Thursday, December 10, 2009

Teenage Riot

The fashion world's next big trend is a practically pocket-sized human being. 13-year old mini-mogul Tavi Gevinson, the preternaturally poised elfin blogger over at Style Rookie has recently gone from posting shots from Vogue Italia and documenting outfits put together from Aeropostale and Wet Seal to gracing the cover of Pop magazine and receiving gifts from Rodarte's Mulleavy sisters. To add to that, yesterday it was announced that Gevinson will be joining the staff of Harper's Bazaar with a column debuting in January's issue. I'll be honest, as much as i enjoy Tavi's commentary and uncorrupted reverence for fashion, looking at Style Rookie has always managed to make me just a little bit green with envy. Not kelly, but a sort of drab olive. And why not? Gevinson's not even in high school and wry wit and the ability to play dress up exceptionally well have gifted (and that is the correct term) her a job that i, even with higher education, would likely be unable to land unless i worked tirelessly on perfecting my wardrobe until i was 30. Even then, without the right connections, the chances are slim. Did i mention that unlike Tavi Gevinson, fashion's new pixie gimmick, i have a couple spare writing degrees and a bureau full of unpublished manuscripts?
Yet, i like Tavi, really i do. I understand where she's coming from, and i don't doubt that she has done the bulk of her own work when it comes to pulling herself up into Alexander McQueen uber-platforms. She writes with the sort of nonchalant precociousness that suggests an uninhibited, eager intellect. Her descriptions are scattered, she's excitable, and while she may have her mom proofing her entries, it's nothing if not fully loaded with the sort of pretentious non-pretension that only someone under 17 can produce with any authenticity. Believe me, if you need me to start posting paragraphs from the stories and 'novels' i was typing up circa 1999, i will produce them as exhibit A in how it's possible for a child to sound that ridiculous. So, i don't buy into the inevitable backlash that began today, in which Elle editor Anne Slowey waxed dubious about Tavi's credibility and legitimacy. That's neither here nor there. This isn't a My Kid Could Paint That dilemma, Gevinson's got her own voice and enough social interaction at this point to prove her own perspective without mummy & daddy's help. So, no, that's a non-issue. I may be jealous as sin and seething on the inside, but i'm not going to deny that the kid has a talent. My concerns, oddly (since i'm a bitter and cold hearted bitch of a human being), go more towards the ramifications for Tavi herself. I mean, i just have to wonder what the emotional ramifications of actually being a global trend are for an adolescent from the midwestern suburbs. This sort of success, and the push pull it will entail in such a callous and superficial industry, where those far more mature than young Tavi fall daily, seems potentially really dangerous... i mean, when i was 13, i was excited about wearing mascara and getting a shirt branded by Donna Karan. If Rei Kawakubo was flying me out to Japan and my blog entries on David Sedaris were getting 50+ comments a pop, i'd have dropped out of the world and grown a head as big as Russia's landmass. I don't know where i'm going with this really. In brief: Tavi Gevinson got a column for Bazaar, i'm writing about Tavi Gevinson getting a column in Bazaar on a blog that maybe a dozen people read. In sweatpants. That's it, i'm giving in and taking daily pictures of myself in slightly mismatched outfits like all the other bloggers. Bah.


  1. That is, apparently, the key to success. The daily outfits that is.

  2. please post excerpts from your 1999 masterpieces.

  3. because you asked, i will, coming soon: excerpts from my 1999 scribblings. i'll start looking for some good passages.

  4. I agree with you completely. I recently watched a documentary about the fashion industry, where a 12 year old girl became a famous model, but after her success died down she felt completely ugly and awful about herself. What happened to the good ol' troubles of a thirteen year old... Like acne and the struggle to find pants to fit your awkward body type?



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