The Addictive & Outrageous Instagram of The Whigs Frontman Parker Gispert
Parker Gispert, the 34-year-old frontman of rock trio The Whigs, isn't afraid to put himself out there. After 15 years of touring and recording music with the Athens, Georgia, band, Gispert started doing solo performances in 2016. The mainly acoustic sets allow him to connect to both the audience and his own songwriting in an intimate way, he says. As part of this new journey, he began posting increasingly outlandish photos of himself on Instagram, often rocking colorful, clashing patterns and statement pieces.
As Gispert focuses more on his solo career -- he says he plans to record an album within the next couple of months -- he’s able to further explore his image as an individual. When asked how he describes his personal style, Gispert responds with a question of his own: “Have you ever seen Weekend at Bernie’s?”
Though the 1989 blockbuster is better known for its dark humor, Gispert’s eclectic approach to fashion is influenced by the styles of Southern, underground musicians like R. Stevie Moore and acts under indie label The Elephant 6. It's a country vibe with a glam, psychedelic element inspired by his other favorite acts: T-Rex and The Beatles.
“When I see a lot of The Beatles' group photos, even when they’re wearing ridiculous outfits, it’s cool because it shows they’re not taking themselves too seriously and it’s also visually provocative,” Gispert told Billboard. It’s a fun-loving ethos he’s taken to heart. “If I'm promoting a show while I’m just getting started as a solo guy, a picture of me in the hot tub with a harmonica is more visually stimulating than a flyer.”
But most of these meticulously coordinated Instagram posts are created from silly, spur-of-the-moment photo shoots incorporating the clothing of friends and family. For example, the hazy, kaleidoscopic photo of Gispert sprawled next to a guitar is an entirely makeshift set.
“My brother's wife came back from work and she was wearing that jacket. I thought it was cool, so I asked her if I could put it on,” Gispert explained. “I went into her closet and found those pants. I sat down on the carpet and just went with that.”
When he’s not wearing borrowed women’s clothing, he wears unique pieces he’s picked up from boutiques in Athens when he lived there (he’s since relocated to Nashville). And though he’s not exactly privy to designer brands and the fashion industry’s latest trends, there’s no denying his ability to pull off such absurd looks.
“Artistically, I feel like it's a big blessing to have the opportunity to express yourself so easily by posting a picture on your Instagram page,” Gispert confessed. “Fans can get a taste for my sense of humor but also my appreciation for art, color, patterns and vintage guitars.”