The Stranger on Rookie Yearbook Two's "Delicately Ravaged Glamour"

“Tavi Gevinson's Dreamy Yearbook Fashions” / The Stranger / Marti Jonjak / November 20, 2013

The editor, writer, reader of Sassy magazine, performer, wonder-youngster, and deeply charming weirdo Tavi Gevinson recently appeared at the Vera Project to push her newest project, Rookie Yearbook Two. It's easy to see what's so swell about the book. A fashion-soaked anthology of Gevinson's online magazine, it presents the sum of teenage girlhood in the form of collages, handwritten song lists, indie-celebrity stills, sticker sheets, and dreamy illustrations involving dolls and gems and trinkets and mermaids. There are essays, too—most of them vastly mesmerizing and loaded with details recalling high school's brutal and complicated landscape: the relationship melodramas, the self-exile, the general urgent-ness, the tangible frustrations, the hokey therapy sessions with guidance counselors. "She... had me decorate T-shirts with puffy paint. Seriously," writes one girl in "Secret Wounds."

Appearing every few pages, fashion spreads show ensembles with splashy prints and colors all jangled together, and the images have a pleasantly blurry, makeshift feeling. Though Gevinson established her identity as a blogger of fashion, her presence in its haute realms left her feeling "caught up and anxious," she said in Emma Bazilian'sAdWeek interview, so now, Gevinson's models wear clothes and objects that are similarly inventive but far more accessible. Watch for translucent skirts layered over shimmering underclothes, Garfield the Cat graphic tees, sequined unibrows, teeny daisies threaded through dental braces, rococo-inspired towers of fake pink hair, dried-starfish forehead medallions, and stuffed-animal eyeballs transformed into jean-jacket cuff buttons. (Worth noting: Seattle's very own Lucky Vintage in the University District supplied the looks for Cosmic Dancer, a vaudeville-themed spread with elegant floor-length gowns, ballet slippers, paper dolphins, and curtsies everywhere. Still, One, Two, Something's Coming for You wins. It's got floating candy corn and a broccoli halo.)

To express a certain delicately ravaged glamour, Gevinson positions her models against low-rent backdrops. There are gas-station snack aisles, boarded-up houses, and working-class porches crammed with plastic flowers. Meanwhile, flipping through, pictures of Gevinson's "adventurous, puzzling women" keep coming at you: the cloak-wearing, dove-holding Stevie Nicks; Winona Ryder at the height of her '90s-hot-shit-ness; the blood-draped Sissy Spacek fromCarrie; and The Virgin Suicides' Lisbon sisters, featuring the fashion favorite Lux, who wrote the name Kevin in purple Magic Marker all over her bras and panties.

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