Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cinch It!

I met Deirdre so many years ago - the early 1990s, I think.  She got a job at the plantation where I work and we became fast friends after she corrected the way I pronounced her name.  "It's DEAR-DRA, DEAR-DRA," she proclaimed loudly in her slight southern drawl.  "Get it Right!"  For a white girl, I thought, she sure had a lot of black girl attitude.  Only thing missing was the neck roll.  I liked that she wasn't afraid to take me to task and she hasn't been able to shake me loose ever since.

Deirdre comes from one of those Irish Catholic families bigger than The Brady Bunch.  She shared with me one day early in our friendship that she had a brother, Kenny, who had a line of leather couture.  It was all studded motorcycle jackets and bustiers in fabulous colors like caramel, hunter green, mauve, etc.  The salmon with turquoise nail heads was one of my favorites.  When Kenny found out he had contracted AIDS, he got out of the business and moved to Woodstock.  Deirdre would become his caregiver until he passed.  Although I never met Kenny, I always felt a special connection.  Deirdre regaled me with stories of his brash, bold personality.  He sounded like the kind of person that lived life fearlessly.  The kind of person I'd want to be.

A few years later, when Deirdre was getting rid of some leather skins from the business, she gave them to me.  I had already begun my own journey in fashion trying to be as fearless as Kenny was.  This week, I finally used some of the leather from Kenny's collection to make a belt.  His spirit seemed to guide me.  It was like he was smiling down on me as I was guiding the leather under the sewing machine needle.  I am really proud of myself and the result.  Sometimes, I cannot believe that I've made this decision to follow my dreams and do something that I really love.  And I'd like to think that it is angels, like Kenny, who have made it possible for me to realize this dream.

Peace & Fashion!


  1. I'm loving the belt! Looks like Kenny's taste was fabulous!!


    Check out this site. My brother Kennys Bolero is for sale in LA at an on line boutique. How cool is that. Your the Angel

  3. The belt is stunning!! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story!! - Wanda

  4. Kenny was my Brother. I have a salmon leather motorcycle jacket with turquoise studs I would sell to you. God Bless you on your creative journey. I'm Ellen, ask Deirdre about me.

  5. I loved reading about what you're doing--congratulations. I met Kenny when I was in 3rd grade--he was my best friend Deirdre's big brother. He rode a horse to high school; he was beyond creative; he was a force. When Deirdre and I were 16, we went to hang out with Kenny in Woodstock one weekend for a "Longest Walk" weekend with Native Americans. Kenny opened my eyes to so much. I have a beautiful hunter green biker jacket in my closet, which I wear on special occasions; I love telling admirers that it's a Kenny O'Brien, a one-of-a-kind--just like him. ~Carol Greene Dole