May 20, 2014
Madeleine Vionnet's introduces the bias cut and brings a new fluidity of movement to her Grecian designs, 1914.
Originally trained as a civil engineer, André Courrèges builds his 'Space Age' look of 1964 out of squares, trapezoids and triangles.
Roy Halston Frowick, a.k.a. Halston, designs fluid gowns for '70s disco dwellers as well as uniforms for flight attendants, the US Olympic team, the NYPD, and even the Girls Scouts.
Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons make gender ambiguous, minimalist, anti-fashion statements in the 1980s.
American minimalism: Calvin Klein circa 1986.
Material technology: Christy Turlington captured by Juergen Teller in Stephen Sprouse for the April 1994 issue of Vogue.
Mass refinement in Spring 1995 Calvin Klein.
Guinevere Van Seenus stars in the 1996 Jil Sander campaign by photographer Craig McDean.
Peter Lindbergh for Prada, 1996.
When Helmut Lang was designed by Helmut Lang: Spring 1997.
Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, 1997.
A new century: Natasha Poly in Jil Sander by Raf Simons. Shot by Willy Vanderperre in 2009.
In 2010, Matthew Ames reflects back on '80s Japanese avant-garde and American sportswear minimalisms. Photographer: Sybille Walter. Stylist: Samuel Drira.
Francisco Costa's vision for Calvin Klein, circa 2010. Model: Lara Stone. Photographers: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
Modern minimalism: Céline by Phoebe Philo for Fall 2012 photographed by, who else, Juergen Teller.
Madeleine Vionnet's introduces the bias cut and brings a new fluidity of movement to her Grecian designs, 1914.
Originally trained as a civil engineer, André Courrèges builds his 'Space Age' look of 1964 out of squares, trapezoids and triangles.
Roy Halston Frowick, a.k.a. Halston, designs fluid gowns for '70s disco dwellers as well as uniforms for flight attendants, the US Olympic team, the NYPD, and even the Girls Scouts.
Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons make gender ambiguous, minimalist, anti-fashion statements in the 1980s.
American minimalism: Calvin Klein circa 1986.
Material technology: Christy Turlington captured by Juergen Teller in Stephen Sprouse for the April 1994 issue of Vogue.
Mass refinement in Spring 1995 Calvin Klein.
Guinevere Van Seenus stars in the 1996 Jil Sander campaign by photographer Craig McDean.
Peter Lindbergh for Prada, 1996.
When Helmut Lang was designed by Helmut Lang: Spring 1997.
Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, 1997.
A new century: Natasha Poly in Jil Sander by Raf Simons. Shot by Willy Vanderperre in 2009.
In 2010, Matthew Ames reflects back on '80s Japanese avant-garde and American sportswear minimalisms. Photographer: Sybille Walter. Stylist: Samuel Drira.
Francisco Costa's vision for Calvin Klein, circa 2010. Model: Lara Stone. Photographers: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
Modern minimalism: Céline by Phoebe Philo for Fall 2012 photographed by, who else, Juergen Teller.

A new minimalism is here, the fashion bylines say. But what’s the old? Not simply simplicity, minimalism eliminates nonessentials, seeking a refinement of form dictated by function. Often involving technological innovation, the results may be simple but the execution is not. Here, we take a tour through moments of minimalisms past and show that minimalism is not a trend, but a philosophical constant.

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March 3, 2014
Portrait of Mark Slutsky by David Shaw
Portrait of Mark Slutsky by David Shaw

This is the third installment of our new series, MyTube, which asks some of our favorite web dwellers to escort us through their own personal YouTube hall of fame. 

