The Strange Magic Prom Night wouldn't have been complete without a super cool prom band, so of course we got Bleached to play. Their punk songs were perfect for a bunch of teen girls in adorable vintage prom dresses to dance to. And when the moshing got too rough, they took care of the situation by screaming, "Girls, you should go CRAZY" and harassing the Space 15 Twenty security guy. Best prom band ever! Before they went on, I asked Jessica and Jennifer Clavin of Bleached a few questions about their school dance experiences. - Hazel
Did you guys go to school dances a lot?
Jennifer: I think I went to, like, one.
Jessica: I think when I was in junior high I went but I think by the time I got to high school I totally didn't go to school dances. I went to one with this guy and it was really weird.
Okay, now you need to tell me about the weird guy.
Jessica: He was a really good friend of ours, Brad, and at the end of the night he tried to kiss me. I was like, "Oh, okay…I don't feel that way about you" [laughs] But I remember our mom sewed a lot when we were younger so I went she made my dress for me. It was really nice and '30s-looking.
Jennifer: Actually I do remember I got asked to prom by this boy and I was gonna go but then I had a boyfriend at the time [laughs] and my boyfriend got jealous, that I was going to go to the dance with this other boy! But I didn't think about it because I just thought the guy was asking me as a friend but then when I think my boyfriend got jealous I thought he was asking me as more than a friend so I said I couldn't go.
So did you guys go to prom?
Jennifer: Well I didn't go because I dropped out of high school. She dropped out too [laughs].
So which one of you do you guys think is the better dancer?
Jennifer: Jessie is way better at dancing!
Jessica: Jen's good at dancing too.
Do you have a favorite dance?
Jessica: I think when we're dancing at clubs a little bit of the Molly Ringwald will come out.
I was kind of wishing you were going to say something dorkier, like "The Electric Slide" or something.
Jennifer: Oh my god that is so funny because when we went to the South we were in Mississippi and I found Jessica at the end of the night doing the Electric Slide. [laughs] Like, really drunk and alone in a corner.
If you both could have your dream school dance, what band would play?
Jennifer: Oh my god I am thinking of so many right now. At the end of the movie Valley Girl, Josie Cotton plays so I thought it would be cool to re-enact that whole scene. But, with Nicholas Cage and everything. So I'd say that, but if I could just actually pick the ultimate band to play at a high school dance it would probably be, like, Madonna. Because that would just be insane.
Jessica: I feel like I would want some punk band that I was listening to while in high school because nobody else was really listening to music like that. It would be cool to go a prom and your favorite punk band is playing.
Jennifer: Okay I totally just figured out mine after you said that. It would be The Misfits.
Jessica: Yes! I was thinking The Ramones too. Or like Generation X would be really fun and cool.
So who would be your dream date to the dance?
Jennifer: Like anyone? Even from the past?
Jennifer: Then it would be Keanu Reeves, from River's Edge. He would be so hot.
Jessica: Mine would be Chris Cornell from Singles era Soundgarden. I feel like he would be the one to spike the punch bowl.
Jennifer: Wait, is there going to be a punch bowl tonight?
There is going to be a punch bowl tonight.
Jennifer: [laughs] I guess we can't spike it though.
At the Rookie story hour, topics covered were (in no particular order): Molly Ringwald, first kisses, bitchface, being true to yourself (with quotes from Shakespeare and Angela Chase), bad hair, crying, body image, and acid (as in, dropping it).
T Magazine takes a trip to Pilgrim Surf and Supply, a surfy boutique situated in Williamsburg at 68 N. 3rd Street, and shows us what's in store as well as some off the shelf styled looks. Whether you're looking for a new pair of boardshorts or a new shortboard it looks like Pilgrim's got you covered. -Bob
These simple and classic striped T-shirts are from Oregon-based Archival Clothing. Sure, they might not look that special upon first glance, but the beauty is in the details of these American made tees: quality cotton and rugged construction. Check out the rest of the line on their shop page. -Bob
Boy, what a very special phenomenon this is to experience! Technology from the past and present in transit into the future. I have just witnessed Pictures from the Moon and Ghosts in the Machine at New Museum. From 3D to 2D, it's interesting to see what holography artists were interested in creating from 1969-2008. Go ahead and get your mind visually blown, it's technological fate. -Maggie Lee
I've never worn any sort of headband before, but I'm really feeling the idea of adding this totally girly twist to my black and leather wardrobe. As they've always been the queen of headbands, there seems no place better to turn for this new staple than Miu Miu! X - Jen
Petra Collins, the nineteen-year-old Toronto-based photographer, takes beautiful snapshots of girlhood. Her work has appeared in magazines like Oyster, Garage, Vice, and, of course, Rookie Mag. Her photos of teenage girls, whether they're of a group of witches or a couple of riot grrrl skateboarders, have helped define Rookie's aesthetic month after month. She also runs The Ardorous, an all-female art collective that features photographers, painters, and illustrators from around the world.
