Everything old is new again—or at least that’s the case for Jemima Kirke. The artist and actor has spent her summer days between Brooklyn and Miami, hunting for fashion finds in person and online. On her list? Bob Mackie couture, O-ring dresses, kids pajamas from the ’40s, Lurex pants, erotic-themed T-shirts, and mesh tanks from the ’50s, among many other things.
She’s also looking for anything by Patricia Field, as the mother of two reminisces about days spent visiting the stylist’s 8th Street storefront—back when Amanda Lepore was a staffer—in Greenwich Village. “The stuff there was just perfect and beautiful. I got my first bikini there in probably 1997 or ’96. It was seafoam and white gingham, a tube top style,” Kirke tells Vanity Fair. But her favorite place to source one-of-a-kind finds is estate sales. “I love an estate sale more than anything. You get two for one. You get the stuff with the element of curiosity of someone’s home and why they’re selling it,” she said.
But between her pursuit for vintage wares and spending quality time with her children, she’s also been revisiting literature she was assigned to read in high school, including Wuthering Heights and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and rewatching old films. “I think a lot of times we’re trying to accumulate books and movies rather than take them on,” she said.
Perhaps it’s because Kirke, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in painting, is sharing her love of cinema with students ages 16 to 21 by teaching a small movie-themed class organized by Red Hook Art Project, a local nonprofit organization. With Kirke at the helm, the selects she screens are designed to introduce her class to films the self-described “movie narc” feels are influential, important, and worthy of discussion.
“Sometimes it’s confusing,” she says. “If you don’t understand why something is there, it’s probably because it’s unnecessary. People who make these movies, people make choices. You can be a movie maker and make a choice one day.”