Mark Slutsky is a Montreal-based writer, filmmaker, and bon vivant. His short film, The Decelerators, which you can watch in full on Vimeo (watch it noooow), is one of the most poignant media on the experience of time I’ve ever experienced. His project Sad YouTube is what made me think Mark would make an excellent MyTube subject. On his blog Sad YouTube, Mark collects those rare affecting reflections from the “semi-literate cesspool” that is the YouTube comment thread. Mark explains:

Dig deep into comments — particularly on pop songs — and you’ll see that buried beneath the hate speech, the poorly formulated insults, and the Obama conspiracy theories are countless amazing nuggets of humanity. You’ll find stories of love and loss, perfectly crystallized moments of nostalgia and saudade (a Portuguese word meaning an ineffable longing for something lost in time). It’s a repository of memories, stories, and dreams, an accidental oral history of American life over the last 50 years written by the site’s millions of visitors every day. (Buzzfeed)

Here, Mark shares five videos which express his taste for the saudade.

1. Exile, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over” (1978)

“when my Daughter bought this album I told her it was a dirty song as I listen to it now I like it, time seems to change things, It come out not too long before she married, she was Killed in an Auto wreck when she was 19 along with my Nephew who was driving that was May of 1983 I will miss them the rest of my life, i’m not sure I will ever be over it, Laura and Gary 1983 love you forever, sweet child of mine”

Some of the YouTube comments I find and post on Sad YouTube are as complex and multi-layered as any literary text. I love this one because of the strange and almost mystical way it interacts with this creepy sexy minor ’70s hit, and how it exists in three moments in time simultaneously–the moment when the mother chastised her daughter for listening to the “dirty” song, the moment of the auto wreck that took her young life, and now, the moment of remembering, the moment where mother’s regret, loss and startled recognition of the song’s pleasures all intermingle. “Time seems to change things.”

2. Roy Andersson Commercials

In 1970, Swedish director Roy Andersson made the gorgeous adolescent romance A Swedish Love Story. Thirty years later, in 2000, he released the brilliantly, apocalyptically slapstick Songs From the Second Floor (and a few years later its follow-up, You, the Living). What was this singular genius of cinema doing in between? Directing commercials for Swedish TV, where he created and honed his signature one-shot style to perfection. Thanks to YouTube you can finally watch them; each one is a miniaturist masterpiece of visual storytelling. (And funny, really funny.)

3. Mariano Llinàs, Historias Extraordinarias

“OK, it’s like this. A man (we can call him X), arrives in the middle of the night…”

My favourite movie in the last decade or so is an unfairly-little-known, four-and-a-half-hour Argentine semi-experimental narrative with little to no discernible dialogue called Historias Extraordinarias by the director Mariano Llinàs. And despite those qualifiers, it’s one of the most entertaining and engrossing movies I’ve ever seen, interweaving three stories and as many narrators, who tell the story as we watch it take place, the images sometimes aligning with their voices, sometimes not. It really inspired me when I was developing the idea for my movie The Decelerators. This is labelled as a trailer, but it’s actually just the first scene of the movie, which totally hooked me when I first saw it. Pretty sure you can seek it out the entire thing on YouTube.

4. On Battleship Hill, PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy


To create a visual accompaniment to her (heartbreaking, mindblowing) album Let England Shake, PJ Harvey recruited conflict photographer Seamus Murphy, known for his photography in Afghanistan, Palestine and around the world. Together they created a series of short films that feel like a perfect fusion of performance, documentary, and photography. Like the album, they’re about war, England, the past, the present (and how the last two aren’t really distinguishable). They feel like no music videos I’ve ever seen–if they remind me of anything in particular, it’s the writing of W.G. Sebald. I love them; you should watch them all.

5. Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Is there anything more beautiful than this? More comforting? More stoned? More sad? Watching it, listening to Sagan’s voice, I feel like I’m being carried through the universe on waves of infinite kindness and understanding. When I cut The Decelerators, I asked CFCF for music with some of the same Vangelis-ian mixture of endless beauty and endless heartbreak.