Her art installation "Strange Magic," a collaborative work with The Ardorous and Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Mag, opens tonight at Space 15 Twenty! I talked to Petra about her work, Strange Magic, and the awesome lookbooks she created for UO during the Rookie Road Trip.
Your pictures of teenagers and female youth are such honest depictions. Have you always gravitated towards female subjects and girl culture with your photography?
Yes I have. It just came naturally because I was documenting my life at the time.
How does feminism effect your work?
I think it just changes the way I approach things; it gives me a female gaze.
Some people might find your photography controversial due to the sexual subject matter. Why do you think people are still so threatened by young female sexuality?
I find that western culture idealizes pre-pubescence and views the feminine identity as something that can only exist in the realm of adolescence. Women are expected to be sexually submissive. I think our society isn't ready to accept the grown woman (a girl after puberty) and thus can't deal with the thought of a women having dominant control over her sexuality.
I know you paint, but are their any other mediums that you want to work with besides photography?
Yes! I love to work with every medium. I just did a sculptural piece for the strange magic show. I'm also starting some film projects with my boyfriend Avery Hunsberger.
I wanted to give female artists a stronger voice and a platform to display their work. At the time I was having trouble getting my photography noticed, so I just decided to create my own space where I and other female artists could collaborate and get our work seen!
Tell me a little about the lookbooks you created for UO. What's the inspiration behind each shoot?
Each shoot was strongly influenced by the city it was shot in and how I felt about it aesthetically.
Who were the models that you used for each shoot?
I used friends, my sister Anna, and some Rookie readers from each town.
Tell me about the inspiration for Strange Magic. What was your vision for the space?
I wanted to create a surreal depiction of a teenage bedroom, like the alternate universe that co-exists with your bedroom, the way you view it.
When I was a teenager I never really saw my room as "messy," it always seemed magical. The papers, dirty underwear, and wrappers on the floor sort of looked like a botanical oasis to me and that is what I wanted to turn literal. I also wanted to make sure it gave an accurate depicition of teen life/bedrooms. I find that in most images or movies that show a teenager's room the gritty, sad, or weird things get left out. I made sure to keep those in through the photos and parts of the installation, like the dirty underwear, the gross wrappers, or the weird and embarrassing diary entries.
What has been your favorite part of the Rookie Road Trip?
It's hard to say! I think my favorite parts were the "off moments" like stopping at gas stations, exploring weird towns, eating at diners, places that to me felt like film stills from a road movie.
Last night, Mindy Kaling made an eagerly awaited stop at Space 15 Twenty to do a live interview with Tavi as part of Strange Magic. It was truly a moment when Tavi and Mindy realized they were both wearing stars.
The interview was supposed to be Tavi asking Mindy questions, but Mindy quickly turned the tables on Tavi because she had so many questions for her. She asked Tavi who the coolest person she has met is and Tavi's answer was Bjork. Tavi then asked Mindy the same question, and Mindy sheepishly responded Chris Klein.
After their talk, Mindy took questions from the crowd and gave advice for people wanting to get into comedy writing. One bit of it was (and we'll paraphrase here) 'You don't have to go to parties, or sleep, with people who do what you want to do. You just have to be really, really good.' Well said, Mindy! Round of digital applause.
Really loving these simple and smart phone cases by New York menswear brand Jack Spade. The wrinkle in the image of the plaid fabric is a great little detail that really gets to me. Check out the rest of their cases on their webshop. -Bob
Summer School is a project by American artists Erin Jane Nelson and Ming Lin, where between July 21-27, they will transform Project Space in Vancouver into a free public art school. I'm super excited about their unique art classes, which include backstrap weaving, mushroom spore printing, kite making, air tasting, and solar photogram making. In addition to classes and talks, Nelson and Lin will curate artworks produced within the the classes into an exhibition that will open July 27 and run until August 24. Be sure to register soon as the classes are filling up fast! - Jennilee
Take a look inside the closets of some of our most fashion-forward employees. Here we go deep in South Philly to talk fashion with our women's design intern Kindall Almond, one of last year's Designed By: Pratt Institute winners.
