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July 04, 2021 8 min read 5 Comments

A few months ago we were introduced to a young lady who has a knack – and a love – for pinup-style modeling and a unique, fresh style. Kasandra Bridgewaters, known on socials as @BluegrassKas, is a beautiful, articulate, inspiring woman with a refreshing outlook, a strong sense of self, and an admirable reverence for the beauty of pinup as an artform.

The timing happened to coincide with our launch of Gayle, which channeled that era and style, so Kasandra did a fabulous photoshoot modeling some of the pieces from the collection and opened up for an insightful Q&A about her upbringing, ambitions, and her introduction to Double D Ranch.

DDR: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your origin story. Born in Kentucky, now a California girl, you’re a bit of a southern-West Coast blend. Do you find yourself more rooted in or more identifying as one over the other?

Kas: I am definitely a blend! Bluegrass by nurture, Cali by nature. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. When my mother accepted an American Airlines job transfer to Northern California, I followed with alacrity – balancing part-time college with full-time work at a BMW and Ducati motorcycle dealership. I find West Coast culture liberating. One day you might find me double-clutching through the mountains of Highway 1, en route from San Francisco to Stinson Beach. The next day? Soaking up the sun’s parting rays at a local ranch, bonding with playful foals. Fridays feature sushi topped with fried jalapeños and complimentary rounds of chilled saké. Saturdays are for frying crispy catfish fillets and grilling up savory rib tips – food to soothe the southern soul. I am impassioned to explore the colorful spectrum of variety that life affords. In this way, I embrace its finite nature as an opportunity to graciously, and fluidly, evolve.

 

DDR: How do you describe your style? The kind of clothing, outfit, overall look makes you feel your best?

Kas: An evolving pursuit of femininity. My love of choice compels my exploration of the art of fashion’s possible. Whereas I might struggle to ascribe my style, Freud would – without hesitation – characterize it as a function of the Id: An instinctual drive compelled by emotion, affection, and libido. When selecting outfits, I do not allow thought to manifest where it does not belong. A hand-painted, vintage Catalina bathing suit immediately transports me to a sandbar in Kāne‘ohe Bay. On that day, I became a princess of Hawai’i – matching the rhythm of the waves with the motion of my body; a Polynesian Hula girl, complete with hibiscus in my hair. On a different day, the raw dissonance of Robin Trower’s Bridge of Sighs inspired me to unearth my bright white Go-Go boots, don a dark blue polyester sailor dress, and spend hours teasing some towering hair such that I could pose beside the afterburner cans of a Navy fighter jet from the 1960s. Bluegrass through-and-through, country music is my catalyst! Out come the Wrangler jeans, Prescott boots by Double D Ranch, fringe everything… and importantly, my Kentucky twang. The intricacy of vintage clothes is inspiring: the metal zippers, heavy fabrics, delicate laces, and pearl snap buttons. That said, whereas wearing vintage is certainly a lot of fun – it sometimes comes at cost. Walking around a public event all day in a 1940s dress, not realizing there was a sizable hole in an inconvenient location, evoked a blush without a brush! Pulling that thread further, maintenance of vintage garments is a labor of love. It requires a healthy combination of hand washing, tailoring, and mending. Truly, a trial-and-error process. For this reason, I prefer mixing my vintage pieces with more modern wear.

DDR: We love the verbiage you use to express your respect for the art of the pinup; it’s a beautifully worded and reverent appreciation for the wartime origin of the genre. How did you first discover your love for and/or find yourself immersed in this area of fashion art?

Kas: I have the utmost respect and admiration for the men and women who have fought so bravely and selflessly in service to our nation.The freedoms we hold fundamental to the fabric of our society are attributed directly to their sacrifice. As such, when one adorns the attire of an ethnicity, society, or moment in time, one assumes a unique responsibility to capture the gravity and grace of those represented. Whereas the pinup genre has evolved in many creative and inspiring directions, I often find modern interpretations divergent from its humble origin: a necessary levity to balance the burdens of war. Pinups of Alberto Vargas-vintage were flirty, fun, and feminine – but always with innocence, class, and purpose. It was my natural attraction to these fun-loving attributes which prompted the purchase of my first vintage piece: a 1950s Western Swing dress. The pastel green-and-white fabric hugged my body as if tailored, making me feel uniquely beautiful with each wear – even to this day. Coincidentally, this particular dress threads nicely with my passion for another historic feminine figure with direct ties to my southern roots: the cowgirl. A classically beautiful protagonist who bravely negotiated the dystopic, Wild West – where even small girls carried big guns. Since then, I have successfully endeavored to curate a museum-quality collection of original pieces spanning the late 19th through early 21st centuries.

 

DDR: You have a strong and diverse portfolio, is modeling your primary focus?

Kas: I adore modeling and would warmly welcome the opportunity to pursue it as a primary focus.I graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Bachelor of Science degree in a pre-med curriculum. After school, I co-founded a business with a vision to establish a new airborne layer of global wireless infrastructure; with intent to bring advanced telecommunications to those who need it most. While actively maturing the company, I also volunteer weekly at the American Cancer Society. Whereas I enjoy business – modeling is my passion. I embrace the art and complexities of the pose, disciplining myself to properly contour each part of my body to create the desired look. My favorite days are ones spent in front of the lens! I get giddy about shooting a new collection or on a new location. Most recently, the privilege to put together a bespoke gallery for Double D Ranch was exhilarating!

 

DDR: How were you first introduced to Double D Ranch?                         

