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First Look: Teenage


The new documentary Teenage, which opened this weekend in New York City, takes a look at how different youth subcultures scattered across the world and throughout centuries have helped define teenage culture today. Through beautiful, super-8 archive footage paired with the recreations and narrations of four different teens, Teenage creates a vibrant "living collage" of history in a way that no documentary film has done before. (Check out some of our exclusive .gifs from the movie, posted below.) We talked to Matt Wolf, the director of the film, Jon Savage, who wrote Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, the book that served as the basis of the film, and Executive Producer Jason Schwartzman, about the movie, what they were like as teens, and why adults forget what it feels like to be a rebellious youth. Hazel



How did you all connect to make this movie?

Matt: I read Jon's book and I thought it was very compelling and that it could be a great film. He had just finished the Joy Division film and I had just finished this movie called Wild Combination about Arthur Russell, so we swapped DVDs and started talking. We thought we could work together so we started a sort of Skype relationship. Eventually I went to Wales with a hard-drive of footage and we started the process of etching out what the film could be. 

Jason: I saw Matt's film Wild Combination and I loved it; I remembered watching it many times over the course of a week after it came out. One person I was eager to show it to was this friend of mine, Humberto Leon, who has the store Opening Ceremony. Humberto said that he was friends with Matt Wolf and later [Opening Ceremony] wanted short films for their store opening in Japan, so he hooked Matt and I up and we made one together. It was during the shoot for that that he told me about how he was going to make a movie based on this book by Jon Savage and I was excited about it. 

In terms of how you, Matt and Jon, envisioned the film, did you have a clear idea of what the film would look and feel like? Did you two know from the beginning that you would want to use archival footage and take this in a more artistic direction?

Matt: We could have done a multi-part television series with expert historians and talking heads, but early on we knew we didn't want to do that. I had accumulated about 70 or 80 hours of archival footage at some point while we were piecing together the film. I had a residency at an artists' colony, and everyday I edited a compilation mix of archival footage to contemporary music. That was a really important part of the process for me. It made this "living collage" style we were going for.

Jon: Matt and I discussed early on that we didn't want the film to be from the point of view of adults, we wanted young people's own words. So Matt and I developed a narration where we took quotes from the book or wrote quotes that gave the teenage point of view—how it actually feels to be young. In general, the film is pretty much how we wanted it to be from the start.

Who is the audience for Teenage?

Matt: Teenage, to me, is an art film in a sense. The film is also an incredible music experience. I see the film almost like a record, and the narrations are like the lyrics to the record. You can just sort of sit and experience it without looking at it. I hope fans of music are a fan. And the film isn't really about your typical teenager, it's about the exceptional young people, people who think against the grain. I wish I had seen this film when I was a teenager.

Jon: Me too. Because then you realize you're not alone. 

Jason: I almost wish they would show this in schools because I think it's exciting. Also, I remember Matt came to my house with a rough compilation and narrated it for me in person, and even when he wasn't talking it was beautiful to watch. 

When you were going through all the footage and even watching the film now, was there a certain quote or piece of footage that really stood out to you?

Matt: The thing that was a big break-through for me was the color footage of German swing kids. The story of the German swing kids is the most moving to me because it was the story of how pop culture and politics collide. These young people were smuggling American music and culture as a way of expressing themselves but also as a subversive tactic to resist the Nazi regime. It's so punk. There's also this quote towards the end of the film, from a letter to the editor for Seventeen Magazine, that says, "I love being seventeen. I wish I could stay this age for awhile. Seventeen is that perfect spot between adolescence, which means you're going somewhere, and adulthood which means you're on the downgrade."

Jon: [laughs] I'm totally downgraded! I love the quote, "My world is speedy and they're old." That's from a book called Middletown, which is about this couple who went to a town in the midwest for a year in the 1920s and reported what they found. But, my favorite bit, is the footage of the Chicago swing jamboree in 1938 with 200,000 kids going mental. And it was an integrated audience, which is amazing, because black American music was incredibly important.

