Culture

Fashion’s Arrested Development

Culture

Fashion’s Arrested Development

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I have already written about 14-year-old fashion plate Chloë Moretz and the 15-year-old wunderkind Tavi Gevinson, but Taylor Swift’s February cover of Vogue makes it official: as far as fashion is concerned, youth is no longer wasted on the young.

Sure, Taylor Swift is 22, but with a penchant for tea-length silhouettes, woe-is-me lyrics and temporary tattoos, her portrayal of a 20-something is more cartoonish than it is coquettish.

Perhaps this should be refreshing in an era where kids become proficient tablet users in the iWomb and teenagers exercise their right to bare midriff in official school portraits, but am I the only one who thinks Swift is peddling some bizarre, saccharin version of young adulthood?

In her Vogue profile, longtime contributor Jonathan van Meter categorizes Swift’s fashion show acumen as “all smiley gee-whiz confidence, full of hugs and exclamation points.” He also confides that while surprisingly “bawdy,” the singer asks that any curse words be stricken from the record.

“I think who you are in school really sticks with you,” she says. “I don’t ever feel like the cool kid at the party, ever. It’s like, Smile and be nice to everybody, because you were not invited to be here.” Insecurities aside, Swift is like the ultimate Hollywood BFF, counting Selena Gomez, Emma Stone and Kellie Pickler among her inner circle. As if that weren’t enough, she has since courted another young power player: Karlie Kloss.

“I want to bake cookies with her!” Swift exclaims after spotting a picture of the 19-year-old model at a designer’s studio. The message, no matter how cloying, has its intended effect: “Hey @taylorswift13,” Kloss tweets in response. “Love the @voguemagazine cover! Your kitchen or mine? 🙂 “