Kas: My search for western fringe boots with an important feature: infallibility. Several years ago, I initiated a dedicated effort to identify and acquire a defining set of fringe cowgirl boots. Not any boots; the boots. A pair unlike any other. When I came across the Prescott line by Double D Ranch, I immediately knew my search was over. I had found the ones – the ultimate fringe boots! The confluence of color, style, and quality was notable to even the most refined eye. The meticulous attention to detail was just the icing on the cake: inclusive of tiny, silver, mini-studs on the ends of each strand of fringe. I loved them so much I bought two pair, in the event something happened to the first! Since then, I have continued to be impressed by Double D Ranch. Those same affirmations of quality universally apply across their product line, solidifying them as the premier lifestyle brand of the West.

DDR: You modeled some pieces from the recent Gayle collection – very on-brand and perfect for you! The pictures were beautiful. Did you have any particular favorite pieces?

Kas: Few collections teach the connoisseur humility like Gayle by Double D Ranch. I love the embroidered floral and cactus accents of the Don’t Fence Me In Jacket, Skirt, and muted mint boots. Interestingly, the raw weight of the material caught my attention. It felt uniquely robust; quite high-end. This, harmonized with staggering attention to detail, contrast stitching, sparkling rhinestones, and exclusive embellishments, renders the Gayle collection unmatched. Above all, the artfully-mended goat suede Cowgirl Queen Jacket was my favorite! I could barely walk a city block without almost every passerby extolling their warmest compliments in admiration of this fashion paragon by Double D Ranch.

 

DDR: You have a full day to spend however you want – where can we find you/what are you doing?

Kas: I was made for sunny days!  My perfect moments would be spent in the central-Pacific, feeling the warm sand between my toes on hidden beaches in O‘ahu, bareback atop a chocolate palomino horse alongside the Caribbean Sea in St. Lucia, or feeling cool afternoon showers grace my body in the lush tranquility of tropical Costa Rica. More practically, I enjoy using every free moment to perfect my pose. I love impromptu photoshoots! Few activities are as invigorating as turning seemingly innocuous objects and environments into world-class prints. Outside of building a business, volunteering, vacationing, or shooting, you are sure to find me at the gym – puttin’ in that work!

DDR: Who inspires you?

Kas: The women of the Greatest Generation. They embody the qualities of poise, finesse, class, tenacity, and gentility, even while shouldering the weight of a world rife with discord. These are those whom I desire to model myself after; the ones that inspire me most. In my eyes, two stand above the rest: my grandmother and my mother. I fully derive my sense of fashion, style, and grace from these amazing women. They never left the house without looking exceptional, even if simply to go grocery shopping. As a young girl, I was enamored by the sophistication and refinement of both their speech and attire. As years passed, I began to appreciate that this was by no means a function of their dress; but rather, the pureness of their inner beauty shining effortlessly upon the world. As such, they shall always have my unconditional love and admiration.

 

DDR: What mantra or life motto do you strive to live by? And/or What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? (I welcome you to answer both if you’ve got them! I offer the alternative because sometimes this question stumps folks)

Kas: Set the tone for new relationships by showcasing your inner beauty. In this way, the sanctity of the first impression is ensured. Best advice?  “If you wannaget, you gotta’give.” One must meaningfully contribute to society, lest one solely assume the posture of a consumer.

 

DDR: Three things you don’t leave home without.

Kas: My absolute essentials! Lotion (hands, feet, and lips absolutely have to be moisturized!), lip-gloss (either red, or glossy natural), and my phone.

 

DDR: Your best/favorite fashion tip.

Kas: Find solace in the discipline of dress.The modern world has assumed a consistent trend toward informality. Whereas this relaxation has some important features, one might note general losses in the art of urbanity. Elegance in attire, for better or worse, was historically valued as an indicator of competence and confidence. Noting some obvious fallibility in this thought, we have accustomed as a society to increasingly casual dress. However, by virtue of my passion for pinup, I find strong arguments still exist for maintaining a healthy balance between the formal and informal; two include: (1) the overall goodness of introducing measured discipline into one’s life; and (2) like language, finding opportunities throughout the week to partake in more elegant dress enhances one’s fashion prowess. Whereas before, I might get dolled up once in a blue moon. Now, I find myself in a consistent rhythm of new tips and techniques. More importantly, with opportunities to actually put them into practice. It is true, self-confidence does not correlate directly with one’s attire. That said, taking time to present in a higher-register is dependably viewed by many as refreshing. One stands out in a world of informality. Soon you shall, as I have, notice that it is not your dress that captivates – but rather, your inner beauty.

5 Responses

Aunt Ria
Aunt Ria

July 11, 2021

What a wonderful interview by Kasey! Although I may be a bit bias, as she is my niece. She has always been very respectful and sweet, with an illuminating smile and personality. She is definitely the fashionista of the family; on a whole other level, beauty and brains. Your grandmother (Dorothy) would be proud.

matt
matt

July 09, 2021

what a woman! very well rounded, I’ve had the honor of having a couple conversations with this gal and let me tell ya, she’s a role model not only for young women, she makes everyone want to be a better person, she is wife material of I ever knew it

Ernie
Ernie

July 09, 2021

Kas is stunningly beautiful and has an incredible wardrobe. She is polite and always has a kind word. A true beauty.

Sheila Webber
Sheila Webber

July 06, 2021

Great article on Kas.
Lovely and intriguing model.
She articulated the interview so well.
It is so nice to see the values that Kas has as a lot of young people don’t represent those values.

I hope to see her in more of your articles and modeling your beautiful fashions.

Women of color expressly represent westernwear so well throughout the 19th and 2Oth centuries well into the 21st.
I know as I , too, am one of them.
Keep up the great work You All do Audrey,Kristen and The Ladies.
Your Favorite Shopper,
Sheila Webber

GobiGirl
GobiGirl

July 06, 2021

What a breath of fresh air. DON’T FENCE HER IN!!!!!!!

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