One of L.A.'s finest girl groups, Bleached, made up of sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin (who you may have seen on the Rookie Road Trip this past summer), have just released the first track from their debut record. The song is called "Next Stop," and has already got me thinking about summertime and road trips! Bleached's record, Ride Your Heart, is out April 2 on Dead Oceans. Super psyched for this one!—Maddie
This past Saturday evening at Space 15 Twenty in LA (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd), Rookie Magazine hosted a dance party celebrating the release of the Rookie Yearbook, with Tavi and a performance by Best Coast! Unbelievably well dressed girls (and boys) filled the courtyard of Space 15 Twenty, donning their best party attire and of course, flower crowns. The masses lined up to meet Tavi and get their Yearbooks signed, then danced patiently while waiting for Best Coast. Although it was a particularly freezing night in Hollywood, the masses warmed right up when Best Coast began to play on the Rookie-fied stage, tinsel-clad and all. I for one ate lots of candy, danced, and met a lot of super cool people. I hope you did too! - Maddie
The closing party for Strange Magic was truly magic, and only a little bit strange. We roamed the dance floor and the gallery snapping pics with these disposable cameras (we had the fiesta, party and happy birthday versions), and found that they perfectly captured the alternate-universe feel of the night. You know, that alternate universe where everything in the real world is actually as cool as it is in your head.
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).
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.
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.
Last night, Tavi and Petra's show Strange Magic opened at Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles. A crowd gathered outside before the doors even open, and when they did, it was a tidal wave of teenageness.
The central theme of the show was a teenage bedroom, complete with bed, bookshelves, dressers and desks, all decked out with memorabilia that the girls collected along the Rookie Road Trip route.
One visitor was overheard describing it as 'This place looks like a 16-year-old Courtney Love cleaned out her closet."
"Does that mean you don't like it?" her friend asked.
"Oh my god, no," she replied. "I love it. I want to live here." And that was pretty much the universal sentiment.
Merch up for grabs included Rookie T-shirts, The Ardorous altar candles and flower-encrusted sunglasses, handmade by Petra and Anna, and awesome, poster-sized photo prints from The Ardorous photographers.
A big hit was the treehouse, built especially for the show, which was totally covered in graffiti by the end of the night. Someone drew a really nice mermaid, and several someones drew penises. Why does this always happen when you let people draw on stuff?
Miranda July came by, with husband Mike Mills and their ridiculously cute baby in tow. Agyness Deyn and step-daughter Lucia Ribisi also came, and hung out all night.
It was a really stylish crowd. This couple above was having fun, we promise.
Hunx and Johnny Makeup definitely had fun. Go Lakers!
The Rookie Road Trip has been one of the craziest and coolest experiences of my life! Driving across America with my fellow Rookies as we met readers and saw all the parts of the country I have never seen before was awesome. Now we're in LA, setting up for the Space 15 Twenty installation. Before I close the curtain on the Rookie Road Trip, here's a list of some of my favorite parts of the trip:
Meeting Rookie readers!
Tavi is used to having fans, but I was amazed at how devoted the Rookie fans are. We liked to joke that Rookie meet-ups were like little cults, with Tavi as the leader, but there's actually a bit of truth to that. Meeting the people from the internet who were responsible for all the post comments, reblogs, and overall Rookie love was so nice!
The best is when girls met up in cities and became friends! Rookie readers are always asking, "Where are the other girls who read Rookie in my town?" Now they know! Emails and Tumblr URLs were exchanged aplenty!
They were also crazy stylish.
Cute Tank Girl/Bikini Kill jacket in San Francisco!
SO MANY READERS
Teen fashion designer Jane Round from Omaha was so sweet! Petra had her model for one of the UO lookbooks.
This headpiece from Portland is still blowing my mind
I loved Eryn, the girl we kidnapped in Seattle to take out to dinner because she was staying in the same hotel as us! Coolest girl ever.
Eating Voodoo Doughnuts
I don't care if I sound touristy, these were so good. So, SO good. We got Olivia and Cooper's family a big box of them as a gift for letting us stay at their house, but I think the Rookie crew kind of ended up eating them during the course of our stay. I have literally thought about Voodoo Doughnuts EVERY DAY since leaving Portland. I'm obsessed.
All The Unexpected Stops
Sometimes we would go off the itinerary to stop in an unexpected place and break up the extremely long car rides we had to endure during the trip. Whether we were stopping at some Midwestern gas station that (for some reason) sold katanas or picking daisies on a Big Sur cliff, all of it was so fun.
Carey, Ohio was surprisingly fun because we pretty much bought out the entire shrine shop and Petra got to shoot some creepy photos there.
Visiting "Twin Peaks" was also a super fun, unexpected fan girl moment.
