October 7, 2012 § 3 Comments
While lying in bed between my girls last night I took the opportunity to read three pages of The Style Rookie, a blog created by sixteen year old Tavi Gevinson who has taken the fashion world by storm.
To say that I was blown away by her work is an understatement.
A collection of her thoughts (both typed and beautifully hand written), artistic imagery (collages, others and her own), music (others and her own) and photographs of her sweet bang trimmed self styled in real fashion (as opposed to an overabundance of labels), her voice is crystal clear.
Her current tilt seems to be toward a fifties and sixties aesthetic, but the photos with her friends are timeless. I love the freedom of expression; her cat lined eyes, her mix of print and pattern and form and silhouette and color.
What is there not to love, and with 50,000 hits a day to the blog (an incredible number not attained by people two, three, four times her age), it appears I am not the only one enamoured.
As I scanned the blog I got to wondering.
Clearly Tavi is an old soul; one of those people who functions outside of age. Watching her Ted presentation (below) you can see how bright she is yet the admittance that she still hasn’t, “figured it all out,” combined with her strong yet sensitive presentation, make her real as opposed to super-hero. What a great model for girls everywhere (teenager and not)!
What became more curious to me were my questions about her parents.
Who are the Gevinsons? Who are the people who created and are raising this bright and creative soul?
I was once a teenage girl who took fashion risks and cut baby bangs and wore my hair in Heidi braids crisscrossed over the top of my head, too. But beginning a fashion empire was just a dream for me. Tavi is doing it for real and her parents are allowing her to flourish and bloom.
In her adorable interview with Jimmy Kimmel she skimmed over his questions about her parents by saying something about them being “nice people,” but I discovered later in her posted Vimeo video that her father is an English teacher and her mother is an artist who weaves tapestries. She goes on to mention that her parents encouraged her (and her sister) to be creative and to read.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing all I can to raise children who will develop into well-adjusted, secure and strong girls. It’s not easy in this world of Barbie and princesses (whom my girls love) or as Tavi describes, “two-dimensional super-women…with one quality that’s played up a lot.”
I think Tavi’s parents are the example of how to do it right (whether or not a child is meant to be a prodigy). Fostering creativity, encouraging reading and allowing freedom of expression is the key.
Now if only she’d interview them. Or maybe I should try. I bet they are equally as interesting as their delightfully dynamic daughter.
Had you ever heard of Tavi’s blog or her magazine for teenage girls, Rookiemag.com? Are you as interested in learning about her parents as I am? Can you believe she’s been blogging for four years? That’s a lifetime in blogland!
September 24, 2012 § 8 Comments
It wasn’t until I met my biological sister that I realized my boobs were a genetic component to the makeup of me. Before then I’d assumed they were a terrible mistake meant to be placed above someone else’s heart.
But within the last year (or so) I’ve come to grips with what God gave me (thanks to my sister and the way she wears hers gorgeously) and I’m starting to kind of like them. I wish they’d stand up without help, but I don’t hate them like I did.
Last night’s Emmys red carpet was a bosom baring display.
One after another busty girls allowed their flesh to peek out from the beneath most dazzling dresses.
I felt a kinship.
Femininity in fashion never looked prettier.
But many on Twitter didn’t feel the same.
A barrage of nasty tweets proclaimed the look tacky and cheap, trying too hard and pathetic. The disdain for what I viewed as fashion risk taking (I do consider it a risk) combined with body acceptance was a disappointment.
So why all the fuss?
There were plenty of legs showing, too. And backs. And shoulders. And low cut dresses on flatter chested girls.
I don’t have an answer on this. I can’t explain why there was so much backlash, though I bet it has something to do with the new female empowerment or some sort of hatred toward women or the whole mother prostitute thingy. I don’t write about that stuff. I don’t think I’m deep enough.
I liked all the boobs.
I liked Heidi showing all that leg, though I wasn’t crazy about the dress.
I liked Ginnifer Goodwin’s choice not to show very much at all in that unbelievable red and nude flowered Monique Lhullier.
I liked that each woman chose the image that she wanted to project for the night.
As for the girls who put their girls on display.
I think you looked lovely (and not in a sexy vroom vroom kind of way).
Just plain lovely.
What did you think about the dresses? Did the boobs bother you? Have a favorite I didn’t mention?
September 7, 2012 § 7 Comments
By the time I turn forty I’ll have my look all figured out.
It’s what happens when a woman turns that age.
All of my mom’s friends had it figured out by forty. Turn forty and you’re a grown up at last with a real grown up look.
These were the thoughts of my twenty something self as I pondered my many incarnations.
The day before seventh grade I walked through school in a Flashdance one shouldered sweat shirt, leopard print zip jeans and flourescent pink jellies, while wearing fish bait earrings (rubbery, not real) dangling near my shoulders. I ran into a teacher who said, “Oh my, Miss Martha! Haven’t you changed this summer!” She was over forty-ish and her look hadn’t changed at all in those short sweet months.
In the tenth grade I went mod accessorizing my Catholic school uniform with illegally pointy toed black flats, black tights, and a black second-hand men’s cardigan. My hair was worn in a tight clean bob, my eye lids liquid painted, carefully winging upward. After school my mod boyfriend would pick me up on the back of his mod scooter and we’d make plans for Fishbone concerts that I would lie to my mother about to be able to go.
