"Fashion is a thing that can be taught, but you can't be taught style," says multimedia artist, singer and musician Brittany Bosco, a.k.a. Bosco, during a visit back to her alma mater, the Savannah College of Art and Design. "Those are the things that come from inside of you."
She was prepping to take the stage at the 10th annual SCAD deFINE ART, a three-day event featuring gallery talks, master classes and performance installations, including her set in conjunction with video projections by artist and Gold Coast Trading Co. founder Emeka Alams. Bosco returned to her old stomping grounds to perform her signature blend of R&B, soul, trap-influence and alt-rock/pop, including tracks from her 2017 album "b." (and a brief TLC homage).
Sure, Bosco graduated from SCAD with a degree in fashion, but she continues to expand and express her artistry and creativity into categories beyond her major. "I go to runway shows but it can get tricky for me with the pretentiousness in it: 'Who are you wearing?' 'Who are you sitting by?' 'Who are you with?'" she says.
In addition to her music, Bosco also founded Slug Agency, a "DIY, POC-driven collective" that offers creative services from animation to event activations. Like with her personal style influences, inspiration for the agency comes from the excitement and freedom she gained from watching Nickelodeon classics, like "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Daria." "[Slug] is a safe place for us to express our inner youthfulness and show other people they can do the same thing," she says. "It doesn't have to be so corporate all the time."
Now based in Los Angeles, by way of Atlanta, Bosco finds and studies inspiration in everything around her — and in the familiar past — for all her endeavors, be it music, supporting other artists through Slug or expressing her personal style, either on stage, throughout her day-to-day or both. She also has the insider track on the best indie and thrifting spots in her three main cities. (Think cheap '90s Gucci.) You may want to take some notes.
"My fashion sense is definitely surrounded by the type of music that I'm making at the time or the aesthetic that I want to have come across. I am a research junkie, so I love process and research when it comes to making new projects. I study everything from language to the fashion to the hair and really get super self-immersed into whatever that era is that I'm trying to get across.
My personal style is derivative from '90s influence and I love alternative R&B. I'll go through the lens of Gwen Stefani, but also I am inspired by Sade. I also like skate culture, so I try to mix highbrow and lowbrow.
I wear a lot of oversize clothes. I'm such a cozy girl. The 'cozy girl' aesthetic is really cool. It's like the girl who is always behind the scenes, always working, really good with her hands, but fly as fuck. Her shoes are always popping, so I'm here for it.
My latest album 'b.' was really inspired by the urban cowgirl because I live in LA. During the time I was coming out with the project, I just moved there, so everything was just very new. I had the beach, I had the desert, I had the mountains, so I was really inspired by nature for the first time. I wore a lot of silks, a lot of monochromatic beige, cream, blue and denim. Very simple, like Black cowboy, Western beach girl kind of vibe.
I thrift shop a lot. I shop consignment and antiques. Besides working with my stylists, I definitely go to smaller boutique-y, yard sale, thrift store-y, flea market things on my own. I also like local mom-and-pop stores which have select things.
In LA, I get all my pieces from the Silverlake Flea. I go to Out of the Closet. I'm also into this vintage/consignment store called Sleeper. I really like Recollection and Reformation. They have the best silk in LA, to me, and the best denim. I'm really in love with the C.K. Jeans from 1988. They remind me of the Julia Roberts 'Pretty Woman' look, which is effortless beauty and that's something that I like to try and have come across. I don't like my clothes to feel like I'm trying too hard. That's why I rely on shapes to do the work for me and comfort.
In Atlanta, I shopped at Value Village at one point. They have some real gems. You can find a lot of signature old Chanel and Gucci pieces. I used to shop at the thrift/consignment store Rag-o-Rama. I do [streetwear boutique] Wish, but I also like buyers who privately thrift. So I'll go to their house and they say, 'Oh yo, I got this awesome piece. You should come by and try this on.'
I find a lot of the stuff from estate sales. Oh my god, estate sales in the South are ah-mazing. Estate sales are popping down here. Ansley Park and Morningside are really cool areas in Atlanta that do a lot of estate sales.
Some of my favorite finds, I've lost. I found a '90s Gucci bag that I got at the Goodwill by the beach in Savannah. That was five bucks. I'm so mad I lost that bag. That was one of my best finds. I get a lot of Christian Dior pieces, like belts and shirts, there. My grandfather is an Alderman of Savannah. He's the connoisseur of this store. He gets all his Johnson & Murphys there. There's a lot of old money in Savannah, so people are often giving their stuff away. It's usually high designer. Keep that in mind. I also used to vintage shop at Civvies on Broughton, when I was studying at SCAD.
I don't ever go, 'Today I'm going shopping!' If I do, I'm going to Topshop or Zara just to grab something. If I'm riding my bike or I'm going to brunch and I happen to pass by some stuff, I'm like, 'Oh, this is new.' I don't really go actively looking for stuff, like yard sales find me. Clothes find me. Designers find me. I feel so fortunate that I don't have to try hard for the clothes to find me."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.