September 16, 2012

IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? IS THIS JUST FANTASY?

WELL HI.

We have a lot to catch up on. I guess I've put off writing this because there is SO MUCH.


It was always in the back of our minds that we* would do a yearly print edition of Rookie, and by the time May rolled around, we realized that we should probably get on that if we wanted to publish it in time for our September anniversary. After a call with Drawn & Quarterly (and years of admiring basically everything they publish), it was clear that they were the perfect publisher for this...book? magazine? of online content, edited by a minor. IT IS SO AMAZING THAT THEY BELIEVED IN US. I cannot think of better hands to have been in.

In early June, I spent the summer days I had at home living out the PG version of Dazed and Confused and working on the book. In late June, the Rookie Road Trip kicked off in New York. We went record shopping and banner-making in Philadelphia, got ice cream in Columbus, played arcade games in Ann Arbor, made zines and saw Girls Rock! Chicago in Chicago (and my WORLDS COLLIDED through a viewing of Superbad with my school friends and Rookie staffers), went vintage shopping in Iowa City, saw Moonrise Kingdom and crafted at Urban Outfitters in Omaha, raced go-karts in Boulder, made banners in a sculpture park in Salt Lake City, I was sick in Boise, made crowns in Seattle, got Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, got ice cream in Eureka, got ice cream in San Francisco, hung out at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, and created an installation in Los Angeles, where we held a week of events.

These diaries on Rookie and tidbits on the Rookie tumblr might begin to give you an idea of how amazing it all was.

I realized recently that most of my memories are of things that never happened -- I rarely get nostalgic for actual events, just for book illustrations or scenes from movies or fantasies or unmet expectations. This summer created the kind of moments that I always thought would've only existed in my memory as fantasies. But they were real life! And they were shared with people who really wanted to be there! It's all too much for me to wrap my brain around, frankly. Last summer was when I really started transforming my room into my own world, and it became the school year's setting for feeling really happy and really sad and everything in between. Last summer I also started working on Rookie, and it became the school year's setting for a bunch of us for dealing with feeling really happy and really sad and everything in between. The installation in LA, Strange Magic, was basically a mutant teenage bedroom/gigantic shrine, with photography from The Ardorous curated by Petra on the walls, and teen bedroom arrangements by both of us everywhere else. The whole thing -- creating it, dismantling it, and all the events -- was heinously and overwhelmingly emotional in a way only silly teenagers crave and thrive off of. I'd shipped a huge box of stuff from my own room to the space for us to use, and we asked girls who came to our meet-ups to bring souvenirs from their own sanctuaries as well, and it was such a perfect manifestation of everything that's shaped how I see things these past few years that I feel like there's nothing else I can do to honor them all. Like it's time for me to get really into sports and black clothes and never watch The Virgin Suicides again. We ended up shipping home FIVE BOXES of everything accumulated, and I think I just need to put it all in a time capsule. Then I will simply lie on a mattress on my floor with nothing on my walls but a Pulp Fiction poster as a reminder to just be Mia Wallace. Then my parents will suspect I have turned to drugs, and then I will probably once again go back to all that Strange Magic stuff eventually. You can see photos of the installation here, and photos of our last event -- a prom -- here.

Rookie Yearbook One is officially out, available on Rookie, Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and at various independent book and zine stores. Because it's a more unique situation than if I had just written a book, this is how it worked: I send the moodboards/theme/musings about the theme to our contributors for every month of the website, Anaheed and I choose from our contributors' resulting pitches, Anaheed and Phoebe edit everything and I put together the photo albums, I sometimes have a couple notes on written pieces. For Yearbook, Anaheed and I narrowed down the pieces from the site that would go in, I gave initial direction and feedback on how every spread should look, every photo story edit, every title font, every border, every illustration placement, I scanned my doodles and fabrics and handwriting for decoration, etc. Sonja decorated most spreads with her beautiful collage and illustration, and Tracy from D&Q designed it. I knew we couldn't just transfer all this content you can get for free online in a simple, minimalist layout, plus I get too excited about the look of each monthly theme, so this book was obsessively art directed with lots of love. I don't think I've slept since Rookie started last September, and I couldn't be happier. Not sarcasm!

Then I went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk about it, and to teach him how to bitchface (and got to wear a lovely dress by my pal Rachel Antonoff, which had me feelin' like I could lead a ladies lunch seminar on DRESSING FOR CONFIDENCE):


I am also on the August/September cover of one of my favorite magazines, Bust, which you can get here. Support them! They rule! Anaheed did the interview, and Laia styled the shoot, and I just think often about how grateful I am that my favorite people are also the people I work with.


