Tavi – the Backlash!

14 December 2009

Tavi Gevinson

Christopher Kane might not be so keen on teenage bloggers, but there are other designers who are completely enamoured with the new generation of pint-sized fashion critics. And of course, 2010 has been The Year of Tavi Gevinson.
 
And perhaps the No.1 fans of the 13 year old and her Style Rookie blog are designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, who invited Tavi to sit in the front row of their show, and have given and lent the blogger clothes from their collection. So it was not so surprising when the quirky designers chose Tavi to interview them for the launch of their new collection for Target.
 
The appeal is obvious, not only is Tavi currently getting a lot of global publicity right now (she just took Japan by storm on a recent tour), but the teenager will naturally appeal to a younger market which the designers are clearly trying to reach with their lower-priced range for budget store Target. (And would it be wrong to assume a 13 year old is less likely to ask any really hard-hitting questions?)
 
But it seems that Tavi’s interview is already completely overshadowing the designers’ and their new range…
 
The video has only been out a few days, but is already causing something of a Tavi backlash.
 
US Elle fashion editor Anne Slowey told The Cut 'I’m sort of fascinated [with Tavi] in the same way the world was with JT LeRoy.' (LeRoy was a mysterious young American novelist, often appearing in public hidden by a hat, wig and sunglasses, who was revered by the A list, and who had supposedly been rescued from a traumatic life on the street by a couple; Laura Albert and Geoffrey Knoop. LeRoy was finally unmasked in 2006 as being played by Laura’s sister, with Laura herself thought to be writing under the pseudonym JT LeRoy). In other words – is Tavi a fake?
 
‘You look at her video, and the writing [in her blog] doesn’t sync up with the way she talks about fashion’ says Slowey. ‘When I watched that video it smacked of this ethereal vagueness — this vacant-like quality where it was like everyone was on Vicodin. Like everyone was uncomfortably dumb except for me.’ She added, ‘I’m not trying to take anything away from her — her love of fashion, her love of style. She’s either a tween savant or she’s got a Tavi team.’
 
Tavi’s blog was initially assumed to be a fake created by fashion insiders, but her recent high profile appearances at the shows and in quirky interviews with various high fashion glossies seemed to silence the rumours for a while. This new video seems to be making the industry question the author’s authenticity all over again.
 
Whatever the truth about the blog, there is no doubting Tavi’s passion for fashion. As Slowey admits ‘I’m fascinated by anyone who’s willing to, like, rock personal style, and you’ve got to give her that, she’s got great style’. [NY Mag]
 
Have a lot at Tavi’s Target video here and see what you think...


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