BONUS VIDEO:

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February 24, 2014
Hood By Air FW 2014
Hood By Air FW 2014
JW Anderson Prefall 2014
JW Anderson FW 2014
JW Anderson Prefall 2014
JW Anderson FW 2014
The Row FW 2014
The Row FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Martine Rose FW 2014
Martine Rose FW 2014
Hood By Air FW 2014
Hood By Air FW 2014
JW Anderson Prefall 2014
JW Anderson FW 2014
JW Anderson Prefall 2014
JW Anderson FW 2014
The Row FW 2014
The Row FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Eckhaus Latta FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Telfar FW 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Rad Hourani Spring Couture 2014
Martine Rose FW 2014
Martine Rose FW 2014

Trans & postracial styles are trending — this week’s Forever 69 explores fashion’s latest fluid flirtation: postgenderism.

The fantasy is that technology will deliver us to a new Garden of Eden. As we restore sustainable polyculture in our fruit production, we’ll eradicate binaries like Good & Evil through the same scientific knowledge. We’ll no longer feel shame in our bodies because we’ll have the ability to design them like fruit—manipulate our hormones; supplement our diets (Royal Jelly for life); implant ourselves with breasts, biococks, whiskers… whatever; and outsource (or not, your choice) our reproduction. We’ll hack our biological coding & become postgender.

The idea is that technology is natural. Evolutionary. The hammer is an extension of the hand. Glasses of the eye. Now, laser eye surgery can perfect our vision beyond the 20/20 standard of “perfection.” Standards will continue to change. Progress?

In a postgender utopia, biological sex does not equal gender, does not equal sexual orientation. This continuum is challenged by multiplicity in all areas: in our genitalia, hormones, and other affective biochemistry; in our makeup, fashion, and language; in every performance of self.

I’ve heard this isn’t appealing to everyone. In my idealism, that’s OK. Conventional hetero monogamous selves will still be celebrated, just as part of a glorious diversity.

“The end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ – would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.)”
-Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case of Feminist Revolution (1970)

***

The worlds I live in are: New York, Montreal, the art world, the fashion industry, the Internet—of course I think a postgender revolution is nigh. In fashion, in the narrow subset of the industry I choose to recognize, postgenderism is everywhere. J.W. Anderson, Rad Hourani, Eckhaus Latta, Hood By Air, Telfar, Comme des Garçons, Martine Rose—all gender code like there are no rules. Ruffles were significant this and last spring. Ruffles on nineties-inspired skid wear. Ruffles with skate shorts. Also: skirts over pants.

Katherine Bernard, writing for Vogue, noted that the ongoing FW 2014 runways are showing, “unprecedented gender fluidity.” This latest ambisexual fashion is far from drag: it’s not about borrowing from an Other, not about contrast & contradiction, it’s about… feeling:

In collections like Edun and The Row, silhouettes are formless, with legs cut so wide you can’t tell a pant from a dress and sweaters piled on, hanging low so body parts are left a mystery in a cocoon of cashmere. These pieces are more about how it feels to wear clothes. It’s an empowering concept.

Designing to maximize comfort & mobility, to feel our best, does seem like an empowering conquering of nature over culture—progressive. What postgender takes from the feminine is the easy & efficient: man skirts for when it’s so hot your balls drop and platform (height enhancing but still comfortable) shoes.

Postgender brands target markets based in affinity rather than demographics. You buy/are what you are/buy. We’re buying into a new tribalism. Hood By Air’s postgender tribe is music oriented: GHE20G0TH1K. Eckhaus Latta’s is Star Trek utopic meets MaddAdam crafty. Telfar offers Snuggies & UPS-esque uniforms—“Extremely Normal™” underclass clothes—for all. Rad Hourani engineers unisex patterns designed to make everybody look as stately as an Albert Speer building. The Row is anti-ageism for the 1%.

