If you're a fashion fan, chances are you've heard of Tavi G. And if you're not a fashion fan, chances are you've heard of Tavi G. In fact, at this point, if you're a migrating sea lion who's just alighted on the beach at San Simeon for a little r&r, chances are you've heard of Tavi G, so prevalent are online, broadcast, print, radio and, one would have to assume, underwater radar reports on the 13-year-old Chicago-based fashion blogger who has captured our collective imagination.
Let's recap, shall we?
March 31, 2008 - Eleven-year-old Tavi Gevinson starts a blog, the aptly-named Style Rookie/New Girl in Town, devoted to her growing interest in fashion and written in a preternaturally spirited, mature and idiosyncratic voice.
April 2008 - Tavi comes out as a "Nesquik-aholic" and posts shots of herself and her friends playing dress-up, largely in vintage, H&M and hand-me-down clothing. Most posts draw 6-12 comments.
July 24, 2008 - The first article about Tavi appears that questions her motives/authenticity. Tavi defends herself in a post titled Mumbo Jumbo and writes "I will agree that the fact that I'm 12 shouldn't set me apart from other bloggers, and it definitely shouldn't play a part in how one might react to how I think or write or dress."
October 15, 2008 - Tavi releases first Vimeo vlog.
November 14, 2008 - Tavi unveils her now-legendary video rap tribute to Comme des Garcons designer, Rei Kawakubo. Gets 86 comments on her site, hundreds more on Vimeo.
December 2008 - Tavi addresses the negative effect the increasingly laudatory press has had on her.
September 15, 2009 - Tavi attends New York Fashion Week.
September 17, 2009 - Huffington Post publishes article entitled "Tavi Gevinson: 13-Year-Old Fashion Blogger Skips School, Attends Fashion Week."
October 2009 - More bullying editors line up, lemming-like, to take cheap potshots (we're looking at you, Anne Slowey).
November 2009 - Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy unveil Tavi-inspired Target collection; Tavi stars in the promotional video on Style.com.
November 27, 2009 - Tavi is flown to Tokyo to be the guest of honor at Comme des Garcon's holiday party.
December/January 2010 - Tavi is profiled in Teen Vogue and writes a spring fashion review column for Harper's Bazaar.
January 23, 2010 - Tavi dyes her hair ice blue and attends Paris haute couture shows, where her Stephen Jones feathered bow hat enrages the more seasoned fashion journalists seated behind her.
January 27, 2010 - Tavi reviews the couture shows using quotes from the 30 Rock episode starring James Franco. 191 readers comment.
Next up for the esteemed Miss G: She's coming back to New York to cover Fashion Week (reportedly for Jeanne Beker's Fashion Television), has written a feature for the spring issue of Pop about meeting her style icon, Rei Kawakubo, is reviewing the couture collections for their fall issue and, more importantly, is planning a sleepover with a friend this weekend and will be renting Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The Fashion Informer's Lauren David Peden corralled the cultural lightning rod between her trips to Europe and New York to talk footwear, friends, fashion memories and her Jeremiah Johnson fantasies.
What did you do last weekend and what are your plans for this weekend?
You've asked me at a good time, last weekend was far more exciting than usual! My dad and I went to Paris for a few couture shows (I am covering them for Pop magazine) and it was really great to see what has been a lifelong-destination city of mine, such beautiful clothing and such crazy people. This weekend I had a sleepover with a friend (we made up a dance to Bad Romance), then made the Tenenbaums on Sims with another friend, and today I went record shopping and played guitar with another friend and watched Heathers. The Miss America pageant was on last night but I watched Drop Dead Gorgeous because I'm bitter like that.
Ocean or mountains?
Who, in your opinion, is the most underrated designer (living or dead)?
This is very difficult! I think I would have to say Paul Poiret, maybe? He did a bit of what Coco Chanel did before Coco Chanel did.
What's your favorite store in the world?
Hmmm, I think either the Comme des Garcons Aoyama shop in Tokyo, Colette in Paris, really good old bookstores, or this one local record store.
Can you tell me a bit about your first-ever "aha" fashion moment (sorry, Oprah) and what it was that moved you?
