Michelle Ponce's Artistic Inspirations

Local artist Michelle Ponce is all about details -- especially when it comes to her wardrobe.

The member Indie Arthouse in Phoenix admits that while many of her days are spent wearing a lot of black, she likes wardrobe pieces that are very rich and colorful. Her closet is full of patterned scarves, vivid flowery hairpins, and ethnic accessories, which she says are usually more "eye-catching."

"I'm always wearing something that's connected to a culture or ethnicity," she says. "My art is also very bright and colorful. I love putting different shades together. Color is awesome."

Ponce recently became apart of the Grand Avenue Merchants Association to help support the art scene on Grand Avenue. She coordinates events for Indie Art House and helps local artists like herself market their work.

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So, what are you wearing?
This Ipanema tee that's my friend Vida's, work slacks, this beautiful printed apron from India, and this pretty coral flower that I picked up somewhere.

What's your favorite outfit to wear?
Usually a big skirt with a low-neck, expressive top. I always wear a flower in my hair, too.

What's the last item of clothing that you bought?
I don't shop too often, but I recently went to Goodwill and found a pair of shiny Nine West black flats.

Where do you usually shop?
Goodwill, and there's a thrift store near 16th St. and Highland that I frequent; it's a really good one. I used to love to go to Tiedemann's Thrift in Tempe, too, before they closed.

What do you like to accessorize with?
Different kinds of flowers, for sure. I also like big, funky, ethnic earrings, and I like big bracelets.

What item of clothing do you most covet at the moment?
Some nice gladiator sandals, but it's hard finding ones that don't look like everyone else's. I want to find a pair that goes with everything.

Where would you love to have a shopping spree?
I would love to have a shopping spree in Sedona. The stores up there have the best colorful clothing and beautiful scarves. I also would love to have one at SAS Fabrics, too.

Who are some of your style icons?
My friend Vida Vasquez, for sure, and I really love Lady Gaga. She's so out there but she makes it work. I know it's about getting attention but she's also very creative. Even with that meat dress, she still looked good.

Give us a childhood memory of you and your clothes?
My grandma was a seamstress, and she had little pieces of fabric everywhere. When I was young, I remember picking up this shiny stretchy piece. I lived with that for years. I wore it as a dress, as a cape, whatever. It was my little piece of fabulousness.

Name five items that every woman should have in her closet:
1. A quality pair of black leggings.
2. A beautiful, versatile scarf.
3. A great pair of long earrings.
4. A good pair of solid boots to wear in the winter or to go out.
5. A quality leather belt.

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix:
Be daring! Just step out of the box. We can sometimes play it too safe, as if we're afraid of making mistakes, but it's fun, too, and can make your personality just blossom.

Visit Michelle's website to learn more about her artwork, crafts, and jewelry.

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