***

I produce more testosterone than the “average” female (been tested). This is why I have bad skin and more fun, or that’s the hypothesis. I’ve never felt comfortable in my femininity, nor have I ever felt jealousy. I am most attracted to pretty men, handsome women, transcendent androgyny (Andrej Pejic) and anyone who skateboards. A queer mentality suits me—naturally? My ambisexual fashion is a deliberate expression of that.

It is a great privilege to dress for self-expression above all else.

Dystopia & utopia are one and the same: thought experiments, two sides of a coin that in reality spins so unstoppably fast it’s a globe. The postgender utopic believes in the freedom to be/come anything. The dystopic: that class (incl. education, access to tools/technology) has overwhelmed all other identities and that the “freedom to be/come anything” is a privilege of certain classes and class spaces, like high fashion.

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February 21, 2014

MyTube is a regular series which asks some of our favorite web dwellers to escort us through their own personal YouTube hall of fame. 

Canadian actor Deragh Campbell is not what I’d call “an Internet person.” For her, the web is a tool, not an environment, and she uses it to focus on her interests and her craft; these days, that’s independent filmmaking and female personas.

Campbell is currently living between Toronto and Niagra on the Lake, where she’s working on her own feature script and editing a short she directed, while developing a character for an upcoming Nathan Silver film and acting in projects she believes in as they pop up. You can catch her on screen right now in the ballad-to-Baltimore film, I Used to be Darker (dir. Matt Porterfield), which was just released on DVD by Strand Releasing (it’s also available on Amazon and iTunes), and in Person to Person (dir. Dustin Guy Defa), a short that debuted at Sundance, won the DAAD Short Film Prize at the Berlinale, and will be screening as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2014 New Directors New Films lineup in a month’s time.

Here, Deragh shares five videos that have been inspiring her lately…

Deragh: I haven’t been as big a fan as I am of these women since I simultaneously wanted to be and be with Nick Carter. At least I can express my fandom now in a healthier way, by responding to their work, instead of parting my ear length hair in the middle and wearing tracksuits. Actually, that sounds kind of cool. I think it is these women’s irreverence for any grossly sentimentalized representation of a feeling (that is more an imitation of other video than any actual feeling). They cut right through the bounty of video content that is precious and nostalgic. Either through comedy or by being less demure and more aggressive, they create new relationship between females and the camera.

Bridget MoserAsking for a Friend:

Asking for a friend from Bridget Moser on Vimeo.

Hannah Gross in That’s Fine, Tom Cat (via morningtomorning.org):

That’s fine, tomcat from Morning to Morning on Vimeo.

Adele Exarchopoulos’ general attitude in this interview:

Eleanore Pienta in “CLEAN LAUNDRY/SHE SPEAKS/TRY AGAIN,” a clip from one of my top three favourite movies last year, See You Next Tuesday:

CLEAN LAUNDRY/SHE SPEAKS/TRY AGAIN from Elephant Panther on Vimeo.

And, finally, Gena Rowlands (not the content of this scene, that is actually pretty annoying, but her gestures, body language):

http://youtu.be/J1oH6Z75vL4

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February 18, 2014
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Toga
Toga
Toga
Palmer - Harding
Palmer - Harding
JW Anderson
JW Anderson
JW Anderson
Richard Nicoll
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Marques'Almeida
Toga
Toga
Toga
Palmer - Harding
Palmer - Harding
JW Anderson
JW Anderson
JW Anderson
Richard Nicoll

One way to make something new in fashion is to look outside of fashion. In London, during this Fall/Winter 2014 season, that’s meant a tour around the home, office space included. Designers are showing innovative uses of materials, many of which evoke the domestic everyday.

We start in the library, with Christopher Kane’s open book dresses, made of organza leaves as animated and blank as the folios from PageMaster. Then, we dip into into the craft closet, where grosgrain ribbon has, for another season, inspired the designer. This time, candy Kane pink ribbon is proportioned to the model such that she looks shrunk—large strips of material weave through her arms like stock gift ribbon would on a Barbie. And on her feet: for clean up: black garbage sac slipcovers.

