The Chest of Drawers

Erica Voetsch -

  • The Introduction.
    The Introduction.

    Let’s get right into it.

    Erica Voetsch is a visual artist. And not in the sense that she creates works of art with her hands to be displayed for all the world to see. But oh wait, she does that, too. Erica is a to-die-for goldsmith at her family’s jewelry store in Prairie Village and as been featured in the West Eighteenth Street Fashion Show multiple times.

    But we’re not talking about that kind of visual art! We’re talking about the fact that Erica is a visual artist by virtue of what she wears on her body. I swear, this girl is literally a walking Botticelli, except she isn’t nude. She is enigmatic. Every time I’ve seen her over the years, she has concocted some magical costume that initially renders her unfamiliar to me. It is only after a few minutes of being entranced by this sartorial wunderkind that I realize she hasn’t been dreamt up by an Early Renaissance painter; she’s simply creating a work of art upon herself.

    Her wardrobe has very few limits. There’s human-hair shoulder pads, golden-yellow quilted pants, and sequined-vintage goodies every color of the rainbow. With these powers combined, Erica is Captain Planet! No, just kidding. Or am I? Dun, dun, DUN…

    Anyway! Aforementioned items are sporadically strewn about a eclectically-designed bedroom/studio that instantly made me want to forget I was there to work and instead cuddle up with Erica, drink our coffees (I had a mocha, and Erica had an Americano because that’s how much cooler she is than me), and bathe in the insane morning light penetrating her room.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, I did get to work and this is what happened. Erica slipped on whimsical outfit after whimsical outfit, Louise (the delightful dog you’ll meet in a bit) became irrationally jealous of Erica’s beauty and could not be silenced until I let her sit for me, and I was granted a mystical look into this visual artist’s toolbox.

    Enjoy.

  • The One with the Ravishing Racks.
    The One with the Ravishing Racks.

    How do you decide what to wear everyday?
    When getting dressed in the morning, I try to give myself no limits and be very open to whatever mood washes over me. I want my outfit to be very functional for whatever my day has in store for me. I try not to over think it, and I ALWAYS try to check the weather! There’s nothing worse than seeing bare legs in the snow or being the sweaty girl in the vintage polyester in August!!

  • The One with Louise Stealing the Show.
    The One with Louise Stealing the Show.

    Advice to fellow wardrobe enthusiasts?
    Trust your instincts! Be bold! Have fun! If you think you are pulling it off, trust me girl, YOU ARE (even if you’re not)! Lastly, don’t take any of it too seriously… it’s just FASHION!

  • The One with the Gucci T-Shirt.
    The One with the Gucci T-Shirt.

    Where are your favorite places to shop?
    I like to thrift all over the city. Secondhand is great for me because when I’m in the studio I wear clothes HARD! That said, to get the good stuff, thrifting takes a lot of time and energy, so it’s even better when someone else does it for me! This is why I love We Are Tribe! These girls have an amazing Etsy, stocked with the coolest locally thrifted items.

  • The One with a Kitty Cat.
    The One with a Kitty Cat.

    “I love shopping West 18th Street for extra special pieces, especially Peggy Noland, Spool, and Birdies. If I want something one-of-a-kind or extra-extra-special, I like to go directly to the designer. Some of my local favorites are Kaylin Hertel, Peggy Noland, Ari Fish, and Hadley Johnson. We have SO MUCH TALENT in KC!”

    [Editor's Note: Erica's look in this photo was custom-made for her by the inimitable Peggy Noland.]

  • The One with those Quilted Pants.
    The One with those Quilted Pants.

    “And finally, my two favorite secret lil’ KC gems are GENX and Fashion in Motion at the Landing Mall. They are both spectacular! [Erica has informed me that these AH-mazing quilted pants came from GENX and come in an array of colors. If you get there before me, I forbid you to buy the black ones, size small. That is, unless you're buying them for me. Thanks!]

  • The One with the Black Boots... and a Red Pair.
    The One with the Black Boots… and a Red Pair.

    “I can’t stop wearing these black, leather, brand-less boots I found secondhand in New York. They work with everything! Dress ‘em up/ dress ‘em down.” (said brand-less boots pictured far right.)

  • The One with More Colors!
    The One with More Colors!

    Pare-down or stock-up?
    I really love being prepared for any clothing-related situation (ie: costume party, photo shoot, weather event, etc.) and to do that you’ve got to stock up on some crazy pieces.

  • The One with a Colorful Dress.
    The One with a Colorful Dress.

    “This is my favorite vintage dress.”

  • The One with a Girl and Louise.
    The One with a Girl and Louise.

    Describe your personal style:
    I would describe my personal style as very “all or nothing” but really, anything goes! I let the pendulum swing from very utilitarian, minimal looks to very over-the-top, obnoxious wild-style.

  • The One with the Collection.
    The One with the Collection.

    “I find great comfort in clutter! It soothes me.”

  • The One with the Beauty Supplies.
    The One with the Beauty Supplies.

    Make-up/ Hair/ Beauty product recommendation?
    I LOVE Kevin Murphy hair powder!
    I LOVE soaking in chamomile tea! Makes skin so soft and pretty!
    I LOVE MAC and Lime Crime for crazy lipsticks!

    Geeze! I can’t give away all my SECRETSSSSS!!!!!

  • The One with a Smirk.
    The One with a Smirk.

    “I can’t stop wearing blue eyebrows! I dyed them for a while, and now I just mix it up a little with make-up.”

  • The One with Work Supplies.
    The One with Work Supplies.

    “My job DEFINITELY affects my wardrobe choices! I’m a goldsmith so I work with metal, chemicals, and fire, and I have to wear an opti-visor on my head all day to see all the tiny details! I try not to wear anything too precious in the studio, which generally calls for a wardrobe change between my studio and the outside world!”

  • The One with the Tiniest Earring.
    The One with the Tiniest Earring.

    “I bought this little chair earring in Helsinki. It comes from a Finnish designer named Harri Syrjänen. He sold the little chairs individually.”

  • The One with more Vintage!
    The One with more Vintage!

    “I have some vintage that I may never wear again, but I just will not part with it because you never know! I try not to hold anything too precious, it is just stuff. I never want my things to own me! “

  • The One Where Her Beauty Shines Through.
    The One Where Her Beauty Shines Through.

    Three things you would die without:
    Red lipstick, Broadway coffee, and Tina Fey & Amy Poehler (they count as one HILARIOUS best friend).