Despite carving out a successful fashion career that involved working with some of today’s hottest brands, it was only during lockdown that Brianna Lance decided to turn her true passion into a career. “During the pandemic, when life was stripped away, I looked at what made me the happiest and it was painting. Really, my whole career has always been multi-hyphenated, but one facet always sits at the top, so I just moved being an artist to the top of the priority line,” she says. Indeed, Lance is a true creative polymath. Art may be her focus now, but she can also list designer, stylist, DJ, musician, brand consultant and magazine editor on her impressive resumé. With fashion having had such a profound impact on her life, Lance credits her love of fashion back to her childhood: “We had a dress-up box with all of my mother’s outfits she had made for herself when she was a teenager. It was like magic,” says the artist.
I think of fashion less as trends and more about finding treasures for your own personal style”
And that lifelong love affair hasn’t disappeared. Today, with three solo art shows in New York under her belt and a fourth in the pipeline, Lance’s innate personal style continues to influence her art. “My jewelry serves as little talismans that appear in my paintings. The colors I wear also appear in the work,” she says. What does this mean when it comes to Lance’s own wardrobe? It all depends on the agenda. Practicality is a big consideration when it comes to painting, but Lance also relishes the opportunity to dress up in clothes that make her feel her best. “I love getting dressed up. It’s an impractical love of all things special when I pick looks for events – a direct opposite to my painting clothes. I am crawling all over the floor and covered in paint when I’m working, so often I just wear underwear or throw on overalls with nothing. That is probably why I love going out and getting dressed up so much – it’s the antidote to being half nude covered in paint.”
Nature is another endless source of inspiration for the artist. “The ocean is my muse. I paint her into half my work.” While opportunities for travel have been limited of late, nostalgic memories of vacations still allow Lance to connect with the sea and harness its creative power. “I love the Caribbean. It is the place I feel instantly healed by just the quality of the air. The houses in the trees painted pastel colors, the plants feeling so alive, the clear, warm water – it’s a work of art,” says Lance. “I feel very free on vacation. It’s my time to wear things you don’t have opportunity to in New York. I have a pair of feather shoes I take on vacation and that is the only way I can describe it – a time to wear feathers, both figuratively and literally.”
When it comes to a label that Lance can rely on both at home in New York and away on vacation, Zimmermann stands out from the rest. “I love the details in all of the clothes. The fusing to make a skirt stick out, the little embroideries, the raffia whip stitching – all of this makes each item feel incredibly special.” From printed silk dresses to relaxed cotton co-ords, the Australian brand is renowned for its luxe bohemian aesthetic that evokes a sense of wanderlust. But beyond being reserved for vacations, the timeless silhouettes, beautiful prints and signature feminine touches within Zimmermann’s collections are ideal for special events wherever you are in the world. “I think of fashion less as trends and more about finding treasures for your own personal style,” says Lance. And that’s exactly how she approaches her own closet; seeking out pieces that speak to her passions of art, nature and travel, and that are a joy to dress up in – especially those by Zimmermann.