What's in Your Suitcase? La Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia

Starting with her red hard-shell sticker-spotted suitcase, La Marisoul's things at the Gershwin that afternoon illustrated lots of the mélange of influences that characterizes her and the band's style.

La Marisoul loves dresses and is big fan of 40's and 50's fashion. "I love that a lot of the clothing back then was actually like for real women. Like back then, women were curvy and that was good! I don't shop at malls. I don't shop at stores that have fashion like that's in fashion because everything's for skinny girls, man."

"I just like to find dresses. And if I can, I'll alter them. I'll cut them. I'll add things to them. Like that skirt, that was for Dia de los Muertos, it's like a skirt I got at a thrift store and I bought all of these fake marigolds and we glued them together. I love making stuff. I love tutus and petticoats. I guess I just love to express myself through what I wear."

She also loves to paint her shoes though the first was done by her boyfriend.

Her "Ray Johnson" saddle shoes are a tribute to the visual artist and his pair of "John Cage" shoes.

La Marisoul's accessories pouch carries some of her influences, like la Tin Tan and The Specials, and the all-important red lipstick ("You gotta have red lipstick!").

Her fashion icons and influences include the Mexican performance artist Astrid Hadad, Annie Lennox, and her grandmother, whose glasses she wears. "She was like, Son tuyos." It's funny, I put them on and they just stayed and then everything else."

La Marisoul said she grew up as a tomboy and about seven years ago she had an epiphany.

"One day I'm going to be this old viejita and I'm not going to be able to wear what I want so I might as well just wear whatever the hell I want right now, I just decided one day. I just got tired of thinking that I couldn't be pretty and that I couldn't look feminine because I didn't think I could. And I just said, 'f*ck it man, I'm gonna wear whatever the hell I want. I am gonna show my big arms and wear colors. And if people look and laugh, well forget them. It doesn't matter.'"

"Fashion and magazines and TV tell you what you should look like because your body shape is like this, forget that sh*t. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and makes feel good and beautiful. That's my motto."

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