Nicki Bluhm is the epitome of California style. Her band Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, which her husband Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips) is also in, boasts the kind of sweet harmonies and soulful melodies that conjure images of lazy summer days and warm nights spent skinny dipping under the moon. Her voice is that perfect combination of rough-around-the-edges with a smooth-as-honey base that just keeps getting better. Her 70's inspired style bleeds over into her own personal fashion aesthetic as well, with floral prints, dark wash flared jeans and wide brimmed hats making frequent appearances with her on stage.
It's no secret that we here at For Elyse adore Nicki Bluhm, and this last week we were lucky enough to snag an interview with the rock goddess herself! She came in to our Chico store and picked out a gorgeous outfit to add to her growing collection of key tour pieces. We discussed what it was like growing up in California, her personal style influences and what designers she's currently coveting. Read on, then go check out her site here to listen to her latest album!
We love the way you incorporate both country and rock n' roll into your personal style. How has growing up in California and being a musician influenced your style?
I grew up riding horses so a laid back ranch style is definitely infused into what I wear. Being on the road as much as I am, I also have to be comfortable. I wear a lot of denim because it can handle being worn over and over without the need to wash it often. Boots are a staple to my everyday outfit. It's important to protect your feet when you are loading gear in and out of the trailer every day. Safety first :)
We've heard you have a custom mobile dressing room, which sounds incredible! Take us on a virtual tour, what would we find in there? Are there any staple pieces in your wardrobe that you always make sure to bring on tour?
Getting a wardrobe case for touring definitely changed my life and my stage style quite a bit. The case is bigger than my closet at home so I am able to bring just about anything I want without it getting ruined or wrinkled. I had had about enough of living out of a small suitcase for up to 7 weeks at a time so for my birthday Tim got me the trunk. Now I have options when I go to play a show. It's more fun to preform when you feel good in what you're wearing.
What do you do for fun when you're not on tour, or working on music?
As soon as I get home I usually want to cook up a big healthy batch of Kitchari and eat it for about a week straight. Road food is one of the worst things about touring. I love to get outside and go on long hikes. I've traveled the entire nation many times but the beauty of being outdoors in California is second to none. As close as the band is on the road it's nice to get off tour and visit with family and friends we don't get to see on the road. And I usually hang pretty deep with my two black cats.
How does your everyday wardrobe differ from what you wear while you're on tour?
When I get home from tour it's hard to put a lot of effort into what I wear. I tend to sport oversized sweaters and comfy jeans. Being home I try to work on inner beauty more than anything else. Getting healthy, exercising, eating right, moisturizing skin and hair….all the stuff I don't have time to do when I'm on the road.
We love some of the past collaborations you've done in both music and fashion (loved your Gap campaign!) Are there any musicians or designers that you'd really love to work with in the future?
Instagram is such a great place for designers to show their pieces. Some that have been seriously catching my eye lately are: Stone Cold Fox, Idylwild, Bona Drag, Pamela Love, and one of my favorite jewelry designers from the bay area, Sweetbird by Ashley Bjorkland. Wearing anything by these gals is a dream.
Many of our customers are huge fans of yours. What advice would you give them about pursuing their passions?
Awww, that's sweet. Love the Chico love. Well, someone once told me that life is full of struggle so you might as well follow your dreams to make the struggles worth it. That really hit home for me. I try to think of that as often as I can.
Love Nicki's outfit? Here's what she picked out:
Jealous Tomato pants (Available in store only)