In the den, Marques’Almeida has the kid’s costume box out. Castoffs from Sesame Street dress up lounge wear. Big Bird satin pajamas. Crushed velvet modrobes with Telly Monster feet. And denim bathrobes with a hairy fringe.

Toga takes us into the living room—heavy pleated drapes are half-wrapped around the waist, atop of jeans and thigh high leather boots—and the bathroom—floral shower curtains fold over a white t-shirt—and back to the garbage—a tube dress of slick black plastic is stuffed with another dress.

In the home office, Palmer//Harding‘s putting white oxford shirts through the paper shredder and fastening them with oversized paper clip brooches.

Meanwhile, JW Anderson‘s making us hungry for Paris with dresses and shoes of golden felt and buttery leather that fold like a croissant.

Finally, Richard Nicoll suits us up in a hue well-known to those who use the tools of the Apple Dynasty—the blue of the outgoing iMessage.

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February 17, 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Rodarte F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014
Preen F/W 2014


Star Wars: Episode VII isn’t due out until December 2015, but the fankids at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Rodarte are already gearing up. Both brands decorated their Fall/Winter 2014 collections with icons from the interstellar franchise. Preen succumbed to the Dark Side, printing Darth Vader heads on oxfords and fluid dresses, while Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters went the Jedi way, lightening things up with full figure images of Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and C-3PO (also the destroyed Death Star but two negatives make a positive, right?). In this battle of good versus evil, we’re siding with Rodarte’s Force, because there’s no saying no to this face…

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February 3, 2014
'XXX Pump 2010' by Kobi Levi
'XXX Pump 2010' by Kobi Levi

Forever 69 is a bi-weekly, bi-curious column about fashion and sex.

Among object fetishes, shoes are reportedly the most common. The stat figures, considering shoe fetishism’s connection to foot fetishism, oft-measured as the most prevalent sexual fetish outside of the normie sexual (T&A &Holes, etc.). Most shoe fetishists like shoes on feet—the constriction of high-high heels, the swing of pumps dangling off toes, the smell of shoe leather after wear. It’s the relation of dress to body that gets them off.

Or so the forums tell me.

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Shoejob Forum and Heeljob Forum are about stimulation of the penis by a woman, like a handjob with her shoes or in the case of Footjob Forum, her feet. Shoecum is a great place for shoe cummers to share their experiences. Cumming on shoes is a popular fetish and forced shoe cumming often occurs when the pointy toe of a sexy high heeled shoe is shoved into a girl’s pussy. The Shoe Insertion Forum is our special place for this sexy act of high heeled domination by a shoejob mistress. Types of sexy high heels include high heeled boots, high heeled shoes, thigh high boots, stiletto heels and spike heels. For pedal pumping, see Girls Driving and Driving In Heels. For damaged shoes see Abused Shoes, and High Heeled Catfights. For women in wet shoes and wet boots and girls wearing heels in the rain, see Wet High Heels, Sexy When Wet, Dirty High Heels. Shoe POV, or Heels POV, is a new shoe fetish genre associated with female domination.

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It’s been months since my last Forever 69, and that’s largely because, after a minor trauma, my sex went mute. And with my sex—my drive—went my words. (Keith Haring: “I’ve totally lost the ability to seduce and enjoy the art of seduction—the source of much of my inspiration to work and live… It is probably the driving force behind all of my work. Now isn’t that pathetic? Or is it? Maybe, just maybe, it is not so uncommon and even quite normal.”)

My minor trauma was marked by a pair of bad shoes. The shoes weren’t the cause but they were emblematic—their awful square toes are, in the end, what I can’t get out of my head.

DCF 1.0

I’ve never slept with someone who wore bad shoes. “Bad” is a value judgment, of course, but what I’m measuring as taste is not beauty, trend, or money, but deliberateness in communication. Shoes communicate. They are the punctuation at the end of the sentence of an outfit, and a bad pair can ruin the whole thing just like this!?