Jason: You know what's wild, and it just occurred to me, is that it blows my mind that you [Jon] wrote this book without seeing a lot of this stuff. The book and the movie, they're companion pieces in a way. Jon wrote this book without having seen a lot of it and Matt made that possible. 

Matt: We were really rigorous in making sure that everything in the film is based on historical truths and uncovered history. We based the narration on primary source quotes and based our characters off of real people. That rigor is really important to us as filmmakers and historians. 

Jason: Another great thing about the film is that it doesn't get into all the stuff you already know. These are the people and the stories that seeped through everything.

There was a line in the press release I was really interested in about activism and rebelliousness, and how you point out that adults today sort of forget what it feels like to be a teen. In your opinion, why do you think there's that separation?

Matt: At the core, I think it's that teenagers represent the future because they're going to live in the next era, and that creates a lot of hope and anxiety for adults. They project their fears onto young people and it leads to a desire to control them. But why do adults forget this need for freedom and self-expression and revert to this need to control? I think it's out of fear.

Jon: And also people get beaten down by life, they really do. People get into habits and raising a family. It also depends on temperament. I've always been a guy who's interested in the present and the future. A lot of my work is in the past but when I was a kid I was into stuff that was really cutting edge, which is why I'm excited about the film. You have the everyman histories, the history of the normal people, but when I was a kid I hated the normal people. I never wanted to be normal EVER. With the book and the film I was interested in the exceptional people who make the change. Because, if there's no change there's just entropy and then everything turns to shit. 

Matt: When I was a teen I was a gay activist, and I remember publishing this underground newspaper and dumping it in the middle of my quad and then going to the bathroom and just barfing. I didn't even think about it as brave, it was just this immediate need to express myself. As I get older I think about what people will think of me and I try not to think that way, but with teenagers, they just purely express in a very visceral way.

Jason: I do remember being an adolescent and feeling angry and sad and not knowing why. As you get older, adults need to find a reason for why you feel all these things. I have a daughter now and whenever I meet a parent of an older kid they go, "Just wait 'til she's 13!" And it's like, why the "just wait"?

Jon: It's part of that experience of separating from your parents and joining the world of your peers. 

Matt: When you're young, a lot of the time you're oppressed. I think with this film, it's really about a formative period in history in which young people were facing an unprecedented amount of oppression from their parents and the government. They were really just struggling for basic forms of recognition and to endure these struggles and define yourself under judgmental and high-pressure critique from adult society leads towards revolution.

Let's Listen To The Eagles

I know what you're thinking. You're like, "Let's not listen to The Eagles, Katie. Because they are dad rock." But you're wrong. So wrong. Their soothing tunes have been available on Spotify for a couple weeks now, and I really hope that y'all are taking advantage of this happy musical occasion. You can listen to The Eagles any time you choose! In 2013!

If you think I'm kidding about The Eagles' greatness, then you should sit down and watch that Eagles documentary that came out a few months ago because then you'd be like, "Oh my god, every song they wrote was a hit! I'm so into them!" And a bonus is that they also had great drama. Like drugs and shit. So don't be afraid to let this groovy soft-rock sweep you off your feet this summer, preferably on a beach somewhere while drinking a Corona Light or a Seagram's Escape. To get you in the mood, here are some of the best Eagles songs you forgot you loved. —Katie


"Take It To The Limit"
They most certainly did take it to the limit with this song. The limit of feelings. Sometimes you just need to take it to the limit one more time, know what I mean?


"Life in the Fast Lane"
This song is so dad-rock that it's kind of turned the corner into being amazing again. Like, "throw-on-some-bellbottoms-and-try-to-play-that-guitar-riff-in-your-dorm-room" amazing.


"Wasted Time"
Maybe you'll see this title and think, "I don't think I know that song." Well you're wrong. Everyone in the world knows every single Eagles song, whether you realize it or not. And this song is a slow-jam classic. Get to brooding, y'all.


"Love Will Keep Us Alive"
Hello! Are you getting married in 1995? Do you need a wedding song? Because I've found it for you. Those harmonies! Hold my hand.