I suppose that's it for now? Life is very strange and very funny and I am very, very, very lucky that I get to do something I love and that you pay even a smidgen of attention to it, so thank you, times a lot, times a bunch.

*We = me, my dad (our unofficial business advisor), managing editor Lauren, and editorial director Anaheed.

June 22, 2012

my united states of whatever

Petra visited during spring break a few months ago to take these photos for Oyster and we were way in our own world and it was so pretty and kind of like Heavenly Creatures without the murder and stuff. You can see the spread here, where I also wrote a little bit, but these are my favorites, and I happen to be looking down in almost all of them! It was just really satisfying to make a thing with someone whose brain is similar when it comes to colors/the various subcategories of suburban homes' doors' windows/points of inspiration/etc. and feel slightly less crazy for being obsessive over all those details. In general, I guess, it can be isolating to realize your world is very different from that around you and it's easy to decide whenever there's some conflict that it's because you yourself are too strange and your point-of-view is too twisted, but it makes it all the more comforting and exciting to find someone who kind of feels or sees the way you do in some way or another. Man, whoever invented friendship was really smart.
And, as it goes without saying, Petra is ridiculously talented and makes everything look 2903x prettier. Normally I don't post press stuff on here (especially since I rarely post here at all anymore) but I feel that I can take credit for more than just standing there this time and I am psyched at how it turned out.
Also, HAPPY ROAD TRIP KICK-OFF! If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this, and then look at this!
(Here's the poster for it. Also of me by Petra from when she visited. It felt a little weird making it MY FACE but it's blurry and sunsetty and American and a pretty photo so shrug.)

May 20, 2012

she had to get out

These are some photos I took a while ago for MAC's MacZine that just came out, so here I am now, posting them, online, on the internet, on my weblog!!!!! The theme of the issue was "Wanderlust," so I did a Los Angeles-inspired moodboard and outfit, which is not surprising to readers of this blog. (This is also basically the outfit form of next month's Rookie theme!)
Weetzie Bat, postcards from a Peter Max paper airplane book, Joan Didion, Elle Fanning in Rodarte in A Magazine Curated by Rodarte, postcards and photos from an antique store I went to in Pasadena with Autumn and Arrow, a tapestry my mom made a long time ago, daisies from the craft store, and Joni Mitchell's Song to a Seagull, which ends with my favorite Joni song, "Cactus Tree."
My top is vintage, my eyelet skirt is from the dress-up box my sisters and I used when we were little, my platforms are by D&G, my necklace was a gift from Chris Habana, and I made both my crowns from craft store flowers and joke shop houses.
Every time we visit I'm particularly delighted by all of LA's pastel houses and surrounding floral life.
I added the necklace for the spooky side of LA and Hollywood Babylon-type stuff, and for the weird psychics that are everywhere and other mystical things Weetzie Bat is obsessed with. I just like that something so sunny and colorful with pastel houses and flowers everywhere can also be so dark and David Lynch-y. But I should probably stop talking about it before it becomes too obvious that I'm trying to justify to myself that time that I murdered a person wait what?

IN OTHER NEWS, I saw Moonrise Kingdom yesterday thanks to a screening set up by their PR for me and my friends, and it was EVERYTHING I'D HOPED IT WOULD BE AND MORE. During the school year I usually avoid watching movies that I know will make me that emotional and inspired because I'm left with all this energy that school doesn't allow for and then it has nowhere to go, but it's almost SUMMER, so soon I get to run away and read fantasy novels and play records as much as I want! (People rolling their eyes right now might like to know that I thought the movie did a good job of not being too self-indulgent on the montage-of-cute-people-doing-cute-activities part. Just enough for me to be like, "Oh Wes, that is so you! Typical Wes! Wes, you aesthetically-defined bitch! =P I heart u so effing much!!!!" before complimenting him on his shoes and throwing my yogurt spoon in the air, but not so much that it stops actually helping the story move along. Also the main kids were so absolutely perfect, and too witty and dark and confused to be cutesy, too. The other kids were also absolutely perfect. So were the grown-ups. Oh my god it was all so good. I may have liked it more than Royal Tenenbaums, which is my favorite Wes Anderson? Oh my god I don't even know I just want to go back. I plan on seeing it at least four more times once it's out in theaters.)

