Beat from the street (February 12, 2014)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer.

Heather Peoples, local artist 

How would you describe the way you dress? 
“I usually try to borrow from other time periods. I also like to wear things that are tailored and fit well. You know, they are usually quirky.”
Where are you from originally?
“I’m originally from the coast. I have lived in different places, including the inside of a van for four years. After that, I went to metalworking school and came here.”
What is a staple of your wardrobe? 
“I have this wilted bow tie that I always wear. The cool thing about this bow tie is that it helps me with colour coordinating, in the sense that I can revolve my outfit around the bow tie. I also appreciate vintage.”
What inspires you creatively? 
“Well, the first time I saw HR Geiger’s artwork, I was really taken aback. I also am inspired by Hi-Fructose Magazine and outsider art. After getting into these, I wanted to make sure I made art that came from my heart.”
What is your personal style philosophy? 
“Honesty is really important when it comes to style.”
Jessica Michaels, sales associate at Royal Peasantry

How do you prefer to dress? 
“Well, I try not to look like total s**t. I basically just throw things together, so I guess you could say that I have a ‘90s style philosophy. I am used to Florida, so today I am wearing three pairs of leggings. I usually dress in layers now.”
Style Inspiration: 
“Stevie Nicks.”
What do you like about Asheville? 
“I’m receiving less odd looks compared to other places.”
How do you feel working at Royal Peasantry influences your attitude toward style?
“Everybody has their own distinct style here at Royal Peasantry, and I feel like I bring something completely different to the store. I used to work at Betsey Johnson, so I feel that the quirkiness of her style rubbed off on me a bit.”
Style philosophy:
“Wear whatever you want. Dress for you and not for anybody else.”
Britney Payne, hair stylist/occasional dog sitter and Chris Donzi, insurance salesperson

How do you prefer to dress? 
Britney: “I always opt for comfort and warmth, but I love color, so something that incorporates all of these elements.”
Chris: “I dress for comfort too, except when it comes to work, then I dress more professional.”
What is an essential element of your style?
Britney: “I try to be different.”
Chris: “Clothes must fit, that’s the most important. I primarily opt for hiking clothes, especially cargo pants. Anything that’s comfortable fits the bill.”
What do you guys like about Asheville?
Britney: “Well, we’re originally from Alabama. Our friends live here, and whenever they go on vacation, they ask us to come watch their dogs. So, this is our vacation. We’ve been here a few times, and we really like it.”
Do you have any style inspirations? 
Britney: “Dreadlocks inspire me, primarily because of their beauty.”
Chris: "I used to be a String Cheese Incident groupie, so their look kind of rubbed off on me.”
Photos were taken by Jorja Smith. The original version of the article was published on The Blue Banner.