The flute, like Drue, is a "beautiful instrument" with which to communicate your thoughts and feelings and with her, self-expression is always aligned with a deep appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. In addition to being an accomplished musician, she is also a consummate painter. True to her Japanese and American roots, her art reflects her attraction to contradictions and to her position as a social and cultural bridge between the Eastern and Western influences that have shaped her. The style mixes the ancient art of Japanese brush painting with a typically American subject matter of jazz musicians, some of whom she has worked with, like Wynton Marsalis. Similarly, Drue's fashion aesthetic is from deep-down in her core - she has a Zen-like, uncluttered, and globally, sophisticated sensibility. I imagine that Drue's attention to detail and polish (which she attributes to her Asian heritage) turns heads everywhere, especially in Palo Alto where she lives - her indomitable Louise Brooks hair cut, bold red lips, and powerful thick brows (not to mention her screaming vixen YSL ankle booties, daring silver Burberry trench, and elegant, whimsical minature Selima top hat and veil). In Drue's usual keeping of breaking and remolding of traditions, she is the last descendent of the Kataoka Samurai family line - she was ceremoniously handed the family sword by her father, when it is only supposed to go to a male heir. And if this isn't enough, one of her blogs addresses the merging of Buddhism with technology. Something tells me she can fit the bill as a carrier of her family name with the honor it deserves, boxes of Prada shoes and all.

If you like Drue, you might also enjoy Sielian Lie, Leo Cerezo, Kate Roling, or Sarah Hamilton.

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What's Underneath