the curious case of tavi

a girl growing up backwards!


“Who the hell is this..Tavi??” inquires Mr.B* out of nowhere, somewhere in between the Gare du Nord and the English Channel. I choked on my Grazia. Usually after a hectic week of couture traumas in so-cold Paris, I find great pleasure in treating myself to some trashy fashion reads (Oh, look that Gaga in Armani at the Grammys! And what on earth is Kesha wearing??..) But I have to say, the editor-in-chief’s inquiry was by far the biggest trauma of my week. Of course, Mr. B was referring to the 13 year-old fashion blogger seated in the front row of Chanel couture show like she is the Queen of England (if Her Majesty ever decided to attend a show other than the marching of the guards at her palace). Flaunting a short Twiggy-esque haircut, a thick-framed transparent eyeglasses, and a grandma’s pussy bow with layers on top of layers of her trademark “Clashing Prints Digest” look at its best, Tavi surely put an end to the curiosity surrounding Benjamin Button: a girl growing-up backwards, defying time (and style!). If Shakespeare was alive, I say, he would devour on assigning metaphors and similes to that girl. Well, thank God he is not, for I have tons! Did someone lose her way to the next auditions of the Golden Girls? Snap. “Come on, let’s not trash her,” said Mr.B showing remorse, somewhat putting me off. “On second thought, let’s do it!” Good, Mr.B is back in the game. Hate her/love her Tavi is the self-taught fashion bloggerista of stylerookie.blogspot- her Internet space in which she gives away her opinion on collections, and sometimes feature photos of her wearing them- Quaker style.

Just last year, her blog had a following base of over 3 million worldwide blogees, if we may call them. And she is one of those whom you suddenly see everywhere without knowing why; on the cover of POP, the muse of Rodarte, the arm candy of Proenza Schouler, and most recently, King Karl’s. As always, fashion loves extremes. Tavi has surely raised a lot of eyebrows that insiders in fashion have started questioning her power in the industry over Anna Wintour’s. “Déjà?” claims Mr.B in awe. But, Tavi is not the only one who is out there with a keyboard and an opinion to share it with the world. It all started with Perez Hilton, the “Queen” of celebrity gossip. Inspired by a caricature version of Hilton (the ho, not the hotel), Perez is the surf-to website where you can find the dirtiest celebrity laundry hanging online. Or, take Bryan, for instance; that Pilipino guy always pictured standing by Marc Jacobs dressed in Marc Jacobs for Marc Jacobs (I know! I could go on..). And so can the list of bloggers. So what does veteran fashion-editor Suzy Menkes have to say about that? “Anyone can blog and anyone can have an opinion.

But traditionally we have referred to ‘an educated opinion’ or ‘an experienced opinion’. Some people do have tremendous fashion instinct, and blogging can throw up people who are very good writers, so in that way, it’s very positive.” But back to Tavi, the teen fashion prodigy. Is she the next Suzy or Anna? “She is the Drew Barrymore and Macaulay Culkin of the fashion world,” said Mr. B in conclusion to my story. “She will probably crack under the pressure.” Hold that thought. As we reached our final stop at St. Pancras in London, I sipped the last drop of my complementary Bordeaux wine, reached for my luggage, and held so very tightly to my Herald Tribune. We jumped off the train like two fleeing criminals. Maybe, after all, Mr.B and I did just murder someone.. on the French Express.

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Once upon a beautiful day in 1976, Pierre Commoy met Gilles Blanchard. And the rest, as they say, is history. Pierre was an aspiring photographer, Gilles an upcoming painter. Together they became known as “Pierre et Gilles.” Inseparable both as lovers and artists, they have since created a modernday iconography of saints, stars, sailors and sinners. A fusion of painting and photography, their work is inspired by everything from French pop, Bollywood and Lourdes to communism, gay eroticism and Buddhist monks.

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My very first memory of Marc Jacobs is probably an old shot of the fashion guru pinning up Kate Moss in some backstage photo book by Mario Testino, or it might be an Interview party from the magazine’s early 90’s archives, caught-up in a “loving-drunkie” situation, looking all cuddly yet scruffy with a cigarette in one hand and Naomi Campbell or Christy Turlington in the other – I can’t remember.  But the hey-days of wild partying and geek-heroine-chic look are far behind the 45-year-old designer. 

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When asked to describe himself in three words, British photographer Miles Aldridge replied: “colorful, sunny and dark.” It is these very words that arguably best describe his work as well. Realistic, yet characterized by the use of bright, neon colors, Aldridge’s photos possess a surreal quality that hints at some of life’s darker and often erotic dimensions. While his work until 2004 mainly featured in the world’s leading glossies, it has since increasingly been exposed in art galleries and books.

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One of the founding fathers and leading figures of the Pop Art movement, Roy Lichtenstein is mainly known for his paintings of enlarged comic book scenes. Yet he did many other things as well, including sculptures such as “The Head,” which was unveiled at the 1992 Olympic Games and still adorns the city of Barcelona. While he regards Picasso as his main inspiration, he never dared comparing his work to that of the Spanish master.