Wardrobe stylists, fashion bloggers and lifelong friends navigate Nashville together
By Hollie Deese
Photography by William DeShazer
For the past 20 years, Emily Bache and Abigail Breslin have been through some of life’s most emotional moments together — from middle school to moves, growing a business together and surviving quarantine apart.
In the same seventh grade gym class, they began talking when Breslin boldly pointed out to the incredibly shy Bache that she could see the fish pattern on her underwear through her shorts.
“I was so embarrassed, but then we became best friends after that,” Bache says. “We were so different in the right ways, but so the same in the right ways. And that’s kind of how it’s been through our entire lives and how we’ve remained friends for so long.”
Their transition from seventh grade buddies to fashion bloggers and wardrobe stylists evolved over time — they both loved fashion, though growing up in Massachusetts their peers were in Abercrombie & Fitch and Patagonia.
“So we would get dressed up and walk down the street,” Breslin says. “There was nowhere to go, but we would walk down the street.”
“We’re very good at hyping each other up,” Bache jokes.
A blog begins
Oddly, they went to separate colleges, which was traumatic for their collective wardrobe. They wore the same size in everything, shoes and all, and because they had always shared everything neither had any complete outfits. So they started a blog to share each other’s looks and joke about when the clothes could be reunited.
“It was brand new, and we thought that if anybody would share a blog, we would,” Breslin says.
At first their blog was called Lovely Wanderlust, which didn’t last long because their style is just … not lovely. Plus, Bache thought for the longest time she was just writing to Breslin and no other people were looking at it.
“I didn’t know what a blog actually was,” Emily jokes.
But their candor and friendship had grown a following just as they were graduating and able to get back together. They hired someone to clean up the look of the website, doubled down on what they had started and in 2010 looked up every designer showing at New York Fashion Week. They emailed the designers’ PR companies, introduced themselves and pitched what they wanted to cover for the blog.
They ended up covering 60 shows that year.
“It was terrible,” Breslin jokes. “It was too aggressive.”
But the hard work they put in that show was a launching pad for everything that was to follow. They got hired for small gigs here and there based off their own personal style, and in June 2011 they reached out to some businesses who were using Groupon to see if they could use their services in exchange for coverage on their blog.
“One was for a burlesque bikini bootcamp class. Now, we don’t really love to work out that much, but get dressed up and learn a dance? Absolutely,” Bache says.
Having just seen the movie “Burlesque,” they showed up in full gear — thigh-high boots, fishnet stockings, corsets, boas and glitter everywhere. But no one else was dressed up. This was no dance class — it was a full-on workout.
“Thank God there’s two of us because it was mortifying,” Bache says. “But we stayed and we did the whole class in these six-inch heels. It was so much fun.”
Plus, it turned out that someone else in the class was the head designer for Playboy’s clothing line. She loved their style and two weeks later flew them to Chicago to work on styling an ad campaign. They had never done it before but figured it out on the fly — and it turned out really well.
“She also told us we could get paid better if we become a company,” Breslin says. “And so we hung up the phone, walked across the street to the bank and asked, ‘How do we become a company?’”
That was in the East Village in 2011, and they stayed on the East Coast until 2017 when they moved to Nashville together. Ready for a change, they knew they could blog from anywhere. As for styling, their look naturally lends itself to the music scene, but they have taken on a wide range of clients.
Moving to Nashville
They bought a home in Madison together, a fixer-upper that needed a complete renovation. Luckily Bache’s dad owns a construction company in Massachusetts and was able to help them with a lot of the projects. It was not without some hiccups.
“The night before he first came down, he had told us to just rip up the carpet and get it out and he would start working on the flooring,” Bache says. “So we ripped out all the carpet. We were so proud. It took all night. We got one of those Bagsters and got it all in there and we take a photo to send to him and he’s like, ‘How are you going to get that bag filled with carpet out the door?’”
Bache and Breslin ended up doing most of the work themselves — taking down walls, replacing a closet with a Murphy bed and painting everything inside and out.
Now the home is also WanderLust headquarters, often used in photo shoots and styling sessions. Their fashion is reflective of their design aesthetic, which is very Tim Burton and kind of Shakespearean. Swords and skulls are dominate in the décor, which they describe as morbidly romantic.
“Sure, there’s lots of skeletons and bones, but they look pretty,” Bache says.
An unbreakable bond
As the WanderLust Girls, Breslin and Bache have more than 20,000 followers on Instagram. But when it comes down to what is real and behind the scenes, it always comes down to the two of them and the true strength of their decades-long bond.
At the end of 2018, Emily noticed a bump on her hip and assumed it happened while they were doing the home renovations. She went to the doctor for a regular physical and mentioned the bump just as an aside. He sent Emily to a consultation for a biopsy and before the doctor even did the procedure informed her she had lymphoma.
“I was by myself in the room, no warning, no anything,” she remembers. “It was awful.”
The biopsy revealed it was Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage three. Treatment was immediate and intense — 12 rounds of chemotherapy every two weeks. Her mom would fly in for the chemo, but it was Breslin who was there to help her through everything else.
“Abigail was here and she just, she had to shower me,” Bache says. “It was that bad that I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even walk to the mailbox.”
But eventually Breslin was able to help Bache walk to the mailbox — “That was our daily outing, to the end of the driveway,” Breslin says. Breslin also maintained the blog in a way that honored Bache’s wishes: to not post anything negative, to not talk about the cancer, and to not post photos of her without her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, all lost to chemo.
In fact, they didn’t actually post about the illness until Emily was cancer-free. Instead they posted old photos, causing some people to unfollow them or not understand what was going on. That was an added frustration during treatment.
“I didn’t look like myself and I didn’t feel like myself,” Bache says. “And so it was tough to post that on the internet. It all happened so fast. It’s like all of the sudden you’re you and then you’re just … it’s gone.”
Her treatment ended in June 2019, though she still sometimes doesn’t have a lot of energy and admits her anxiety about the cancer returning is high. Every three months she gets blood drawn and then every six months, a PET scan.
For 2020, the girls are on a whole new mission, and getting through 2019 has them prepared for whatever else might come their way. Abigail moved out about eight months ago, and they are each dating men who understand their friendship will always be a priority. But after 20 years, her relationship with Breslin is stronger than it has ever been.
“I mean, I needed her,” Bache says. “It wasn’t just, ‘I’m going to rely on you.’ I mean I couldn’t do anything without her. It was definitely the worst possible year, and I definitely couldn’t have done it without having someone like her here who knows me so well.”
“We’re like a 90-year-old couple,” Abigail says.