In the latest issue of Pop magazine which is dedicated to 90’s super model Stephanie Seymour, sex appeal, va-va-voom and a body that quite literally goes in and out in an almost cartoonish way (Katie Grand compares Seymour to Jessica Rabbit), it seemed almost incongruous to have this editorial ‘Angelic Upstart’ shot and styled by Manuela Pavesi in it. It features a child no more than seven years old I would guess, styled in a sort of elegant bag lady and simultaneously childish and ladylike way. Having posted similar editorials where children are depicted wearing couture etc on the blog, the reaction has generally been of disapproval and that it is deemed uncomfortable to see children dressed in such a way. However, I think this editorial touches on a whole other issue that provokes some thought in the changing state of fashion in the 21st century, whether you agree with having children dolled up in this way or not.
It strikes me that the the editorial seems to be pointing out that mere children or tweenagers ARE getting into fashion that much earlier. Me at 11 yrs old, still wearing Micky Mouse tracksuit bottom sets bought from Ladies Market in Hong Kong. Tween of the same age hanging around in the Chanel store in Selfridges with her mother wearing a Topshop satin dress over Cheap Monday jeans and vintage heels (3 inch ones at that…) and yes swinging around a Chanel 2.55 bag. We now have 15 year olds styling photoshoots, younger fashion enterprisers (Kira Plastinina is the name that is abound at the moment…) and bloggers.
That isn’t bitterness. Fairplay that there is savviness abound amongst tweens in a way that I never witnessed growing up and certainly never had the smarts to do when I was that age. This doesn’t just apply to fashion though, as similarly I saw some ish promising music coming from a band that had the average age of about 11 with a similarly aged fanbase decked out in outfits that were from my perspective, pretty spot on, leaving me baffled as to what has happened to that ‘dodgy/naff clothing stage’ that supposedly tweens/teens go through. Back to the editorial though, the clothes are also mostly vintage which got me thinking about the aforementioned fashion savviness of the young ones that now does effectively mean certain 13 year olds are referencing Criterion DVDs and injecting the sort of thought and intellect in their outfits which I never imagined doing at the same age. They raid Annie’s Vintage and Cloud Cuckoo Land for Victorian petticaots and hope to channel Louise Brooks.
Don’t mistake this for a rant as it is merely an observation that fascinates someone like me who is a fan of style formed around an array of inspirations that trascend the basic structure of trends. These are merely thoughts expounded from a series of images that I may have over-analysed. Oh well.