Young Fashionista: Style Rookie

Many discussions about women, gender, and general ‘other’ studies is about this idea of recovering voice for those who have been silenced. While it does not seem that the voice of the young teenage girl has been silenced much these days, the writings and commentaries of Tavi Gevinson to be a refreshing taste of astute and cutting voice in the blogsphere.

At a mere 13 years young, Tavi has captured the attention of mainstream fashion and pop culture media with her blog “Style Rookie.” The blog is a mixture of her reactions to the world of fashion, contemporary and of the past few decades, as well as the politics of the fashion industry’s influence on other venues of pop culture including her own blog.

To her credit, she is a fascinatingly articulate critic of style. Instead of presenting terse reactions to contemporary fashions, she artfully pulls from inspirations she encounters in all aspects of her life and is more inspired by what strikes her as odd or bold than trendy and chic. Her posts composed of imaginative pictures of outfits she creates and the ideas or works that inspired her, and musings about her life and her commentary on the attention she receives while being courted by the fashion world.

Her writing is caustic and unveiled, yet her sophisticated understanding of concepts such as authenticity, creativity, and voice make her seem experienced beyond her years. Even Harper’s Bazaar picked her up. Her quippy responses to her critics and champions makes me think that she might be someone to keep and eye on.

Here’s an excerpt from her latest post:

This stuff about bloggers’ voices no longer being honest and fresh? The Business of Fashion had a good post on this. I am selective in saying yes to freebies, because I realize that if every post of mine was talking about something I got in the mail, my opinion wouldn’t be valued or as pure. And if the freebie-offer-er will only send it off if I say good things about it, I decline. Not that I expect a journalist to know this, but I do expect that they’re professional, don’t jump to conclusions, and don’t decide that they know the truth to something they haven’t even asked about.

And speaking of deciding they know the truth to something they can’t back up, a journalist can’t determine a designer’s intentions in gifting a blogger something without actually asking them. While I often feel that it’s very possible that sincerity will one day be nonexistent, it’s still here, sometimes in the forms of very curious Star Wars-obsessed sisters* and Mad Hatter milliners. Maybe some people just want to be nice, or are genuinely fond of others, or genuinely inspired by them. But this is irrelevant in how much I liked a collection.

On being herself and her blog:

I know myself a little bit more than anyone else. Y’know, just a tad. While I always try to be honest, I still keep myself separate from this character wearing sunglasses indoors. This isn’t to say I am totally self-assured, but I know what I don’t like, and I know to take everything with a grain of salt. Let’s be realistic here — I don’t look at rail-thin women sucking on cigarettes outside shows with admiration. It seems that with all this “Backlash!” many people have lost sight of what MY blog is actually about: fun, dammit! I thought my let’s-go-all-out-and-enjoy-ourselves outfits were of any indication here, but apparently a giant pink hairbow just means I don’t want editors behind me to see because bloggers hate editors and vice versa, apparently, apparently, apparently.

While perhaps many of us can relate to her experiences,  her way of understanding her voice among the sea of others who condescend to speak about her is unique, even for a tech-savvy girl of 13.


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