I’m Kindall. I’m originally from Denver, Colorado but I’ve been living in Brooklyn, NY for the past four years. I’m currently a women’s design intern at Urban, working mostly in denim and washed casuals, and woven top and dresses.
Where do you go to school? I’m about to go into my senior year at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I started as a fine art major but switched over in my second semester in the Fashion Design program.
You're subletting for the summer in Philadelphia, where are you located in the city? I found my apartment on Craigslist, and it turned out to be perfect, besides the fact it’s far away from almost everything except for work. But South Philly is weird in a way that I prefer, it’s more like where I live in Brooklyn than other areas of Philly. There are some really good cheap diners in the area, and there’s always somewhere to park so I really can’t complain.
Describe your style in five words. Picked up off the floor.
Who are some of your favorite designers and brands? Much like the way I dress, the designers and brands I like are all over the place. I love good men’s streetwear, but I also love really high end conceptual design, especially Japanese design. I’ve settled somewhere in the middle on Kenzo being my favorite designer of right now. They can seriously do no wrong in my book.
Do you thrift? Any favorite spots in New York or Philly? I’m poor so naturally I do lots of thrifting. Usually I just stick to the good ol' Salvation Army which is huge and right around the corner from my apartment. But I love military vintage. Kaufmans in Manhattan is great, there’s military vintage literally in piles in that store, even on the ceiling. Urban Jungle in Bushwick also has a great military selection (coveralls!) as well as a couple like Metropolis or Tokyo 7 in Manhattan. I’ve only been to a couple here in Philly, but AIDS Thrift off South St. was cool, and really inexpensive. Shout out to the Goodwill on Oregon.
Choose a few of your favorite items and tell us about them!
I got my railroad short-alls at Metropolis in NY, I had been looking for the exact pair for a few months. They're ”Vintage” Gap. I’m a big fan of overalls and coveralls, it’s my tomboy solution to an easy dress that you wear over everything. I’m also an advocate for anything without a real waist band.
The crochet tank top was my grandmothers. I have two, they hung at home in the closet forever until a few years ago when I found them. I’m really bad at picking out shirts so I wear them all summer long, just rotating them.
These pants are the best pants I’ve ever owned. They’re RRL, and I stole them from my ex-boyfriend who wears the same size pants as me. (If you’ve never dated someone the same size as you, especially one with a huge closet, I highly recommend it.) It has military reinforced seams and pockets everywhere. They’re like a tight fitting, flattering cargo pant which is really hard to find. Everything down to rivets on the center from seam makes me so happy.
I made Lady Guadalupe when I was in school last semester. I saw the fabric in a window on 34th St. and bought it immediately. I love all types of button up shirts and I couldn’t imagine it anywhere else; the opposite panels and how the sleeves lined up with one another was too perfect. I’ve never made anything so vibrant.
I got this jacket at a Buffalo Exchange in Denver. I always browse the men’s sections first, and the green wool was calling my name from the rack. It’s completely reversible to a beige cotton side, down to the snaps and ribbed collar and cuffs and pockets. Two jackets in one.
These pants are Alexander Wang, I got them from the Barneys CO-OP in SoHo. I like them because they play into the girlier part of me. They’re sparkly (surprise! I love sparkles) but they’re a simple trouser with a great fit and the softest lining I’ve ever felt. And they’re really comfortable. I wear them with everything when it’s chillier outside.
What would we find you wearing on a typical day?
On a typical day I’m usually wearing shorts and a tank top because it’s hot as hell here. Usually denim cutoffs but I love athletic shorts. Any chance it’s cool enough I wear a pair of trousers. I love short sleeved button ups, and long sleeved t-shirts, usually with a pair of platforms (probably my new silver favorites from Mishka) and socks, and always a pair of round sunglasses.
What's something you would never be caught dead in? I told myself I would never say I hated a color or a silhouette again, because I always like it later. We always come back around and I don’t like having to eat my words.