"The Long Run"
What can I say that this painted eagle hand isn't already saying?


"Already Gone"
Have you succumbed to the glory that is The Eagles yet? If so, grab your aviators, fluff out your '70s perm, and pop One Of These Nights into the 8-track player in your Mustang because we are going to take it to the limit one more time, everybody. And no, I don't care that I already used that joke three times. Eagles forever!

Famous Hollywood Splits


(via Perez Hilton)

Apparently Jason Segel and Michelle Williams have called it quits and man, I really thought these guys were in it for the long haul. (◕︵◕) So many celebrity relationships have been crushing my dreams lately! I guess that's just the way it is in showbiz, but that doesn't mean I have to feel less destroyed by these relationships that will never directly affect me at all. Let's take a look at some other relationships that were supposed to renew all of our faith in love, but instead destroyed our hearts.—Katie


Will Arnett & Amy Poehler
Love is dead, guys. Love. is. dead.


P. Diddy & J-Lo
Was this my favorite celebrity pairing of all time? Yes. Like, I kind of want it to happen again. J-Lo is amazing! P. Diddy is hilarious! Their children would be beautiful, hilarious whirlwinds of money.


Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams
Here is a fun personal anecdote: My boyfriend has a picture of himself next to Ryan Gosling and he looks like a monster. Ryan Gosling is too hot to exist next to normal people! That's why I'm convinced that Rachel and Ryan will find their way back to one another; they're both just too perfect looking to stray for long.


Heidi Klum & Seal
I mean... there aren't even any words.


Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt
Apparently their breakup happened 8 years ago, but it still feels fresh to me. Like, Brad Pitt is seriously dead2me until the end of time for hurting sweet baby Jen. She's had to deal with being "The Woman Who Will Never Be Lucky In Love" in every single tabloid since, so, yeah, you can go shave your back now, Brad.


Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake
This entire photoshoot was so magical and led us all to believe that they'd be living in a storybook cottage for the rest of their days. But noooo, idiots had to go and break up.


Kanye West & Amber Rose
Whatever, I loved these two. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME.

Got It Together: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was notorious for having run-ins with the law, a prescription pill problem, and relationship troubles, but by the end of his life, he had sort of gotten it together. While he had drug problems for most of his life, his marriage to June Carter in 1968 helped tame his wild ways, and they remained married until their deaths in 2003. They died months apart from one another, sort of like an edgier, more fucked up movie version of The Notebook. Even though things weren't perfect, Cash put out some great stuff in the months before his death, and proved that he still had a lot to offer. If you feel like dying a little bit today, check out his video for "Hurt" and then weep over it with me.—Katie


Ladies Who Rock: Joan Baez

Joan Baez might have been known for hanging out with Bob Dylan a lot, but on her own, she's a pretty impressive lady. She had a ton of her own albums, and was involved in a lot of the political movements of the '60s. It's almost impossible to choose favorites when it comes to her because of how many albums she's had, but here's a little sampling of what Joan Baez has to offer. Even at 72 she's still just as awesome as she was when she was 22!—Katie


Everything in this video—the stage, the camera effects, her outfit—is so super '70s, it's amazing. And this cover! Go Joan.


This is another cover, but this one needs to be included as well, because HOW BEAUTIFUL DOES IT SOUND?


This video is longer, but it opens with "Silver Dagger" which is a great song, all about how men are dogs. Hell yeah.

Got It Together: The Fashion Pack

In the December 2012 "Wise Up" issue of i-D MagazineVogue’s creative director Grace Coddington (above, winking on the cover in all her flame-haired glory) commented that designers need "a few things going wrong in their life. I mean, I hate to say it, but it teaches you a hell of a lot, you know." 

