Tavi Gevinson interviews Gwen Stefani in February’s Teen Vogue. It’s her first bylined piece for the teen mag, and she begins by expressing her skepticism for celebrities who design clothes:
“I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about the recent celebrity-turned-designer trend. In fact, I’m a skeptic. Too often I feel people are expected to drop a couple hundred dollars just because X celebrity was good in Y sitcom, thus somehow making X’s design abilities top-notch. So, though a fan of Gwen Stefani’s music, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered the L.A.M.B. studio.”
But by the end of her piece, after a fun girly photo shoot together in which Stefani goofs around with Gevinson and makes sarcastic jokes about how awkward it is to pose for photos, Gevinson is clearly on team Stefani. Her skepticism gone, she writes,
“As Gwen showed me different ways she’d style a pair of what she nicknamed ‘jailbird pants,’ an old video I’d seen on YouTube came to mind: Gwen is 22, pre-fame, and showing the camera a DIY ‘jailhouse dress.’ That use of personal identity is what makes her designs not derive from tabloid appearances but act as a further reflection of her as an artist. Like her music, they embrace a side of her that is unabashedly unique, whether she executes it through kaleidoscope prints or by singing a friendly reminder: ‘It’s my life!’”
Nevermind that that last sentence seems a little jumbled (“her designs not derive” say wha?).
All this makes sense, of course. Gevinson wouldn’t have a piece in Teen Vogue if she ended up slamming L.A.M.B. Fashion mags aren’t exactly the place for hard-hitting journalism or even criticism. It’s a cute piece, too, and offers readers a more personal and unfiltered look at Stefani in just a few hundred words.
But here’s the thing: Gevinson has announced plans to start a magazine (Sassy part deux) with Jane Pratt, presumably to offer something glossy teen fashion mags are not currently offering. Mags like, well, Teen Vogue. Gevinson has said she loves Sassy because “It called out celebrities and politicians for being assholes, educated its readers on politics without sounding biased, and focused on fashion in a way that was unconventional. It was lipstick feminism for teenage girls, covering sexist issues but not discouraging having fun with makeup or caring about boys. It included R.E.M. records as opposed to the perfume scents of today’s teen magazine pages.”
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