Early nineties? The beginning of grunge and I cut my hair Amber Valetta pixie short, just like hers on that one cover of Vogue. I did wear plaid, but styled myself more eclectic/fashion forward; a pea coat embroidered with flowers (early Free People I wish I’d kept), Minnie Mouse minnie skirts, big fat clogs, Big Star jeans and lots of Betsey Johnson.
I always took risks; tattooing my left middle finger because I thought it would be cute (early twenties), pierced my nose so there’d always be a bit of sparkle emanating from my face (mid twenties), and more than once changed my boring blonde locks to shades from platinum white to sleek dark brown (over and over again).
As I drove the kids to school on Tuesday I took a good look in the visor mirror. No makeup, except for the Mac Omega eyebrows that are brushed on daily. No colorful cheeks, no lined eyes, too grown out highlights, no sparkle whatsoever.
I looked down at my outfit; Be Present yoga pants (okay fine, they are the ones with the lotus on the back, but still) and a gray t-shirt. On my feet? Havainas. God forsaken Havainas; not even a decent pair of shoes.
While looking in that mirror I wondered. A pierced nose? Double pierced ears? Maybe committing to liquid liner? Maybe committing to a daily red lip.
I have an appointment to get my hair colored next week and I’m taking a break from boring buttered blonde. The upkeep on red might be too much. Too dark isn’t right for my complexion. Pink? Ombre? The hair world is my oyster.
Mom clothes? They are a job requirement, but I’m done buying yoga pants for a while. Instead, I am going to focus on shoes beginning with the Swedish Hasbeens that appeared on my doorstep just yesterday.
I was wrong in believing that by forty I’d have grown stylishly wise, settling on my appropriate grown up look. Its a new world these 2010’s, so maybe the old rules don’t apply.
Besides, I think it’s true what they say about forty being the new thirty.
If that’s the case, I have almost ten more years of creative expression before I turn fifty, a very grown up age. Let’s hope fifty will not be the new forty or I’ll be one very confused lady.
How about you? Are you happy with your look or do you mix it up? Do you agree that change is good or is consistency a better approach?
May 17, 2012 § 7 Comments
A few years back I decided I’d try a maxi dress. I found a great one at Forever 21 that cost next to nothing. It was stretchy and comfortable and cool (in both style and temperature), slim to the knee and finished with a two foot gathered hem, which spoke loudly to my inner Mother Earth.
But as happens when I take fashion risks, I got it home, tried it on, and lost my nerve. The rules for an apple-shaped girl with boobs and skinny legs screamed, “NO!”
Fitted is what works. Tent like is tough, so back it went (and fast).
With the resurgence of warm weather the maxi dressed mammas have re-appeared. They are at pre-school and the grocery store, walking down the street and playing in the park. I eye them with a mix of envy for their ability to pull of the fashion risk and hope that I might find one (one day) for my frame that would allow me to play in the game.
There’s a bunch that I like that I’ve seen and so I’ll dip my toe into maxi-million territory by posting some of my favorites.
Who knows, though? With all of the evolving that’s been going on lately, a maxi dress just might act as the finishing piece to not only round out the warm weathered wardrobe, but be the catalyst for a summer of self acceptance (I will like myself in this tent, I will like myself in this tent).
The more I think about it, the better it sounds.
May 8, 2012 § 3 Comments
In the fall of 1994 I was in art school studying fashion. I took classes in draping and pattern making, figure drawing, flats and specs, costume design and history of fashion, just to name a few.
One day I mosied into class where my teacher had set up a television and VCR.
I remember exactly what I was wearing that day, as I do for every important event in my life; a Betsey Johnson flowered jump suit with belled legs, green clogs and a short bolero sweater that wrapped high around my waist. My hair was cut in that pixie way and it was platinum blonde. I once was quite the risk taker.
Galliano, Fall 1994 began to play.
It was the first time that I was spellbound by a show. My physical reaction was a mix of surprise, wonder and heart palpatating excitement. Tears welled up in my eyes, the emotion was pure joy.
Fashion as art; art as fashion.
This morning I logged onto the computer and learned that last night was the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Gala. I’m so out of the loop, I didn’t even see it coming.
The Met Gala is the fashion equivalent to The Oscars. The risk taking and beauty of the fashion choices leave me with bated breath like Galliano’s hoop skirts did that day in the second floor classroom on New Montgomery, downtown San Francisco.
Unlike the Oscars, the choices are not always safe. Personality is more appreciated as evident in Sarah Jessica Parker’s Valentino choice and Diane Kruger’s Purple Prada, Coco Rochas’ vintage jumpsuit and Alicia Keys’ harem tux.
My smile is wide this morning, my heart has skipped a few beats and the energy from the artistry has left me charged. I love fashion for it’s ability to do this to me.
What is art to you? Who are some of your favorite artists, in fashion or life?
March 31, 2012 § 6 Comments
How I’ve fallen in love with you.
I was hesitant to try you, which is silly, but you reminded me of those old record stores with too much to weed through. I always had I anxiety attacks in those stores. I’d have to wait outside.
I was wrong about you.
Who knew that such inspiration would appear when I gave you a click? Certainly the genius who made you.
Pin, re-pin, like, like, like.
I want to follow people I don’t even know and innocently stalk the ones whose visions increase my heart rate.
I can pin something that I find as I search the grand expanse of the web and never ever lose it again.
If only everyone was pinning, we could all be connected on that cool and clever plane.
Share the love. It’s fun. Really fun!