What's your outlook on fashion? You should wear whatever you feel like wearing that day. Sometimes I feel like dressing like a little boy, otherdays I want to be Sporty Spice. Being comfortable in yourself and what you’re wearing translates to how we look. Clothes shouldn’t be serious. And always: The more pockets the better.
Isaac Lin is an artist based out of Philadelphia who has created three tapestries for us for our Home Catalog 2012. We caught up with him to talk about the ideas behind the tapestries, what his workspace looks like, and which artist influence him the most.
Introduce yourself! Isaac Tin Wei Lin. I am an American Born Chinese from Philadelphia, PA. I live in South Philly and make paintings and drawings in my studio near Chinatown. Sometimes I work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, packing and unpacking the art and getting the galleries ready for the next show. I make a living between being an art prepper, freelance work, and selling art. I am represented by Fleisher Ollman Gallery here in Philadelphia.
Tell us about the tapestries you made for us.
Rumble is originally an 8 x 10" painting UO chose to enlarge for the tapestry. The painting shows a pile of abstract shapes, a Phillies "P", and two dog heads wearing hats. The abstract shapes are sort of like piles of debris in an empty lot, construction site or ruins from some ancient civilization. The dogs with hats are like spirits of the past present or future that occupy that sort of space. I used complementary colors so they would sort of vibrate. The background is a hazy red to contrast the graphic green lines but the haziness is also something I use to convey a bleak landscape.
Focus is a 18 x 24" screen print I made for the Megawords Mural I made in 2008. It was chosen by UO to be enlarged for the tapestry project. I have used this print in multiple projects as a background. It is the background for Dotski, below. I chose the colors peacock blue and fluorescent pink because of the way the colors vibrated and combined to form a lavender. I made this print from cutting up some drawings and taping them back together like Brion Gysin in order to fracture and distort the viewers ability to "read" it.
Dotski is a cartoon cat figure I had made for my solo show One of Us at the Print Center here in Philadelphia. The tapestry is made from a photo from my installation. The show was an installation of thirteen 4' x 8' cartoon cats cut out of wood, a wall painting, twenty-six 8x10" gouache paintings and the screen print Focus wheat pasted on the floor and walls. I created a visual environment to make the viewer feel like an outsider.
For the patterns on the cats, I used old large abstract paintings I had made on photo backdrop paper. I cut out the shape of the cat and pasted the abstract painting to the wood. I like how cats with patterns are similar but a bit different.
What got you started in creating tapestries? I usually do not make tapestries. But since the tapestry project with UO, I have been thinking more about flatness, the function of paintings, identity, communication and the vertical and horizontal relationship between viewer and object. This has led to making a series of paintings of rug designs and planetary objects.
What other types of art do you do? Sometimes some sculptures. I like taking pictures and I have ideas for some video and performance projects that I hope to get to in the near future. I am working on two new zines: a black and white DFW zine and an AAM zine with my friend Clark Mizono.
How would you describe your style? DFW. Flat. Indecipherable. Personal.
What does your workspace look like? What would we find in it? My studio is 385 square feet, with 13ft high ceilings and it does not have any windows. I was one of the first people to move into a studio space on my floor. It is cheaper and the landlord built my studio bigger than what we had planned but is charging me the original price we agreed on. He's pretty cool. I had to build a 12 x 24' wall in front of a stucco wall so that I could have more space to work on multiple projects at the same time. I like to keep my space clean and organized so that I can get to work without having to look everywhere for that one thing. My walls are covered with remnants of old paintings and doodles but it's nice to do what I want in my own space. I like being able to write, draw, and spray paint on my walls. It is comforting.
Where did your interest in art begin? My interest in art began when I was pretty young. I remember the Alexander Calder mobile at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and prints of Matisse's cut-outs my mother gave me hanging by my bed.
When you're not making art, what else could we find you doing? When I am not getting ready for a show, I will meet up with a friend for food or have them visit my studio, go check out a show, look for new things to read or music to listen to. The other day on my way back to the studio, after watching Prometheus, I stopped at PAWs at 2nd & Arch to hang out with some cats.