I don't have a first ever, I think in the beginning it was a gradual love affair. I have "aha" moments rather often though, as I'm growing to love fashion more and learn more about it. I think one I can pinpoint is Comme des Garcons fall 2009. That collection made me cry, and I was just seeing it online. I finally understood how emotion could come from design. It's not like I cried in a SO BEAUTIFUL! way (though it was beautiful), it was just because there was something about my interpretation of the collection that seemed to be, for some reason, very personal for me.
What's the best holiday gift you've ever received and what's the not best holiday gift you've ever received?
Oh! I don't know... In, I think, third grade I got a Barbie shopping cart and I loved it. It was really the best thing ever, you had to be there. I wish I still had it. I got some packages from friends this year that were really special: a scrapbook from Isabel, a couple DVDs and a zine from Belle, and a package of '90s girl stuff from Laia. [As for the] not best gift, nothing really springs to mind, which I guess is a good thing.
Favorite fashion or Fashion Week memory thus far?
Gah! These are tough questions. Probably meeting Rei Kawakubo, or meeting Karl Lagerfeld and him saying some very nice things and also I could SEE HIS EYES (there were no lasers), or interviewing John Galliano, or meeting Stephen Jones and him giving me a hat and saying its knocking-people-in-the-face abilities were like old Dior dresses that would knock everyone's ashtrays over when the girls in them would spin. Oh my God, that was the most name-droppy sentence ever. I feel d-baggy but it answers the question. And being in North Dakota with the Mulleavy sisters was pretty fun but it didn't feel really fashion-y because we were in such a relaxed setting and everything.
What one musician/song/CD has had the most profound effect on you?
Musician: Bob Dylan, undoubtedly. Can't quite describe why, and I'm sort of afraid to try to articulate it, for reasons I can't quite articulate.
Song: There are SO many. But there's this one live version of Like a Rolling Stone (Bob) that was like a lightbulb going off in my head.
Album: I think Freewheelin (yes, still Bob), because before I even listened to the lyrics or understood them or tried to understand them, I understood what was being conveyed. I guess this goes for Blonde on Blonde as well as Blood on the Tracks. Oh lawd.
If you could wear only one pair of shoes for the next year, what shoes would they be?
Probably my floral Doc Martens; they're just my go-to shoes. Or my red Comme des Garcons moccasins, with the toes drawn on them. So comfy.
I realize you're probably still figuring this out, but what's your dream occupation - or are there several you'd like to tackle?
Several! I would like to go to school, then have a band, then have a magazine where I could photograph/art direct/write, then write and direct and maybe act in movies, then write and direct and maybe act on stage, then be an elementary school teacher, then write again, then move to the woods.
What's your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect daily day would be a Saturday. Watching a movie in bed in the morning, then making collages and a zine, then rehearsal for a play, then record shopping with a friend, then watching more movies, I guess. That is one I would like to happen a lot, like Groundhog Day. A perfect day that happens once would probably be a big get-together with my heroes and idols and favorite people, if I didn't faint.
Tell me about your best friend.
I have a few and they're all great. I'll describe two of them for you. One is obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock and showed me just today a murder mystery she wrote; she's the one I went record shopping and guitar-playing with. Another is really short and loves 80's movies and makes calendars.
What's your favorite Edward Gorey book of all time?
Oy! I think maybe the Gashlycrumb Tinies? It's the first one I knew and reading it in fourth grade felt so weird but liberating, and nothing I'd been exposed to before.
If you found $15,000 cash in a brown paper bag, how would you spend it?
I would probably have to put it away for college! I would like to buy an issue of Visionaire, and a piece from Miu Miu spring 2010 first, though.
Please describe your screensaver/desktop.
A collage of the moth-hole flower dresses from Yohji Yamamoto spring 2010.
What freaks you out?
People. I'm friends with spirits and ghosts and orbs but humanity can freak me out. Oh, and some Internet memes.
When are you happiest?
When I'm most myself, when I'm not too busy, when I'm with friends, when I am singing and acting, when I am sledding with good friends.
photo © Luca Cannonieri/Gorunway.com
Stay tuned for Random Questions For...Louise Gray