Bad shoes are a tell—they tell me you’re not interested in communicating (and so communing, because communication is the foundation of good sex) with someone like me.

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Shoes on my black list include: most brown shoes, all uncomfortable shoes, and—worst—those deliberately uncool, unaesthetic, I’m-trying-so-hard-to-seem-like-I’m-not-trying shoes, not like Crocs (love), but like the kind worn by “sensitive” straight lit guys who prefer greige to white (brown over black) and act like they respect you (a woman) but are really scared of you and probably harbor Deep Dark feelings of resentment towards you because they have no clue how to get their dick in you. I shudder at those shoes.

Beyond that, the codes are too subtle to write; it’s a know it when I see it kind of thing.

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I love a man in Vans. Nikes, New Balance, Docs, Cons: pro. Mandals—mos def. The sexiest shoes a woman can wear are Margiela Tabis. That’s a slit you want to finger.

Creepers are hot right now. Heavy lug soles that force the foot flat, erect. I’ve always loved creepers. (Punk nostalgia. Working class romanticism.)

What I want most, though, is to date a man who wears high heels. Like the pilgrim platforms at J.W. Anderson. I’ll wear the same, six sizes smaller. We’ll be like twins. Equals.

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Since my sex went mute, I’ve been thinking too much. Trying to remember moments of unthinking desire.

My square-toed trauma brings back this memory: I’m eighteen-years-old and a frustrated anorgasmic and my then-boyfriend is smiling, delighted, watching usually-frigid-me purr and bounce at the sight of a pair of white mod ankle booties. And another: I’m twenty-three and walking to a shop where I’ve decided I’m to spend $600 on kitten heels; visualizing the transaction, I start to feel that involuntary, but always welcome, twitch below.

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I don’t consider myself a traditional shoe fetishist. The forums do nothing for me. And when James Deen starts foot worshipping, I fast forward until he’s back attending to the usual.

My friend who’s a feeder tells me that part of the turn-on for women who feed is the elicit. Women in our culture aren’t supposed to stuff themselves. It’s the immoderation—giving in, letting go, being bad—of overeating that makes them wet. This, I think, is probably why I’m turned on buying expensive footwear. It’s the pleasure of forbidden consumption. Knowing I shouldn’t (what would my anti-capitalist friends think!?) makes me want more.

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There’s a sweater on the market right now that quotes Susan Sontag saying, “Passion paralyzes good taste.” It’s by some mid-end, Opening Ceremony-approved brand called Anzevino that made a whole collection out of Sontag-isms. “Desire has no history,” says one top. “Sanity is a cozy lie,” says another. “Against Interpretation,” and so on.

“Passion paralyzes good taste” was hanging in a window display near my work through the holidays. Every time I walked by, it caused me to pause. The quotation read wrong to me, so wasn’t Sontag. Two Google searches proved me right. The words are actually Thomas Mann’s, from Death in Venice: “Passion paralyzes good taste and makes its victim accept with rapture what a man in his senses would either laugh at or turn from with disgust.” Sontag had quoted it without attribution in her early diaries. Anzevino’s mistake.

The quote felt wrong to me because I’ve always felt Sontag was like me w/r/t to desire: wanting to be paralyzed dumb by passion, to lose our critical minds to lust, and capable of this (so we know), but rarely. I want to be the kind of person who’s indifferent to symbols like shoes, compelled instead by the primal, by pure body, but I’m not. I’m the dick who can only slip it to someone in good shoes. I can’t help myself.

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January 31, 2014

This is the first installment of our new series, MyTube, which asks some of our favorite web dwellers to escort us through their own personal YouTube hall of fame. 