Some of the fashion world’s most lauded luminaries have fallen off the horse (and the wagon) and made major pratfalls on their way to becoming the industry icons they are today. "Nicolas [Ghesquière] took forever to get where he was. Marc [Jacobs] got fired ten times before he made it," Coddington added. So, if you’re jobless, scandalized, or just a little down-in-the dumps, take comfort in fashion’s fabulous failures and how they rose from the ashes. -Natalie

[Marc Jacobs, 1992]

Who: Marc Jacobs
Epic Fail: In 1998, Jacobs was plucked from relative obscurity to become Perry Ellis' creative director, a move perhaps doomed from the start as the magnitude of the job caused massive fear in Jacobs, which spiralled into a serious drink and drug habit. His critically acclaimed ‘grunge’ collection of 1992 famously got Jacobs fired, and had his business partner Robert Duffy remortgaging his house to keep the pair afloat.

Back in the Game: Jacobs’ fall from grace was at least a glamorous one, and with supporters like Anna Wintour and Bloomingdale's in his corner, it wasn’t long before Louis Vuitton came calling and the designer cleaned up his act.


[Anna Wintour, 1970]


Who: Anna Wintour
Epic Fail: In 1976, Wintour’s first foray into the New York publishing world ended abruptly when she was fired as junior fashion editor of Harper’s BAZAAR for, as she puts it, “not understanding American fashion.”
Back in the Game: While her edgy appeal proved too much for some, it highlighted her as an innovator to others. In fact, Wintour later cited the incident as one of the best things that could have happened to her career. "I worked for American Harper’s BAZAAR... they fired me. I recommend that you all get fired, it's a great learning experience," she told the young audience at Teen Vogue's Fashion University in 2010.

[Alber Elbaz, 2012]

Who: Alber Elbaz
Epic Fail: After a short stint as creative director of YSL, Tom Ford unceremoniously dismissed Alber Elbaz when Gucci Group (now known as PPR) took over the label in 2001. "At Yves Saint Laurent I felt like the son-in-law, like I was part of the family but not quite," he has said of the events. "When I was fired, I felt like the widow." Adding insult to injury, Elbaz went on to work for Krizia in Italy, but left three months later after an alleged falling-out with the label’s founder.
Back in the Game: Elbaz briefly considered going into medicine, but was hired to resuscitate Lanvin, the world’s oldest running couture house, which he has achieved to overwhelming success. "It was painful and destroying, but it didn't crush me," he said of the YSL incident. "I have never been Alber from Saint Laurent, just like I'm not Alber from Lanvin. I am just Alber, short. And I am very short." LOLZ.

[Kate Moss, 2006]

Who: Kate Moss
Epic Fail: Two words: Cocaine Kate.
Back in the Game: Nothing keeps this good-time girl down. Moss pulled up her bootstraps, worked her butt off, and pouted her way to becoming a more powerful fashion force than before. Fragrance deals, endless billion-dollar campaign contracts, high street collaborations, wedding bells and a coffee table tome promptly followed.

And, let’s not leave out the woman in question…
[Grace Coddington, 1980]

Who: Grace Coddington
Epic Fail: In her recently published Grace: A Memoir, Coddington details her move from British Vogue to Calvin Klein in the late ’80s. Having consulted for the brand and styled its ad campaigns, Coddington was hired as design director when Klein was admitted into rehab. After dismal reviews and a direction that proved "completely wrongheaded and far too grandiose for Calvin’s minimalist aesthetic," in her words, "My efforts showed that I was not good at leading a design team, and certainly not one that worked on the basis of designing from the ground up. Eventually I might even have led the company into deep trouble." Ouch.
Back in the Game: Coddington made nice with Klein by creating the iconic Eternity campaign with Bruce Weber, then promptly jumped ship to American Vogue, where she still presides, decades later, as the über-respected creative director.

2012 Year In Review: Part 1

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 



20. Holographic Tupac: Tupac Shakur was shot in 1996, when most of the Coachella-going population was, like, 10. But when he was resurrected in the form of a hologram on the final night of the three-day music festival, the crowd went INSANE. It was like we had seen the past and the future at the same damn time. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, the company who brought us HT went bankrupt. Wah-wah...