May 3, 2012

sixteen and spring

Oy vey, I've given up on collecting all the images/playlists/collages/stickers/diary entries/etc. necessary for my usual all-encompassing VIBES posts. The task has suddenly become really daunting! And tedious! And a blog is probably not the best format for being retrospective and examining all the music/movies/outfits/etc. I was into at a certain time and looking at the colors and motifs and things they share and finding the conceptual parallel. Rookie's monthly themes are a good place for that, on a less personal level, and my tangible diaries have been good for that, but they don't want to be shared. Also, the herds of sheep I've enslaved to form tiny colonies, each one themed according to a certain vibe. That's been a great outlet for this kind of obsessive organization, too.
But I still like having this outlet, and so, my spring so far:
Claire and two friends both named Alex and me performed at V-Day, a good, loud celebration of vaginas. Autumn took those photos. The last one is me in the last hour of my 16th birthday a couple weekends ago. I am wearing my friend's sweater, a skirt I got to keep from the Wren shoot, and a jacket gifted to me by Risto.
A car Petra and I found, a sundae Grace and I shared, a crown of real roses that Ella gave me for my birthday, and the view from my angst-gazing/Say Anything-worthy window.
Apple blossoms I put in shampoo bottles from the Chelsea Hotel, where most of the initial Rookie meetings between Anaheed and me took place last summer.

(Vintage collared shirt, tye dye top gifted by Proenza Schouler, necklace gifted by Pamela Love)
These photos are by Lauren Dukoff, styled by Ashley Furnival for Vogue Nippon. We shot in January, but they fit in so much with what I've been feeling for spring -- the '50s/'60s jumble, the beehive, applying the bright, pink/green/orange/sky blue colors I normally associate with Los Angeles (see: these posts) to '50s shapes I normally associate with being home in a suburb (see: fall vibes). I was really lucky to get to work with friends who understand my loyalty to my personal style (see: inconvenient pickiness over VIBES and COLORS and HOW THEY FIT PERFECTLY IN REFERENCE TO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT I LIKE) and wanted to create looks we would all love. That last picture is of Ashley and me, and it's so dusty 'cause it's been on my shelf.
Petra and her boyfriend visited during my spring break and we basically lived in a bubble of our own vibes and references and color associations for days in a row and it was MAGICAL. Like Heavenly Creatures, only instead of writing and molding intricately designed fairytales, we just tried to wear relatively nice things while watching Dazed and Confused and found ways to call junk foods aesthetically pleasing.
Hangouttimez, and my room's constant state for the past couple months.
Claire and I saw Hunx and his Punx and it was many many kinds of amazing. Our underagedness got us seated at a counter behind the bar and it was actually really nice because we had room to dance and were elevated so we could see and people-watch. I wore my Twin Peaks best friend/rosary necklace and kept my Hunx comb in my sock like a switchblade and Claire's skirt looked like the red room floor in TP. Hunx and all of his punx were so NICE and ALIVE and then when we went home and watched Community we kept pausing it to be like, "Wait, THAT SHOW WAS SO GOOD."

Here I am attempting to channel Wanda Woodward with a pout-bitchface hybrid. My coat is also from the Wren shoot and Rachel Antonoff gave me the spiffy saddle shoes and my top is vintage and my hand-me-downed pants are made of lace and I think it's like the one time I've ever worn pants other than when I had a bad week where I wore jeans every day.
Olivia with her talented tendencies took these when she visited and we saw Amish people at Ed Debevic's and they wore the paper waiter hats on top of their own and that was pretty great.
Drinks at the bowling alley, Petra's situation, a day I spent in the treehouse reading Chris Ware comics and listening to Fleetwood Mac and sleeping, and FRIES.
For my birthday I had friends over for dancing and hugging and waffles made out of cake batter. The waffles were a huge hit, and I highly recommend the recipe for your next social function, or just your next meal, or every meal ever. Grace and I decorated our dining room like the high school movie prom of my teen dreamz, with bubblegum colors like this shoot Petra did for Rookie and banners that said SWEET 16 (not pictured) and POOP (definitely pictured). I wore that Wren skirt again 'cause I guess it's perfect for everything, and a baby blue embroidered top, and sandals I got at a vintage fair. I was prepared to be all mopey and Samantha Baker about it just in case it was underwhelming, but it was honestly the bestest day of my life? A song like "Blister in the Sun" kind of reaches a new level when a bunch of people who are used to dancing to it alone all go at it together. Meagan is responsible for these lovely photos. Also not pictured: the love notes "Justin Bieber" (Grace and I -- don't tell anyone!!!!!!!!) left sitting around.