August 15
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The first thing I saw about her were those chunky, moonshine platform boots.

My eyes traced up a willowy frame, adorned with a sheer dress covering silver raver pants, ladylike pearls over a Victorian blouse – all topped off by a fierce, determined stare.

Rarely do I pause to take a photo of the posy crews at Fashion Week yet there she was, ensconced in an inconsonant aura that stopped me in my tracks and beckoned for a shot.

The whole get up reminded me of something I would see on Drew Barrymore, or perhaps the backstage fashion hubris of 90s Robert Altman classic, Pret-a-Porter. It was completely at odds with the colour blocked, pop-tastic, bold shouldered silhouettes my weary street-style eyes have grown accustomed to at these events.


So who was she, this girl, with such a bold and perfectly captured sense of style?

Her name is Laneikka Denne, she’s 16 and runs an edgy blog called Grunge Children.  It struck me as ironic that someone who wasn’t even born in the 90s has a better grip on that era than me, who’s lived to tell the tale.

I was intrigued and emboldened by Laneikka’s self-assured styling, so I craved to explore her aesthetic process further.

“I’m inspired by Australian youth and fashion culture,” she tells me. “You’d think that because we’re ‘down under’, we’d have no idea about style. But Australia’s emerging youth fashion culture is something the rest of the fashion world has to watch out for!”

Denne is an avid poetry reader, having recently completed James Franco’s ‘Straight/Gay James Franco’, citing him as “an angsty and talented poet”. For music, she’s listening to ‘Gameshow’, Two Door Cinema Club’s new album, which is “super techno and electro beat mixed with alternative rock.” On Netflix, she’s a fan of  ‘Girl Boss’.


So to the big question – what is grunge?

“Anything with texture and confidence equals grunge ootd! Seriously though, if you wear everything you own with a moody pout and a whole lot of confidence, you’ll be a standout rebel among the crowd.”

According to Laneikka, grunge’s secret weapon in the face of other styles is that it doesn’t care about what other people think.

“Grunge follows its own path of badges with unpopular political opinions, your dad’s old army jacket and overpriced vintage combat boots! But even so, while you’re wearing these cool threads, you wear them for you…and no one else.”



Laneikka has always had a real eye for curating clothing into looks, or ‘ootds’, as she calls them.

“I totally understand that there are some gals and guys out there that have no idea how to mix things up and still look hot. So my biggest tip for putting together outfits is pretty simple – put different tones of the same colour or pattern, in the same outfit. Now I don’t want you walking around in a matching hot pink velour tracksuit, but if you have a dark red blazer and a light red top, wear ’em together! And you can never go wrong with anything denim or leather, which always goes together.”

Making an outfit “grunge” is not an entirely sartorial matter either. The grunge look spawns from the way you pout, walk, talk and feel. “You can be a grunge boss in your nanas dressing gown if you rock it with attitude.”

Curious to put Laneikka’s grunge tips to the test, I asked her to style me out. I resonate more with Marylin Monroe than Marylin Manson, so taking me from curvaceous bombshell to greasy grunge chick is no mean feat.

However, she endures, bringing with her a collection of vintage flannel, leather, chains and a bit of sequin and sheen for that, I assume, Courtney Love morning-after appearance.

I surrender to her guidance and allow the looks to unfold. Posing threatens to be an issue, as I am still stuck in sultry, pouty cupcake mode, so Laneikka tells me to snarl like I give no damn to the camera.

You can check out the result below.

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Ok, still looking a bit come-hither (I’m Russian, I can’t help it), but the experience definitely brought a level grit to my wardrobe – not to mention a more determined posture in the world (who knew slouching could be so brave).

What did I learn?

Grunge is the definition of confidence. Anyone who embodies the mystical ‘grunge ways’ must rock it with such confidence that everyone in the building is captivated by your badass attitude and super slick leather pants.

As Laneikka says, “if you’re gonna go grunge in 2017, go hard or go home! Grunge is a style for the bold and everyone in between!”