19. Boy bands are back: Maybe we can attribute it to more '90s nostalgia, but One Direction and The Wanted put boy bands back on top this year. And here at the UO Blog, we define 'on top' as 'when Lindsay Lohan gets in a fight over you.' (PS-OMG, Harry we love you!!!)


18. Seapunks vs. Azealia and Rihanna: Seapunks united to decry Azealia Banks and Rihanna for having teal and turquoise hair and loving dolphins, because apparently only TRUE seapunks are allowed to have teal and turquoise hair and love dolphins. Oh yeah, and 'seapunk' was a thing. 


17. This dude: Kreayshawn blew the door open in 2011, and so in 2012, atrocity rappers such as Riff Raff, Brooke Candy, and Lil Debbie had their best year ever. And...the rest of us suffered for it. 


16. Ikea Monkey: What do you get when you combine a monkey, a shearling coat, camera phones and a Canadian outpost of a Swedish furniture store? An internet sensation, that's what. 

Start Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

2012 The Year in Review: Part 2

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 




15. Tumblr discovers a new icon: In The Hunger Games, 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence was a total badass. In real life, she was an animated goofball (albeit a hot one) with serious GIF potential.



14. YOLO: Drake's "The Motto" actually came out in 2011, but YOLO became 2012's most oft- and most over-used expression. Especially when used by idiots to explain why they did something stupid. 


13. The Rookie Road Trip: We went on a road trip with Rookie Mag and The Ardorous that culminated in an awesome art show at Space 15 Twenty. We'd say that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, except that we really wanna do it again... 


12. Grimes: From her songs to her videos, her artwork and her style (not to mention the pussy rings), there are more than enough reasons to go ahead and crown her Miss 2012, Queen of the Electronic Universe. 



11. We met Lisa Frank: We went to visit Lisa Frank in Tucson, Arizona. On the outside, we were like 'Oh yeah, NBD. Just another day here at Urban Outfitters,' but on the inside we were all like 'OMFG!!!!!@#$%^%W$FHOLYCRAPITSLISAFRANK' and were so excited we thought we might puke rainbows. 

Start Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

2012 The Year in Review: Part 3

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 

10. Lena Dunham and Girls: When it came to Lena Dunham's HBO show Girls, people either drank the Kool-Aid and dubbed in the best new show on TV; or gulped the haterade and denounced Dunham for everything from her weight to her famous parents and her all-white cast. Both camps are likely counting down the days until season two premieres in January. 

9. Lana Del Rey: Speaking of haters, remember Lana Del Rey? When she appeared on Saturday Night Live, her performance went over about as well as if she had "clubbed a baby seal while singing the Taliban national anthem." Even Brian Williams hated it, but LDR went on to release two albums and a couple of very epic videos—co-starring alternately some hot dudes, and then some very un-hot dudes

8. Instagram: It's doubtful that there was a single second of 2012 that WAS NOT documented on Instagram. And if there was anyone out there who got nail art but failed to 'gram it, well, then, we feel bad for you—just think of all the 'Likes' you missed out on.

7. Hostess shuts down: Talk about a bummer: Hostess goes out of business the very same month that marijuana was legalized (oh, the irony). For a while, there was talk that PBR was going to buy the cupcake manufacturer to revive it, but that was just a rumor made in hipster heaven. So, for now at least, if you want a Twinkie, you'd better start bidding

6. The US Gymnastics Team: At the 2012 Olympics, the US Gymnastics team took home the gold, and 16-year-old Gabby Douglas won the individual gold, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. McKayla was not impressed, and the Internet loved her for it. 

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2012: The Year in Review Part 4

The best, worst and WTF of 2012.

5. Honey Boo-Boo: We're not going to go as far as Barbara Walters here, but if you don't know who this six-year-old is, you clearly have not read magazines, been on the internet, or turned on the TV this year. And the rest of us envy you, because we can't seem to get away.


4. Cats: They're still popular! As for the Official Cat of 2012 award, it has to be a tie between Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat (who's real name is Tard, no less). We take this to mean that the Internet is finally starting to value inner beauty. At least when it comes to cats.

