Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tavi Gevinson, The Style Rookie - Unpredictability and Yet Same Ol' Same Ol'


I was fixated by Tavi's speech, completely agreeing with her about Comme des Garcons of course as well as the reaches of technology. Tavi's awareness of the meaning of brands, scents, magazines, belonging is at a level that many rather well-known and successful heads of large businesses have trouble with. It's rather stunning to think of a girl dealing with middle school vice principal's of wear-this-or-don't speaking to gatherings who really do need to be attentive.

It would be wrong to refer to Tavi as precocious or look for a different label; she deserves to stand on her own.

There's technology and it's not going away. Wrestling with that balance of maintaining at least minimal levels of privacy and interacting globally is challenging. The lovely Wendy Brandes just blogged about the trouble with "Poodle" (link here); the comments are pretty provocative as well. Alexander McQueen is the perfect example - brilliant, theatrical shows that are archived at alexandermcqueen.com as fashion history, hover for details. Thinking about the global and instantaneous sharing of information, photos, videos and opinions on twitter and knowing that access will evolve to larger (lovely, lovely iPad) and faster (4G will probably seem as silly as dial up AOL does now).

I loved that Tavi sees a new democracy, less reliance on trends and more on that indie thing that understand the artistry of design and yet yearns to do it individually. From my own rather anachronistic overview, it's always been that. A bit of struggle to not reject certain things because of their identification, those It-bag logos, designer clothes strung together, obscene jewelry relying on precious and avoiding the finesse of design and craft. I rejected It-bags completely, even shuddering at the thought of luggage with initials. I've come to moderate terms with it, no longer willing to completely reject certain heritage things that are just fine, very fine. I fell in love with Guerlain's Shalimar in an elevator startled at its exotic and sultry fragrance when I was sixteen; it's still "my" perfume.

Remembering middle school, whether it's Tavi's or the idealized Lizzie McGuire version, is about accepting the drama kids, the geeks, the it-girls, the jocks, the math and debate kids, the awkward wallflowers and knowing that's a fair representation of the adult world they're headed to. I think Tavi's thoughts are discovered by every generation sometime in middle school: how to define yourself and that struggle to "be yourself" and yet "blend in." There's a language and rhythm to fashion and Tavi speaks it clearly, perhaps it's something that gets forgotten as one studies for their SAT's and then for their drivers license.

3 comments:

  1. Great post! I think it's wonderful that trends move so fast these days. There isn't that ridiculous pressure for designers to all be on the same page. There is room for all types of style and aesthetic and for mixing and matching. On a different note: Most teenagers can't even recite a simple poem in front of their classmates! I can't get over Tavi.

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  2. I'm afeard that Poodle is gonna get me!

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  3. Tavi is wonderfully literate and seems just genuinely to have found a passion; very groovy that she twists it her way. Very cool.

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