I met Lacey long before SOLZ was ever born and could sense right away there was something special about her. Having grown up in a family of artists, I think I learned to see the creative spark in certain peoples' eyes that set them apart. While any artistic talent seems to have skipped me in the genetic card game, I have always gravitated to people who have it. Every once in a while, I have seen people who's spark is more of a firework. Then there is Lacey Bannister. Its almost as if she created her signature headdresses as a way to capture and share the continual 4th of July that goes on inside her head. Children, do not try this at home....
SOLZ: Let's get right to it. At what point did you realize you wanted to pursue an artistic career?
LB: I fell in love with drawing, painting, and special fx from a young age. When I was a child I used to apply horror makeup to my little sister and have her run down the hall screaming. (Sorry mom, sorry sis) I'd sit in the middle of the busy intersection in front of our house and draw it for hours as cars sped passed. I truly thought I would become a special effects makeup artist until digital fx collided with my young world. After that, all I could think about was how I would recreate Jurassic Park.
SOLZ: Nature vs Nurture. How much of your skill is raw talent and how much is learned? What would you say you got from studying art and design in school?
LB: One of my counselors once said: "We can teach anyone to use a computer but we can't teach talent.”
When I began my collegiate career with hopes of entering the digital effects industry, I literally started at square one. I began by learning how to copy and paste a file. The whole program was frustrating and agonizing, but in the end, I graduated in the top 10 of my class. I don’t think I can give you a percentage, but my skill is definitely a mixture of both.
SOLZ: How does your personal background contribute to your concept of art and fashion? What is your inspiration?
LB: As a 3D animator by profession, I’m drawn to the art of movement. Dance and theatrical performance is a large inspiration when it comes to designing my headdresses. I also have an affinity for tribal, Burning Man, and historical fashions.
SOLZ: Tell us about Straight-Laced Boutique.
LB: Straight-Laced is a moon child born from ethereal thought and cloth combustion. It started off as a place to display my adventures in corsetry. It’s now transformed into a portal for other’s to view, experience, and purchase my fashion, headdresses, and Chris VanWart’s gorgeous hand fabricated silver jewelry.
SOLZ: You have quite the range, from computer animation to digital painting and fashion
design. Do prefer working on one over the other?
LB: I get creatively antsy, so I am constantly medium hopping. A typical day for me includes helping to lead an animation team for 8 or 10 hours, then coming home and designing, sewing, painting, or editing photographs until 1 or 2 in the morning. It must seem crazy to some people, but it takes a lot of creative fuel to keep my fire burning. I’m rather high-octane.
SOLZ: How would you describe your particular style - and why? Would you say you have a "philosophy"
about your art?
LB: I try to design in isolation without a lot of mainstream influence. I’m not out to create a copy of another’s idea or image. To me, fashion is just another artistic medium. I thrive on creating one of a kind pieces that speak to me first and foremost and am forever humbled that other’s find my artwork interesting as well. I gravitate towards people with a strong sense of themselves. I like to think I design for women who will throw on a headdress or jacket covered in metal and wear it to a dinner party in the Marina as quickly as they’d don it at Burning Man. I’d like to think I design for people who live on the other side of the consumerist’s mirror.
SOLZ: What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved in the fashion
industry?LB: I would give them same advice I’d give to anyone attempting to achieve a goal. Create what ignites your passion, not just what is popular. The love and energy you add to your work will create the following it’s supposed to. Trust yourself. Stay open.
SOLZ: You have been acquainted with SOLZ before we even launched, and your "SOLZgirl" painting was one of our inspirations. Why do you like SOLZ and how do they fit into your busy life?
LB: For most of my waking, and some sleeping life, I’m concocting or creating costumes. It’s a breath of fresh air when I can take the makeup off, kick back, and relax. My SOLZ flats are great for that. No fantastical distractions, just real and comfortable.
SOLZ: What are the chances we can get our shoes in a video game? Feathers on a backpack? Work with me here...
Honestly B, it’s hard for me to ever turn down a creative challenge, though I don’t think your solar backpacks need feathers in order to fly off the shelves. ;)
SOLZ: A genie comes out of a lamp and grants you one wish....
LB: More hours in a day!
SOLZ: What is next for Lacey Bannister?
LB: More of what keeps me creatively satisfied and constantly appreciative of all the thrilling opportunities that have, and hopefully will come my way in the future. I can only hope, that includes meeting more amazingly talented artists, designers, models, and photographers.
Thanks, Brad, for letting me speak a bit about my artwork and I hope we have more discussions and collaborations in the future.
SOLZ: No, thank you! We are looking forward to it. Much love.
Photographer: Brandon Caffey
Model: Aiesha Lanoire
designer/stylist/MUA: Lacey Bannister
Jewelery: Christopher VanWart
Silver Cuff - Christopher VanWart
Photographer: Chrisopher VanWart
Stylist/designer: Lacey Bannister
Red Hawk -
Model: Aiesha Lanoire
CelloDigitalPainting and SOLZgirl - Lacey Bannister