No one can deny how hot a leopard boot would look paired up with your favorite tight black jeans. Roger Vivier obviously wants you to be as rock 'n' roll as possible with these awesome calf hair fur boots. X - Jen
For everyone out there who is having a rough time this season, Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" is for you. Aside from the song being painfully perfect to cry to, the video, starring actress Jaime King as Lana's incredibly beautiful lover, feels like it's been playing on the back of my eyelids since the temperature first broke 90 degrees. Little did i know I've been Jaime King driving around all summer (just, you know, not as attractive crying). -Ally
Be one with the sun, be one with the waves, be one with the California haze. My true inner light is glowing so hard right now looking at JF & Son's new Men's Summer 2012 collaboration with fine artist Travess Smalley. Together, they psychedelicize nature in the form of button downs and shorts. Oh it's so slick and oh so swirly. My eyeballs cannot stop saying thank you! -Maggie Lee
Daniel Brereton (aka Dan Has Potential) is a London-based artist who created three tapestries for us this summer. We talked to him about the inspiration behind them and his start in the tapestry world, which goes back longer than even he thought.
Hello, my name is Daniel Brereton and I am from a little town called Kendal that is near the Lake District in England. I live in London and make videos and draw pictures for a living.
Tell us about the tapestries you made for us. The first one I call the “Bird God”, and this guy is an omnipresent character who watches down on people, to make sure they are safe and protecting them from bad luck, a bit like the Turkish eye.
What was your inspiration behind them? What type of moods were you going for? The three designs are all inspired by Haitian Vodou Flags. I am totally fascinated by them—the way they are handcrafted with thousands of little sequins, and the way the imagery is totally unique and mysterious. It was a great opportunity to create my own imagery based around these wonderful flags.
What type of room could you picture them being in? It could be in some grand colonial room as a relic, it could be seen hung above a Vodou altar in Haiti, or next to a nice pot plant in someone's living room.
When did you start making tapestries? Why did you choose to make them? I think I have been interested in textiles for quite a while; I used to be a textile designer for a little while. And then I really like folk art. textiles seem to be a chosen medium for folk art.
What did you go to school for? What was your favorite part about going? I didn't much like school, doing lots of subjects that I was not interested in at the time. But then I went to college and I could spend all day doing things I was interested in. My favorite part was maybe coming up with something that my tutor was into, or something that my peers were into.
Tell us a little bit about the other work you do. I make music videos for bands, as I enjoy collaborating and pushing my ideas into new directions. Often musicians are very inspiring, as they don't know the boundaries that I face when trying to make a video. I make images in a similar way to music videos, where I test myself to come up with something new and exciting, starting with a blank page and seeing where it goes.
Do you have anything else going on right now with your work? I don't have any exhibitions planned at the moment. I am working more on moving image at the moment and my drawing is a more personal thing. I like it that way as it means it does not have to be compromised by any commercial constraints.
Do you have any tapestries in your work or living space? What does your living or work space look like? I just bought a nice Iranian hand woven rug for my bedroom, and hanging in my studio is a tapestry I did for a show in Northern Ireland, about a stone statue of a one armed character named TandraDanHasgee Man. There is also a little textile work that I did when I was about eight or nine in school, so maybe the tapestry thing goes back longer than I thought.
What are some of your other hobbies when you're not working? In the summertime I try to get out and about a bit more. I have recently acquired a garden so been spending a bit of time sorting that out. And then in the wintertime I watch football on a Saturday and play it on a Sunday, the football with a round ball that is.
Two weekends ago, we asked you to show us your #FESTEVER photos from the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card at Urban Outfitters. Throughout the weekend (and the rain, the mud, and the performances) we were sent so many great shots, and going through them made us feel incredibly nostalgic. We wish we were back in Chicago! Above and below are the three #FESTEVER winners, congrats! -Ally
Last night, everyone came out for a Rookie-hosted screening of Freaks and Geeks in the courtyard at Space 15 Twenty. If you're not familiar with Freaks and Geeks, you should be, as it was the one-season Judd Apatow-created wonder that helped launch the careers of Jason Segel, Seth Rogan and everybody's favorite renaissance man, James Franco.
The highlight of the evening was a Q&A with John Francis Daley, who played the lead role of Sam Weir when he was only 13 years old, and a lot, lot shorter. Before he arrived, there was lots of buzzing about what he would look like now (14 years later) and whether or not he would still be cute.
Fortunately, he was. And he signed a lot of autographs and took a lot of pictures. Someone even tried to kiss him, but that's a whole 'nother story.
By the way, we've relieved Hazel of her blogging duties so that she can hang with her fam for the rest of the week. That's her bro Malcolm. Hi Malcolm! Also, props to Hazel for asking John Francis Daley about a particular blue leisure suit.