Fashionista turned singer, Bianca Di Cesare talks about having a fashion style all her own, transitioning from fashion entrepreneur to being a singer/songwriter, and her latest single, the catchy summer hit, OPEN SESAME.
W+D: You’re Italian from Rome, who are some of your favorite Italian designers?
Bianca Di Cesare: I absolutely love some of Claudio Cutuli’s hats and scarves, Giorgio Bratto Jackets, and I go stupid crazy when I slip on Anniel’s Soft Ballet shoes. I’m a Tom-Boy at heart. I recently discovered CUTULICULTS’ hats and scarves, which I love. When I think Italian Designers, I have this idea that they are handcrafted with “tanto amore” (so much love). I really like it when there are companies based out of little towns and do artisanal work. I’m all about high-quality meets originality, but it’s the story of some of these brands, the time and effort put in to them, and the idea they are crafted in my home country so skillfully that makes me love these pieces. The same happens with Giorgio Bratto’s leather pieces or Anniel’s ballet shoes. I also adore Ugo Cacciatori’s jewelry.
W+D: What inspires your fashion style?
Bianca Di Cesare: Pure vanity! Haha! Not only looks of course, but I also like to wear things I can sleep in too, so I feel very sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I’m into loose shirts, and love wearing comfortably used jeans. I’m usually inspired by the tomboyish looks (or what I call Parisian chic), to flattering basics, like slender or skinny-cut trousers in dark colors, cropped to really elaborate dresses or pieces I can add flats to, and I’m good to go.
W+D: There’s nothing wrong with pure vanity! How does being Italian influence your fashion sense of style?
Bianca Di Cesare: Being raised in Rome has prevented me from liking heels. How can you get past cobble-stoned roads with those?! I was never trained enough, which is why I can’t stand in them too long. Apart from these technicalities, I think my taste for good quality leather and fabrics definitely comes from knowing good artisanship and being raised amongst it as a standard, rather than the exception.
W+D: Who are some of your fashion designers/brands?
Bianca Di Cesare: I love Ann Demeulemeester, Vivienne Westwood and Mihara Yashuhiro, for my avant-guard looks, but for my day-to-day life, my closet is full of denim in all colors by THVM, and I really like soft T-shirts by Helmut Lang or by any brand so long as they feel good. I often buy second-hand designer dresses at Wasteland (tsk tsk), and discover I like all sorts of brands that way. My coats are Louis De Gama and I wear either leather, denim or army jackets by various brands. For heels and boots I like LD Tuttle, but more likely you’ll see me in used converse by Comme des Garçons.
W+D: Did you have a hand in styling yourself for your music video? How does your new video incorporate your fashion style?
Bianca Di Cesare: For my video I was inspired by geometric shapes and laminated fabrics. I chose Vivienne Westwood’s SS14 Line (that by the way just landed in stores). I picked some of her best pieces from her Anglomania Collection. For me, the laminated morph dress, and for my dancers, her oversized tees. This dress is very versatile– I’ve been wearing this style for many years, as she repeats it every season in different fabrics.
W+D: I love your new single, how does it reflect your personality?
Bianca Di Cesare: Like most people I can be happy or sad, and this is my happy positive side. I was inspired by the catchiness of the beat to make a song that referenced opening up to the world, being totally self-expressed about my passion for dance and music, and my desire for a ravishing love affair. I wanted something sophisticated and slightly campy which are two sides to the coin of my personality, and this shows in the video too. There was a lot of “tongue-and-cheek” in both the making of the single and the video. As much as it seems spontaneous and carefree, the song really reflects one of the hardest transitions of my life, as I transitioned from fashion entrepreneur to singer/songwriter. It’s been a wild ride, and the music video is a metaphor for this transformation.
W+D: You used to work in fashion, what did you do? … and how are you making the transition to music?… Fashion is becoming very big in music, singers and performers are setting many fashion trends and being style influencers. Do you see yourself in this role, are you comfortable in it?
Bianca Di Cesare: I did a lot of different jobs in fashion, from designing jewelry, to representing brands, to managing them entirely. I learned volumes about fashion and built life-long connections with groundbreaking designers. Despite the excitement the career afforded me, the singer inside of me wanted more time in the limelight. All my old colleagues are very supportive of my dreams and love to hear all about this transformation. I never saw myself as an “it” girl, someone that starts trends or follows them. I could be comfortable promoting fashion while growing as a singer, but only if I’m in charge of my styling. I would hate to be anybody’s styling guinea pig. I know what I like and I know what works.
W+D: When does your album release? Where can readers download your first single?
Bianca Di Cesare: My next single is coming out next month and I’m very excited about it. For now you can enjoy my recently released song and video OPEN SESAME. I’m being very calculated about the model I use to release my new music, which is changing rapidly in the industry. Because of this, you may not see a traditional album from me, but rather high-profile singles released in conjunction with specific social media campaigns.
All photos by: Sharlene Durfey