Over the course of this trip, we have made so many banners, zines, and flower crowns. You think we would be sick of it by now, but we're not. Flowers, glitter glue, and assorted gems will always get us excited. Also, it was fun to see what readers came up with each time! All of it was beautiful: the crowns covered in babies, the Bieber-themed zines, and the vulgar pennant banners.
Tavi's ladylike banner
Riding go-karts against our readers in Boulder!
Tavi and I had a competitive (maybe a little, uh, too competitive?) spirit but, alas, we lost. Big time. Losing was still fun though!
Photo by Tavi
Sometimes Rookie meet-ups felt like birthday parties for the staff because we got so many gifts! Readers came bearing hand made clothing, personalized mix CDs for the van, their artwork and more! They also brought us a lot of things for the shrine at the installation, so the show at Space 15 Twenty will have props and pieces given to us by readers!
The Columbus, OH band Slave Labia giving Tavi some merch.
Aw, our readers totally understand that we're witches. Such witch love right here, I can't even handle it.
Realizing that America is pretty
NEWSFLASH: The United States of America is totally pretty. I have proof:
I took this on an old vintage camera I have called "Instagram"
And there you have it: a few highlights from the Rookie Road Trip. American readers got to meet Rookie staff in the flesh and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did! For more on each city, creep back through my blog archives here under the Rookie Road Trip tag!
...pretty party decorations! Giant confetti and glittery streamers just pull at my heartstrings, you know?
The first thing we did once we got to Los Angeles was go check out the progress of the Space 15 Twenty installation! This tree house is just one part of it! Isn't it adorable?
Petra browsing vintage clothes that will be sold in the pop-up shop! She wants them all, of course.
The Space 15 Twenty crew got so many trinkets, decorations, and props for the installation. They totally understood Tavi and Petra's vision of a gigantic teenage bedroom shrine. I loved this collection of Sweet Valley High books that they got!
Tavi and Petra picked out paint colors that matched the bright, 1960s, girlish vibe that they're aiming for with the entire show.
Here's the sign!
After peeping the progress of the installation, we grabbed lunch from M Cafe! Mmm, macrobiotic cuisine! I'm going to be honest with you all: I don't know what macrobiotic cusine is, but this sushi was amazing!
The apartment has an amazing roof top (you can see the Hollywood sign from it) that has become our ultimate hang out space. Palm trees and Christmas lights? We're there.
Tavi and Petra playing a horrible game of ping-pong against (not pictured) Petra's boyfriend Avery and Tavi's dad Steve. The girls lost, unfortunately but predictably.
At the end of the night, we had no choice but to turn on the disco ball and listen to The Bee Gees. It's only been one day, but so far L.A. has been filled with good food, good people, and really good vibes. So, basically the opposite of Philadelphia? Kidding!
Don't forget to mark your calendars for Strange Magic! I can't even begin to describe to you how beautiful this show will be. It's going to be so awesome! I'm in awe of how awesome it will be. - Hazel
That night we stayed at a beautiful house on Parkington Ridge. The house is about 1,000 feet above sea level and you have to take the tiniest, winding road to get up there. As we drove up Tavi, Petra, Anna and I were literally screaming our lungs out if we even looked out the window to see how far up we were. It was like a really beautiful roller coaster ride!
My tiny head in a field of lavender. Photo by Petra of course.
Tavi by Petra.
And now we are off to L.A.! Come to Space 15 Twenty on July 21 for an art show hosted by Rookie, the Ardorous, and Urban Outfitters. It is going to be the greatest event in the history of the universe, so you have to come. Then we'll have daily events at the space for the following week. Check back here in the future for the list of events! See you in the City of Angels!
After leaving Portland, we all headed to Eureka, California. On the way, we stopped in the Red Wood forest to feel extremely small and stare up at the sky a lot. It was the quietest place that I have ever been in my life.
Petra took this super cult-y photo of me, Tavi, and Anna. Look at how big that tree is!
Our meet-up was at Bon Boniere, where we ate ice cream with readers and talked about Miley Cyrus, small town life, and how stupid Google searches are when they're used in movies. It was a lively conversation.
My ice-cream. I think it was called "Chocolate Coma" and then I had Oreos and Peppermint Patties mixed in. Call me a genius, no big deal. Or, just call me "someone who decided to mix two chocolate flavored things into another chocolate flavored thing." I'm so revolutionary, it hurts.
These readers showed up without bodies! Seriously, what the fuck?
These girls were so cute and funny. Way to go Eureka for having such an awesome group of Rookie readers!
Tomorrow we're driving almost all day to San Francisco! Then on Friday we'll be meeting readers at Bi-Rite Creamery. Come if you like ice cream, Rookie Mag, and cute teen girls in flower crowns! - Hazel