I Lost My Job to COVID—But Found My Personal Style Again

Scrolling through an iPhone camera roll is the 21st century version of flipping through the pages of a metal ring-bound photo album and romanticizing times that felt much simpler. In 2020, a miserable year that feels more and more like a literal epoch, waxing nostalgic about The Before—a period that I can’t help but refer to as “when things were normal”—has become an international pastime, and at this point, looking back at snapshots of life pre-pandemic can feel borderline masochistic. We had p

How Bratz became the cool-girl blueprint

Looking back, I recall the first wave of Bratz content trickling onto social media as if it were just yesterday, although it was actually mid-2018, when FILA Disruptor IIs weren’t yet stale, and every art show I stumbled into was an unspoken competition of who could show up looking most like an Ashanti/Ja Rule video extra. I noticed that “extremely online” women seemed increasingly inspired by the doll franchise with every passing day — profile icon selfies were swapped with vintage Bratz artwor

how anime inspired a generation of misfit fashion

At the turn of the millennium, Japanese artist Ai Yazawa introduced the original goth girlfriend: 21-year-old punk Nana Osaki graced the pages of serialized shōjo and josei manga magazines (young female-aimed publications) as the protagonist of Nana. Each new issue following Osaki’s starry-eyed fantasy of rising to musical stardom in early-2000s Tokyo, a colorful metropolis of rejected demo CDs and bleached ganguro girls. Amongst her surroundings, Osaki was a beautiful anomaly with her unkempt b

Preserve Your Ethics, Preserve Your Style

For a long time, my parents’ front porch was regularly bombarded with bright yellow, plastic packages stuffed with the latest bits of my teenage fantasy: a heap of on-sale merchandise purchased via yet another online Forever 21 escapade. I was frugal and proud, acting upon any reception of “Free Shipping, No Minimum! Today Only!” emails like a dog with a nose for the lowest ticketed item. What I purchased were prizes, and I happily accepted all of them without serious question, despite being old enough to speculate the legitimacy of nearly free camisoles and hoop earrings. Today, both the public’s and my own speculation regarding the consequences of fast fashion – the phrase describing a contemporary retail practice in which pro