Asked what she’s working on rn, Hazel Cills responds: “on slowly, but steadily, trying to take over the Internet.” Girl’s well on her way. A staff writer for Rookie  and an in-demand freelancer (Paper, Oyster, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Vice), nineteen-year-old Cills is a digital native whose sharp words work like a garburator on the worst of old media. Her most recent article for Rookie, “Kids Won’t Listen: Why I’m sick of articles about teenage girls written by grown-up men,” pilloried the condescending male critic, an all-too-familiar figure to XXs working in press; it did so with the exact self-aware humor her targets lack, and garnered her heaps of tweets of praise.

Cills grew up in New Jersey and online. Her first memories of the net were playing Neopets and Doll Makers and frequenting gURL.com. She’s been tweeting since the age of fourteen and admits she’s, “probably addicted at this point.” Cills also Tumbls, Instagrams, and has her Face in the Book. She loves her feeds, though she considers herself more of a “deep web user”: she’ll often become consumed with a topic—say, ye-ye pop stars—and research it until the hyperlinks start looping back on themselves.

We’re giddy to have Hazel Cills, the poster child of new media, share five of her favorite streaming videos for our inaugural edition of our new weekly series, MyTube.

1. Huggy Bear on The Word
Though riot grrl has a seriously problematic history, it was a genre of music, writing, and a branch of feminist culture that really made me excited to be a girl. I live my life by the manifesto tenet, “we must take over the means of production in order to create our own meanings.” All I heard were girls kicking ass, which is why Huggy Bear’s infamous performance of their song “Her Jazz” on The Word is so fun. I had already loved punk, but Huggy Bear’s punk seemed to cool to be true: being as tough or more tough than boys, “breaking the porcelain right-wing freedoms,” and making serious noise. This was everything I wanted to be at age 15.

2. Alexander McQueen
When I was in 6th grade, I took a fashion illustration course for teens at Moore College of Art. At the time, I was wholefully obsessed with clothing. But my knowledge was still very limited; I really only perceived fashion as a beautiful product made in a store. I specifically remember sitting on the classroom floor and watching Alexander McQueen runway videos and it was in that moment that I realized fashion was way more than Tory Burch flats and Michael Kors monogrammed handbags. To see Shalom Harlow get spray-painted by two robot paint-guns might now seem basic to the average fashion editor, but at age 12, it totally changed my perspective of how super cool clothing could be.

3. Growing Up with John Waters
I basically (try) to live my life in regards to WWJWD (What Would John Waters Do?) One of the first big things I ever wrote for Rookie was a sit-down interview with him in his Baltimore home and I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to interview anyone greater. Everything he says is my gospel. He taught me it’s okay to revel in society’s definition of bad taste, no matter how weird or perverted the world may think it is. It’s so hard to pick a favorite interview with him, because I’ve seen so many, but this old interview on Channel 4 where he talks about his childhood and teen years is really good.

4. Art Thoughtz: Curators
I discovered “Hennessy Youngman’s” (aka Jayson Musson’s) Art Thoughtz when I was in high school, before I was ever studying art. I can’t remember how or where I found his videos, though he’s majorly popular now, but at the time it was the perfect supplement to me trying to educate myself about contemporary art before college. Now it’s impossible for me to learn about Bruce Nauman with a straight face. It’s hard to pick a favorite video but I love this one on curators, in which Youngman suggests to bring them a rose so there’s “little doubt about your intentions.” The ironic thing is that I took a course last year on art theory and Musson came to talk to our class about art.

5. The Thing Transformation Scene
I really love horror and sci-fi, especially books and movies with monsters or creatures in them. Whether it was Freddy Krueger dream sequences, Cenobites, or Isabelle Adjani screaming on a subway platform, ‘80s horror was very definitive for me. The lack of CGI and inventive monsters made me what I want from a scary movie, which isn’t as much the desire to be scared as it is the desire to see some weird shit. I always come back to this scene in John Carpenter’s 1982 version of The Thing, the film about a shape-shifting, parasitic alien who attacks the inhabitants of a research station in the middle of Antartica. This very gross scene, in which the station’s doctor attempts to revive an already infected colleague, is one of the weirdest parts of the movie.

