Astrid Kensinger is charmed by vintage

Assistant professor Astrid Kensinger loves platform shoes and is wearing a pair of pastel-pink platform shoes from Topshop.
Assistant professor Astrid Kensinger loves platform shoes and is wearing a pair of pastel-pink platform shoes from Topshop. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

1950s-style dresses are the weakness of Astrid Kensinger. By Alyssa Woo

Q & A

Astrid Kensinger, 46, assistant professor of visual communication at Nanyang Technological University School of Art, Design, Media. Married with an 11-year-old daughter, she is originally from San Francisco and has lived in Singapore for about eight years.

Describe your style.

It is eclectic and depends on the location and mood I am in, but I usually toggle somewhere between 1970s boho and 1950s-style dresses, boots and leather jackets. I like anything that is vintage or looks vintage, especially 1950s-style dresses.

When did your interest in fashion start?

My mum inspired me. She would buy the most gorgeous dresses from the 1940s and 1950s from thrift shops and surprise me with them when I came home from school.

Who are your favourite designers?

Japanese designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, and British labels such as Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

Who are your style icons?

I like women who can fuse the feminine and the tomboy.

What are your favourite pieces?

My leather jackets and platform shoes. I have too many dresses and I love them all.

Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

I love bright red lipstick, bird patterns and skulls, platform shoes and big sunglasses.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

I try not to spend a lot of money on a single piece of clothing. I prefer to have things I can wear and not be terrified of damaging.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

I do not like buying clothes online since I cannot try them on. I once bought a pair of blue boots that were too painful to wear and too expensive to return. That was a bummer.

What is your most recent buy?

A short, orange swing skirt with huge silver grommets. It is great for work because it is colourful and easy to mix and match. Plus, the grommets remind me of American 1990s dance-music group Deee-lite, whom I adored when I was in college.

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

Comfort is essential and maybe humour too. Find ways to not spend too much money. It is more fun to find one-off vintage pieces.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'Charmed by vintage'. Print Edition | Subscribe