A project I've taken on this summer has been redoing my room. I realized as I've been painting and decorating that it's basically like I spent the school year making all those tiny sections of my room into moodboards and now I'm just finding a way to combine them all and make a space that feels like ~me. Yeah, I'm pretty deep I guess.
This is the first of two room inspiration posts lined up, and I have learned in compiling these images that I and my blog are very predictable! All photos are enlargeable and I encourage observing all the details. We'll start with the obvious: the Virgin Suicides.
Quickly, a disclaimer: because I've written about TVS so many times now while being a feminist, I think it's worth acknowledging the criticism of it as a male sexual fantasy creating unrealistic ideals of women. I've heard this a lot, I've considered it, but I really disagree. The fantasies are there for sure, but I've never read the narrator as reliable. It's clear, especially in the hazy visuals of the movie, that the neighborhood boys' ideas of the Lisbons are highly romanticized, but the boys are portrayed as a bit too dumb and bewitched by their own boners for those ideas to demand respect from the audience. The book and movie aren't about getting down to who the Lisbons truly were and the real reason for their suicides, or the boys' tragedy that they never got to take that road trip with them. The Virgin Suicides is, as a book, movie, story, and aesthetic, about adolescent sexual fantasies, what good examples they can be of how, as a teenager, one might tend to approach adult life still with a childlike perspective, and how that leads to a feeling of loss and broken dreams. It's a love letter written in retrospect with a pitiful and bittersweet smile, it's signing a yearbook next to your school photo from September when you looked infinitely different. Will I be an asshole if I link to Roger Ebert's review of it? Yes? Then google it. That fourth paragraph especially.
Now so I can continue on liking what I like:
I've gone on about my obsession with teenage bedrooms, and about my collecting of stuff that the Lisbon sisters would have in their rooms out of some weird and probably unhealthy idol worship of my idea of them/my own Youngest Child Syndrome that led me to think being a teenager would be, like, the coolest thing ever. But with parents as strict as theirs, their rooms really were their worlds, and I love the details of how they created them.
By Corinne Day.
Note: Care Bear, 70's print bedding, wall collages, cloud walls, bra crucifix, neon butterfly (Andy Dwyer's new band name).
Pages from Cecilia's diary and her door.
Cecilia's Virgin Mary card that she drops while being carried away by paramedics, Ouija board, tiara Lux wins at the school dance, Grow Your Own Aquarium, crucifixes hanging on perfume bottles, 70's print curtain, stickers.
Then we have Picnic at Hanging Rock, which I kind of divide in my mind into two aesthetics: the scenes at their school and the beginning of the picnic, showing all those tiny details of the worlds they like the Lisbons have to create for themselves in such a strict and boring boarding school...
...And then the rest of the picnic, when the four girls go up to the cliff and it's all bare and hazy and desert-like and weirdly spiritual.
Mia Farrow painting her dressing room from some behind the scenes video of Rosemary's Baby, for the painted flowers...
(Stills from here.)
Romeo + Juliet, for the iconography and candles.
Meadham Kirchhoff, for the Courtney Love inspiration, artsncrafts details, flower crowns, neon veils, Riot Grrrl shrines, and basically everything.
We read Great Expectations in English this year and Miss Havisham was about the only part I found remotely interesting, except when she too got all soap opera-y and her Great Plan was revealed and it was like ugh. Then her dress caught on fire and I got interested again! I am not a very good critical school reader. I believe one of my few Odyssey annotations was, "all of your names sound the same."
I loved the idea of Havisham trying to live in some less painful time by setting all her clocks back, that she never took off her wedding dress, and was surrounded by wealth that was just covered in dust and her regrets and her own unmet great expectations ha ha. There is absolutely nothing online about the BBC movie we watched in class but they made her house really beautiful and filled with nostalgia, and Charlotte Rampling is just so HBIC throughout the whole thing.
These photos of a place called Salvation Mountain by Grace Denis, for the weird personal painted details and the skies. Where is this place? I want to take a road trip. (ETA: Thank you commenters for your help. I have a new life goal.)
Early Hole album art and fliers, for the usual vomit pink qualities, ideas on femininity, blah blah I am in such a phase right now etc.
Frida Kahlo, both photos of her as well as her paintings, because she was so beautiful and adorned in color and small details and because the paintings below especially align with my obsession with the desert and skulls and the sun and all that.
These photos by Petra Collins for the Ardorous, for the crowns and velvet and sequins and friendship bracelets. And basically all of Petra's photos. Paradise Cove too.
Maude's place in Harold and Maude, for all the great junk, and when it's decorated with sunflowers by Harold.
This photo from a 1938 issue of National Geographic captioned, "Anne and her family lived alone on an island. She enjoyed having tea time with her friends the spiny lobster and baby hawk." Again, creating a world...
Grey Gardens, and the idea of these women who were born into high society and insisted on their house falling apart in the middle of nowhere instead, and the secret love for her mother and desire to help her under all of Little Edie's bitterness about staying in Grey Gardens.
Anyway, all their cats, their memories, the raccoons Little Edie feeds, that one part where Big Edie sings a song she used to love from her bed...maybe it's because I just watched that hidden camera video of Stevie Nicks singing Wild Heart backstage but this is making me seriously emotional!
Drew Barrymore's teenage bedroom. The heart pillow and celebrity photos and stuffed animals, and the idea of this being like, her own space to try to be a teenager while she was also being a movie star. (Do I read too much into everything? Drew, I like your stuffed animals. The end.)
Rodarte Fall 2010, which I loved for all the reasons I wrote about here. Might be my favorite Rodarte collection? Definitely my favorite show I've ever been lucky to see in person. Somehow I'd like how nostalgic it made me, despite never having seen it before, to translate into my room. And those last photos against the candle wax are by Autumn de Wilde.
Daisies, for the DAISIES and colors and butterflies and junk and scrawled walls and all that. I just wanna lie around with my best friend while wearing flower crowns and eating fruit and conclude that life is meaningless. KOOL
Screencaps from Tastes Like Static.
Frenchie's bedroom in Grease, for all the pink and photos of hunks and Rydell pennant and perfumes.
Yoshitomo Nara's installations of clubhouses for angry little girls. I would ESPECIALLY recommend enlarging and zooming in for these photos.
Andie Walsh's room, for all the PINK and junk. And this painting by David MacDowell which plays on Norman Rockwell's Girl At Mirror. ~Sigh ~gurls ~boiz
Alexander McQueen's presentation for Spring 2001 with Michelle Olley. The space was a mirrored cube so that everyone in the audience had to get uncomfortable staring at themselves for over an hour before the lights inside the cube went up and the walls around this box in the middle came down and Michelle Olley was sitting there, a fat woman in a fashion show, moths and butterflies and tubes clinging to her. The models couldn't see out of the cube and walked around disoriented while Olley was just lying there. I think it's my favorite McQueen show. At the exhibit at the Met right now they show the video in a box complete with a mirror, it's completely mesmerizing. As far as my room goes, I like all this vacuumed nature.
Tracey Emin, for sitting in the middle of a desert in "Outside Myself (Monument Valley)" and for the vulnerability of her quilts and beds.
One more inspiration post coming up. Now if my room is ugly I will be a huge disappointment.