March 27, 2011

i feel like the photo to accompany this post should be a lot more intense and introspective-seeming but hey! mirrors are pretty introspective!

Betsey Johnson dress, gifted sweater, Okutani earmuffs, Goody barrettes, vintage jacket.

This is the outfit I wore when I found myself sitting front row next to Anna Wintour at the Band of Outsiders show. Yep, found, as though the moment "this is the end" rang out in the room set to Jim Morrison's voice I'd snapped out of myself for fifteen minutes til I stumbled upon a hollow body vaguely resembling someone familiar and decided to run away with it. I couldn't tell you what the clothes presented looked like. I couldn't tell you what anyone was wearing or what I had written in spontaneous texts to spontaneous people while waiting for the show to start (something about math class? What they had for lunch that day, maybe?) And I couldn't really even tell you what I was feeling. At that point in the day, in the week, in the Fashion Week and all those that came before, I think that if I were to respond truthfully to the many obligatory questions of how was I, it would've been "N/A." I felt like I was watching everything going on around me through a window. Usually I could see out of it but every once in a while I was forced to look at my own reflection, which was less fun.

I wanted to be mature and witty and polite and strike up a conversation with Anna Wintour, I really did. But like, it was the end of the day? And I was exhausted, in so many ways? And not prepared to enter a room as the last one to be seated and find out two seconds before sitting next to Anna Wintour that I was sitting next to Anna Wintour? And I was wearing the sweater Kathleen Hanna gave me and felt kind of in the middle of an overdramatic identity crisis, like I had no right to wear the sweater OR sit next to Anna Wintour? And when I did look around a bit, no one looked happy and it was kind of a huge downer? So I let myself be kind of shy and quiet that night, to join the rows of sullen-faced people who looked as though they secretly wanted to be at home with their pets wearing comfortable clothing and eating fattening food.

Anna Wintour was perfectly polite when we exchanged standard greetings and goodbyes. But it doesn’t matter how much you like or dislike Anna Wintour, even if you feel unfazed by her or her sunglasses or Vogue, even if you feel, as I did, like one of the only people in the room who isn’t after her job. You will feel intimidated. It is unavoidable.

Of course, it's more the idea of Anna Wintour than the person, who was just a lady with a bob in a sophisticated dress sitting with her daughter at work. But that's kind of what Fashion Week is, a lot of facades and all that. At this point it would be really helpful if that Doors song had a lyric mentioning smoke and mirrors or something, but it's mostly stuff about sex and a guy killing his dad, so, uh, nevermind.

Fashion Week is weird. It is very high schooly. Someone will take that and decide that it means Fashion Week highschooliness is getting me down hard without realizing how highschooly what they're doing is. I love fashion but it's disappointing when you have to sift through a lot of junk before you get to, like, the clothes, and the whole point of it all. It's more disappointing when the clothes aren't very interesting. Lately I've been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration. I miss following magazines and obsessively checking the way I used to but something is different about it now. A year ago I got to go to Paris to interview John Galliano at Dior, and a couple weeks ago today he said he loved Hitler and got fired. Fashion photographs look more posed and the Rayanne Graffs I meet at school more inspiring. I only really miss being obsessed with fashion the way you miss any aspect of a former self, in a nostalgic way, not necessarily as part of a desire to go back. Now I'm more intrigued by mixing fashion with the other stuff I've been enjoying. What's that idea that one person had, about combining your ways of thinking so that you could hear a song as a color and taste a food as a pitch in a song? To me that's much more interesting than relating fashion to fashion, to like, combine mediums, and absorb as many songs and movies and stuff that I can and let all the references intertwine until it's something that makes sense to me. I guess that's what my moodboards are, and outfits are a way to translate it so it feels like part of my identity.

And it's nice to not always share all of that. It's nice to keep some things to myself. It's nice to go to school events and V-Day in the church basement and start a band and make collages and zines and mixtapes and keep a diary and write love letters and snail mail.

I guess the Anna Wintour thing just made a lot of that much more obvious. It wasn't until I got home that I realized how vast the difference is, and how one side of it is nicer to just visit every once in a while, get out of it what I get out of it, ignore or laugh at the rest, and bring the enjoyable stuff back home to add to my collection of all that stuff I'm trying to absorb.

That fell apart into being really train-of-thought, but once I used the "reflection" metaphor in the first paragraph I started feeling really ridiculous and overly serious. None of this was supposed to dramatically hint at anything, other than maybe that my blog is turning away from fashion a little, naturally. How depressing would it be if I was that obsessed with only fashion for three years? That's how old my blog will be in a few days. Strange.


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Tiffany Royrock said...

You probably won't read this Tavi, but here's my take on this.