3. LA Hip-Hop: After Odd Future dominated 2011—more for their behavior than their music—L.A. represented in an unassailable way in 2012 with Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar. Ocean's Channel Orange and Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city dominated year-end lists, and we can only imagine that up in hip-hop heaven, Tupac is giving Biggie some serious shit about it. 

2. November 6: Let's just say it was awesome

1. Call Me Maybe: Duh.

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2012 Year in Review: The Best, Worst and WTF

2012 may have been bad, may have been good, but whatever it was, it was definitely NOT boring. Here, we compiled a list of our favorite moments from the past 12 months. Full disclaimer: This list does not represent all of Urban Outfitters, just the blog team. And admittedly, we're a bunch of dorks who spend too much time on the internet, and the rest of the company probably has way better taste than we do. XOXO—The UO Blog


Start Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4


Shallow Rewards' "Goth Is A Four Letter Word"

I love music critic Chris Ott's series of video essays on music, "Shallow Rewards," and this episode on the history of goth is awesome. You might be surprised to find out that modern bands like Iceage and Deerhunter are actually totally goth. - Hazel

Seinfeld Today

This Twitter is Seinfeld scenarios for 2012 and I would watch every single one of these episodes and can already picture them in my head. "George opens actual jerk store on Etsy." It's about time, right?—Kate

A Bunch of Really Important Sh!t Happened Yesterday

In case you accidentally slept through yesterday, or your 'returns-results' drinking game has left you with a major hole in your recall of the historic events that happened in the last 24 hours, here's a brief rundown. —Kate



1. We re-elected Barack Obama to second term of President of the United States, which is great, because he's pretty much the coolest.   


2. Colorado and Washington voters passed amendments to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Thousands across the country start looking into real estate in Boulder.


3. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin defeats Tommy Thompson to become the first female senator from Wisconsin, and the first openly-gay person to serve in the US Senate. Hell motherf**king yes.


4. Two old white dudes learned that spouting off with out-of-touch and offensive comments about rape might not be such a good idea. Though they may live in the dark ages, their electorates clearly do not. 


5. Maine and Maryland become the first states to legalize gay marriage by popular vote


6. New Hampshire elected the first-ever all-female congressional delegation, basicially making November 6, 2012 the BEST. GIRLS. NIGHT. EVER. 


7. Young people and minorities turned out to vote in numbers that almost matched the historic levels of the last election, disproving many Republican touts of Obama's 2008 victory being merely a one-off. 

True that. 

Boardwalk Empire Premiere

The new season of Boardwalk Empire premieres this Sunday. Get ready by going to Atlantic City, or just taking the G train to Greenpoint

Lulu Guinness Patent Leather Eva Bag




I've always been obsessed with vintage doctor bags and upon spotting this beautiful new 1940s inspired Eva bag from Lulu Guinness, I have a feeling it would fit in perfectly with my collection! X - Jen

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are, and many other beautifully twisted children's stories, died this morning. Certainly, there's a wild rumpus waiting for him in heaven. 

R.I.P. MCA

Adam Yauch, better known as 'MCA' of the Beastie Boys, passed away today at age 47. Yauch was an idol in many ways—as an activist, director and member of one of the most ground-breaking hip-hop groups of all time—and he will be missed. 

OBEY THE GIANT-The First Narrative Film About OBEY

OBEY THE GIANT is the recently funded Kickstarter film about OBEY creator Shephard Fairey.  The project is the first narrative film about Fairey's legacy (think of it as The Social Network for the art world) and depicts the origin of his Obey the Giant street art campaign at RISD. The film shows us where it all began and gives hope to all artists who are trying to do something bigger than themselves.  You can back the film here!


Shop OBEY

Gavin McInnes 'How To Piss In Public' Book


How To Piss In Public by Gavin McInnes is the book everyone has been waiting for! Gavin has been capturing eyes and ears for over two decades now with his brilliant brain and he has no plans on stopping anytime soon. I've only gotten halfway so far (I did only got my copy yesterday) but I couldn't recommend it more! X - Jen