Bluegrass THREADS is thrilled to feature the fabulous Bianca Spriggs, as a local style standout. A phenomenal poet and Lexington art scene staple, Bianca’s style is just as creative and vibrant! If you haven’t seen her amazing Transylvania 2012 Commencement address, check it out here.
Photo credit Rebecca Gayle Howell
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m a writer and multidisciplinary artist based in Lexington. My background is in the arts so you’ll find me everywhere from a poetry reading to hamming it up onstage to hanging art in a gallery. You can learn more about my exploits here: www.biancaspriggs.com.
Describe your personal style…
Part tomboy, part kept woman. Think cowboy boots peeking from under the hem of a sari-silk caftan.
Who are your style icons?
Anyone who looks completely at ease in what they’re wearing whether it be a ball-gown or a pair of sweats. For instance, Michelle Obama. I’m always checking out how she arranges her outfits. She’s tends to stay on the conservative side (no surprise given her current role as First Lady, right?) but knows what to do with color, fit, and fabric. And she manages to have fun with her clothing. It’s clear she learned her silhouette, complexion, and palette, well before the White House called. Am I gushing?
What does “bluegrass style” mean to you?
Bluegrass Style for me means, if it feels good, wear it. Attention to comfort seems paramount in this region. I think it’s because we’re pretty laid back around these parts.
Any favorite local spots to shop?
Because I’m full-figured, it’s hard to find a ton of stuff in my size at the boutiques. So, I get the basics primarily at a chain store where I know I can shop, and accessorize at boutiques like Street Scene or Third Street Stuff. I even do some hunting for unique jewelry and scarves at thrift stores or Goodwill. Because I have an international aesthetic, I also make a point to stock up on ethnic jewelry (I’m a sucker for cowrie shell anything and bulky, uncut bling), bags, and caftans at events like the Roots and Heritage Festival once a year.
Any other bluegrass hotspots we should check out?
In terms of just being inspired, I love Scout Antiques and Michler’s. I always walk out with something unique to complement my surroundings whether I’m at my office or at home or in my studio.
What are some style challenges that you face, and how do you deal with them?
Again, shopping for a full-figure can be a challenge because style can be really trendy and not every trend is for every body, literally. So, for instance I have a larger chest, so a faux animal vest isn’t necessarily my best bet. I know no matter what I weigh at the moment, if I can stick with timeless pieces, classics that I know for sure look good on me, later I can “wild out” with accessories. As a foundation, I prefer a fairly basic and well made outfit in terms of color and silhouette. More often than not, you’ll see me in my “uniform,” a black top and dark denims. I don’t like a ton of patterns covering my body, but I also don’t mind to ham it up with unique jewelry, shoes, bags, and scarves.
Accessories make my wardrobe supremely versatile. I also have varied taste when it comes to clothing combos. I used to fret that my style wasn’t really like everyone else’s. But, then I realized, oh, yeah. I’m an artist. I get to be a little eccentric. I’m going to put on a cut-up retro t-shirt, jeans, bangles, and heels and rock out. I just am. Or, when the mood strikes, I’m going to wander around in a dress and cowboy boots and big hoop earrings. But being comfortable in those combinations allows me to own them. The common denominator can be color choices and fabric choices, but ultimately, it’s me!
How important is hair and make-up to your personal style?
Oh, boy, hair. I have really big, curly hair. I used to fry it, dye it, lay it to the side, and all that, but I have come to realize that my hair, for all its poof, is actually very delicate. Thick but fine. Kinda like me. So, I stick to quality products that work for it, get it trimmed twice a year, and baby it to death with moisturizer. My new favorite is the Argan Oil line by One ‘n Only which you can get at Ulta or Sally’s. I’ve got a couple simple styles that work for my face and then I just let it do its thing.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis. My skin is just too prone to breakouts and I have large pores. Best thing I can do for makeup is to drink a ton of water, take my vitamins, and use a moderate amount of facial cleanser, toner, etc. I have to admit, there’s nothing like Lush’s Ocean Salt to really make me feel pampered if I’ve had a rough day. And those cucumber towelette facial wipes you can get at Rite Aid. (I’ve even got my husband into a nice relaxing face towelette before bed!)
But for going out, I use a light powder and concealer, and head straight for the eyes. I am a sucker for a dramatic eye. Black liner, bronzes, golds, and pale shimmers, make me feel like an Amazon queen! My all time favorite lipstick is Estee Lauder’s Tiger Eye. And my favorite fragrances come from Jesus del Pozo. I can’t overstate the power of a gorgeous perfume…as much a head turner as any daring blouse! I love Duende and Halloween the best from his line.
Which are the accessories that you never go without?
Cute but functional bag. Cute but comfortable shoes like beaded moccasins. iPhone in a snazzy, yet resilient case.
Talk to us about fall style. Animal print (especially reptile) is big for fall 2012—do or don’t?
It’ll be mostly about color for me. This year I’m feeling plum, saffron, olive, and cognac. I’m also on the hunt for a little twinkle, so my accessory will be the ever snazzy brooch.
Oooweee, do I love animal print! I suggest if you’re going for reptile, go gator, not python. But use it sparingly, especially if it’s a stand-out color like fuchsia or something, on an accessory, not the whole outfit. It’s all about the power of suggestion. Another print I love whenever I see it is ostrich. That counts as a reptile right? Didn’t they use to be related to dinosaurs?
Thanks, Bianca! You can check other local style features here, here and here.
If you or someone you know is a local style standout, send us a photo to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.