Processed with VSCO with m3 preset


Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Instagram- @grunge_children



Collaboration images by Leeroy Te Hira @leeroy.t


June 6
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It was just another frosty morning, lying in bed under layers of doona warmed up by body heat and distraction, as I lost hours submerging digitally into a new portal.

Scrolling, pulling in and caressing my eyes was a visual feast called LEXI LAND and her portrayal of a stark and subliminally wonderful universe.

Having taken some distance from those haunting scenes, I muse at how to convey those esoteric visions via words, especially when she has a better run of elucidating on those images herself:

“Optical dreamer your windows are open, the electronic sensors with their crystalline lenses, are drinking the light! Open – shut – open… the backs of your lids are drawn to paint the darkness. Your visual cortex flies like a ghost through your skull, it has always been free… no bone can contain the invisible. Your celestial spark spirals on silken threads, it is in the company of dreams, it sews delicately and without effort through the great unknown.Your axis – like the horizon can not be found, objects are a mirage that bind” —Lexi Land

That was, for instance her beautiful ode to the eyes and the unknown.

HIT PLAY >> Surreal as the Day They Found Me, Lexi Land

Further quotations from Rilke, Duchamp and Kahlo pepper her feed as way of narrating her art, that creative medicine and existential urge that carries little regard for where it’s heading beyond its impulsive expression.

More gorgeous verse, by way of explanation.

The figure comes into ‘being’ like the seed of a wild vine desperate to breathe… it pushes up gasping for air, it coils and dances around the trunk of an ancient tree, swallowing each moment, it grows until it reaches the endless sky” —Lexi Land

“In a trance, my hand becomes like breath, life-force quivers through me, I am moved by the vibration of an unseen whisper… art for me is like the night, dark and spacious… when day breaks, the light reveals what was always there. The unknown – becomes known and will forever remain unknown.” —Lexi Land

Lexi Land is a 30-ish imp, with a compelling yet delicate presence, offset by wide, deep eyes and a girlish body that appears frequently on her well-scrolled Instagram feed.

To Lexi, her body is the ultimate creative vessel, a carnal resource to be used to shape story or translate feeling, instinctively bending and exposing itself to a demiurgic trance. She unmasks with masks, distorting and projecting, cutting her own moving image from video footage and setting it to impulsive-psychotic sound recordings. Guttural reverberations grow and explode as we witness what seems to be a multitude of births, the artist’s raw and arresting schizophrenic vision building to morph into something holistic, precise and profound.


The Architecture of a Fleeting Moment, Lexi Land.

I wonder, does she ever feel vulnerable or self-conscious exposing herself both physically and emotionally in ode to her art?

“No, I’ve never had that,” comes the assured explanation. “I’m looking in and sharing that inward experience – the best way to describe what I’m trying to say, comes from an interview with René Magritte in which he said:

‘that is to say… I try to live, life itself, as if it were a work of art!’ — Magritte


March 27

There’s a visceral truth that I’ve been running from for a good 3 years.

After some tumultuous months with my new husband, it dawned on me that my approach of arguing for my ‘truth’ and forcibly justifying my position was all wrong. Rather than reasoning and deflecting as my usual way of avoiding emotional confrontation, a wiser and indeed, more seemly tactic was to actually allow the gravity of our argument to consume me; then navigate my response from there.

Let’s rewind.


December 20
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When I was in my 20s, I drowned in the abyss  of my own spirituality. The physical world wasn’t delivering on its hedonistic promise and my attempts to claim a guy or look more f***able dimmed in comparison with my more astute and glamorous social rivals.  Thus, esoteric work brimmed with possibility, a solace from rejection and a frontier into a world much vaster than my own. Shamanism, energy grids or chanting ancient Sanskrit hymns and Goddess invocations were ‘the keys to the kingdom’, a palace of enlightenment from which I hoped to return ‘home’ more electric and awake.