When Kisha Vaughan moved from Sacramento to Seattle 10 years ago to work in the music business, she wasn’t picturing it quite like this. In 2008 she vacated a post at Universal Music and Video and, in a case of having the right skills at the right time, scored a spot dancing next to Macklemore at Neumos. This was back then he was merely honing his “Thrift Shop” skills, not profiting wildly from them. Vaughan was 29 years old at that first gig—over the hill in the world of hip-hop steps and stadium concert sway—but three years and one toddler later (and one baby on the way), the Emerald City Elite choreographer and instructor still has crazy moves onstage, and when she’s stepping out of the dressing room.
What are you wearing?
The Sonics jersey was a hand-me-down from Ben [Haggerty, aka Macklemore], the pants are from H&M, and I bought the hat from a street vendor in New York. The little wedge on these Prada booties makes the look that much tighter. It’s like mascara for your butt.
The Macklorette look
Ben and Ryan Lewis have that gold flossy thing happening, and we bring the female layer of that flash. It’s a ’90s Fly Girl style, but it’s very DIY. We put fringe on bra tops and take two different pairs of leggings apart and sew them into two two-tone pairs. And we wear Doc Martens with everything, but when we get attention for our outfits it’s always because of the pieces we customized.
How style is like dance
When you see movement, when you see someone making pictures and telling stories with their body, you want that. You hold your head higher and sit up straighter. When I see someone living their style, I do the same thing.
I saw an Eileen Fisher ad with these really dope extreme harem pants—they’re a full-on Aladdin adventure. I had to get them, and I had all kinds of fun with the ladies in that shop; we were just kicking it.
Paying it forward
I put effort into my look even when I’m just going to class to sweat, and I ask my students to do the same. I teach them that you don’t have to be dressed up to be dressed well, and that confidence and individuality put an exclamation mark on everything else you do.
Published: August 2013