If you ever feel that intimidation from someone as 'high' in the social ladder as Anna Wintour is again, don't.
It makes me mad that people like her know they hold such intimidation to the extent where they aren't even people anymore because she abuses that so deeply, The fact that she can intimidate a girl in the 10th grade, makes me thing, wow do people grow up after this hell hole they call highschool? This isn't a rant on Wintour, or your blog or the fashion social ladder. This is a reminder that Anna Wintour like most people in the world, is just another 61 year old woman. And the only difference between her and the people around you is that she chooses not to be a 'normal' approachable person. Making her better then no one, which reminds me, you're better then no one, and no no is better then you.

Tara Violet said...

oh, "this is the end"
by the way, speaking of 'the end' by the doors, you ought to someday if you haven't already watch Apocalypse Now. it's insane and amazing and The End is featured in the beginning and end of the film and it's a stunning visual-auditory combination).

I still haven't gotten over your fantastic sweater by the way. it's a perfect statement and the fact that a riot grrrl gave it to you makes it even better

I think you're just growing up and branching out. which is not at all a bad thing. I don't think you'll ever get over fashion, but it will enter a sphere of other interests you know? you're on the verge of expanding your interests.

fashion also is a part of everything, in the sense that it's just another way of expressing yourself just like art, music, writing, so on and so forth.
I have these different passions like poetry, songwriting, photography, and film and it's funny to draw from different ones and mix my inspirations and the different forms of art together.

the idea of mixing senses is synesthesia. it's a beautiful one. I really think you're on the right path (not that there is really a 'right path') but just that in the sense that you are really exploring and trying to mix your inspirations, which is good. you seem to have so much passion and curiosity which amazing. it will serve you well as you continue to get exposed to/expose yourself to new things, meet new people, and experiment in life and in the various realms of art

I think it's super important too that you're realizing all of this. self-reflection can be really necessary sometimes, especially as you discover new things about yourself or how you've changed. self-awareness can be good also because it can directly lead into the awareness of what's beyond yourself.

and you're young! just as I am. we have so much time to figure all of this out and figure out what kind of person we want to be and ultimately are. it's a prime time because of that

(honestly can't tell if this is incoherent or coherent because sometimes it's hard to translate thoughts into words)

sesquipedality said...


sesquipedality said...


Rachel said...

When I first read this post, awhile ago, I didn't quite understand it. Now, reading it again, I can see it and you with perfect clarity. For a long time, I rejected all superficial loves, including fashion. Then, sometime two years ago, I fell deeply in love with fashion. I defended it as being deep and personal; a true art form. Recently, I "saw the light" and can now see it for what it is. Granted, there are many great minds in fashion, but it is horrible in many ways. Trends themselves undermine individuality. Many great talents are ignored because they don't have financial and promotional backing. I still love fashion, but in a different sense. I now love style, it's the outward representation of one's personality and that's a beautiful thing. I think I'm at a point in my life where I need to balance all the parts of me. I need to take myself for who I am and not take take fashion, for one, for everything that it is. I will not be blindly led my fashion, but instead, I will march on with my own heart the leader. Tavi, I admire you because, even though you're a year younger than me, I can see that you are decades wiser. The beautiful work you posted here is proof of that.
Stay Gold (Ponyboy)--Rachel

NavyAndTeal said...

I Chased down this post after reading and watching your newest (It Is Spring). It's very wise and even from the comments I gained knowledge of synaesthesia and was refered to Baudelaire! You truly are and inspiration.

I often wonder though, because I'm always thinking and interested in how time affects people and having obviously experienced changing personality/preferences over time I wonder how differently your viewpoint has changed since then and how differently it may change in the future.

For example, if you were to contribute to vogue one day (because let's face it, it is inevitable given your influence, area of expertise, and blatant writing talent) would you feel that this has been a change in aesthethic preference caused by time? and if so, how would you explain it? Or would you feel the need to mention that you have moved on from a time when I was not vogue was not a huge part of your life.

I know I have not explained myself greatly but I hope you all catch my drift? That I think time is the factor that changes Tavi's style of blogging or fashion's different preferences. Something Like That???


Charlotte Simpson said...

what you said about mixing fashion with other onfluences- its so true. Just wanted to say have only just discovered your blog, and have read it all from the very beginning- it feels like growing up all over again! you have inspired me so much- i used to be completely obsessed with fashion too, and then i went through a bad stage at school where i stopped caring about what i looked like, and your blog has made me love clothes again- ive been experimenting more with stuff i already had, and spending much more of my allowance! Thank you so much, i have now also set up my own blog- check it out if you want
X Charlotte

pooja said...

You're obviously worried about loosing the passion, and trust me you won't. If you were loosing it, you wouldn't even write the wonderful post. Maybe you'll create a new genre, something completely new inspired from fashion? I sometimes feel like that, even though I haven't experienced near enough as much as you, maybe it's because you've experiences so much? Well anyway, just keep with it, there are far more things to come. Delhi Escorts
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www.marcus.nlbij Marcus bent u altijd aan het goede adres. Onze gestage groei danken wij aan een hoge mate van klanttevredenheid. Wie die eenmaal heeft ervaren, wil niet meer anders!

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