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January 30, 2014
Left, models Katie Hill and Arin Andrews. Right (from left in photo), Valentijn de Hingh, a model;  Ryley Pogensky, a party promoter; and Leonard and Gloria Pogensky, Ryley Pogensky’s grandparents. Photographed by Bruce Weber for Barneys New York.
Transgender models photographed by Bruce Weber for Barneys New York.
Left, models Katie Hill and Arin Andrews. Right (from left in photo), Valentijn de Hingh, a model; Ryley Pogensky, a party promoter; and Leonard and Gloria Pogensky, Ryley Pogensky’s grandparents. Photographed by Bruce Weber for Barneys New York.
Transgender models photographed by Bruce Weber for Barneys New York.

Trans is trending. 2013 saw the rise of the beautiful Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera; introduced us to Chelsea Manning. Most recently, Barneys New York (which was the cool New York department store until Dover Street Market opened in December; this may be Barneys’ attempt to reclaim its cool) hired photographer Bruce Weber to shoot a catalog and campaign modelled exclusively by transgender people, among them Ryler Pogensky, Arin Andrews and Katie Hill. The catalogue features nearly twenty models, ranging in age from 17 to “early-30s,” of varying “races, socioeconomic positions and places on the transgender spectrum,” all of which is explained in the catalog via excerpted interviews with the participants. 

We can fault capitalism for all sorts of everything but it does have a beautiful capacity to propel social justice movements if there’s a market attached to it. Fashion is especially good at this because of its need for novelty—trans is the new metrosexual is the new power lesbian is the new…

Fashion is all about performance, and so it’s a great stage for a sort of queer utopia. Not just trans, but drag, androgynous and genderqueer looks suit the industry. Editor Carine Roitfeld, with her penchant for polymorphous but depoliticized gender/sex mashups, is arguably post-queer (as in post-feminism). Hood by Air and the VFILES cohort are all over the queer place. And andro-models like Andrej Pejic and Erika Linder are so hot rn. 

Fashion is also allergic to real talk, though, so more often than not this radical imagery is divorced from radical discourse, and, stifling as language can be, it’s necessary for actual social (legal and other bureaucratic) change. It’s awesome that Barneys included interviews within what could have turned into iffy tokenism. Applause, applause, applause. Now, keep reading. Here’s…

Hari Nef on Chelsea Manning for Vice.

Beatriz Preciado interviewed by the Paris Review about the best queer text OMFG Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era.

Autostraddle’s critique of Katie Couric’s invasive questioning of Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox.

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January 28, 2014

Attention voyeurs. Best Fetish Finds (BFF) is the tumblr for all your scopophilic needs. Launched in May 2012, the scintillating site has archived around 2000 amateur fetish images, all reblogged from Flickr accounts. From bald smokers to Wet and Messy (WAM) shoe fetishists, the portal covers seemingly every permutation of human desire, though it’s especially strong in the fashion dept—tightlacing, tube socks, PVC body inflation, sweater-oriented total enclosure, painted humanoid zentai suits, ursusagalmatophilia (aka “plushies” or “furies”), and on and on.

BFF uses an innovative OKFocus tumblr theme that zooms in on each post like the USS Enterprise coming at you in warp drive. All you have to do to cycle through is scroll (on an Apple laptop, that’s a two-finger stroke). For the techno-fetishist, this itself may turn into a satisfying compulsion; we can’t stop.

BFF is best enjoyed with judgment reserved—let the novelty pass through you, see what catches your eye, and if something does, follow the links out, delve deeper into the web.

Across the Tumblrverse is a regular feature that spotlights cool uses of the tumblr platform, like Michael Stipe’s Confessions and Ally Brooke’s yellow performance art.

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