OLD WEIRD AMERICA


10 Magazine, Joanna Newsom

I can’t explain it: whether it was that week on the west coast, my sudden weird habit of listening to Rilo Kiley from circa 2003 on nonstop again (dude, it was so good), some hint of vague kitschy western trends returning, a growing obsession with really serious hats, or the desire to work more with the brown leather and sheer white and lace in my wardrobe rather than piling on the black again all summer, it seems that all the images I’ve been saving to my hard drive lately have been about some sort of nostalgic Americana: an eerie half-imaginary pastiche of tall tales and faded photographs, American Gothic meets Greil Marcus’ “old weird America.”


Rodarte, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren, Derek Lam

Whatever it is, it’s somewhere between noir and stylized visions of the Victorian-era west, a little bit witchy and a little bit wild, reserved but still a little bit punk, with anachronistic mixing of period styles, luxe details mixed with distressing or deconstruction, and everything about texture: lace, crochet, leather, pleats, embossing, cable-knit, all in a vaguely sepia-toned or grey palette.


Jen Kao, Kaelen, Derek Lam, Gretchen Jones, Rodarte


Kirsten Dunst for Band of Outsiders, women in the Alaskan Gold Rush

More images — old, new, street style, editorials — after the jump.

Maybe it’s a lingering nostalgia for the west coast after four days on California beaches for an LA wedding, or just my probably-sorta-creepy-near-obsession with Bambi Northwood-Blyth (or just with her eyebrows and the related sting of my everlasting grudge that I ever began tweezing my eyebrows in the first place,) or a painfully cliche obsession for anything that vaguely resembles weird old faded kodachrome or polaroid Americana and the related weakness for, but I think this is awesome.  And so what if my little dresses aren’t Lanvin and my chunky boots aren’t Vivienne Westwood and my leather jackets aren’t Balmain? I can totally fucking dress like this with miscellaneous nonsense in my closet as is, and I am way into that. 

Photos by Tierney Gearon and via FGR, as per ushe, and more after the jump.