Vocalist Kirby Lee, Photoshoot & Interview at the Janis Joplin Residence, San Francisco

Kirby Lee is the soulful songstress of San Francisco based band Hush Crush. Kirby hails from Kansas and landed in my favorite SF hood, the Haight. There seems to be a steady stream of creative and talented inhabitants in this eclectic neighborhood and Kirby resides in this category. Her style, “ Vintage rock glam with a touch of boho,” also mimics her musical tastes, and hey, our neighborhood too.

The Haight, what can I say? A vibrant enclave with an extensive rock and roll history laced with peace, love, and acid. The neighborhood is brimming with gorgeous Victorians once housing musical legends, the spirits I’m sure still lurking around. I spent the evening with vocalist Kirby Lee and Vintage proved to be the theme as we spent an evening chatting fashion of decades past, music and the band’s latest album. Kirby wore a silky red dress from the ‘80s as the iconic residence of Janis Joplin played as our backdrop. Modern-day Haight met with the old.

Who are some of your musical muses? 

I'm influenced by a wide range of artists-- Fleetwood Mac (Christine McVie specifically), Jamiroquai, Hiatus Kaiyote, Elton John, Lianne La Havas... just to name a few. But I'm inspired by so many artists. 

Can you talk about Hush Crush, how would you describe the band's style? 

It's still very much developing. Since we tend to put on live shows with a theme, that tends to guide our decisions in wardrobe, hair and makeup. I've been in black lace, glittery dresses, and once, just pasties and body paint! One thing in my look that tends to stay constant though (at least for now): my faux-hawk. :)

When did you discover your love for music? 

I've been deeply connected to music from an early age. I've been singing for as long as I can remember. One memory in particular that sticks out was watching Garth Brooks stadium concerts on TV and seeing the way he put on a show. The crowd's reactions and love for the music... it was something I aspired to do. To bring people together through music

You wear a lot of vintage pieces, which is your favorite style era? 

I’d say I definitely gravitate towards the 70’s— from the high waisted, flared pant (it gives the illusion of legs for days) to the shiny and fitted jumpsuits à la Cher, even to the oversized femininity of all things boho— it was an incredible decade of expression where fashion was fluid and experimental!

What are some of the favorite vintage pieces you own?

- A gold jumpsuit (it’s as good as it sounds)
- Late 80’s Lady Tigers breakaway jacket from a women’s college team back in Kansas

Any vintage shop recommendations? 

Locally, mine are all in my neighborhood, The Haight: 

- Relic Vintage: for well-kept fashions from the 20s-70s. Tip for those lucky small-waisted gals: there are some treasures for you in store here!

- Wasteland: everyone says Wasteland, but... it’s a good one
- Indigo Vintage Co-op: there’s one in Berkeley too, and expanding. Go here for good Levi’s and clutch tees.

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