Category: PROFILE

THAT TEEN SPIRIT

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.

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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’.

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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.”

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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!”

 

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Instagram- @grunge_children

Blogspot- www.grungechildren.blogspot.com.au

Tumblr- undergroundgrunge.tumblr.com

Collaboration images by Leeroy Te Hira @leeroy.t

WAKING TO DREAM

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.

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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

THE GLITTERARI: LILY DUFFY

December 12

When I spend time with Lily Duffy, I want to escape to the forest, skinny dip in a creek and cast out my wishes to a star-lit sky – because Lily is a woman for whom serendipity just happens and you can’t help but be swept away into her magical and colourful Universe. While other artists toil away and pay their dues in endless market stalls or exhibitions before some buy-in occurs, Duffy’s emerging art career appears to have happened entirely by accident.

THE HOUSE HUNTER

December 11
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Adler Ho makes going after a million dollar listing seem as effortless as ordering a coffee (or his beloved Pinot Gris). The fresh-faced Sydney businessman has amassed quite a following in Hong Kong, where his amusing plastic bobblehead cheerfully adorns the desks of more prestigious players. Ho suddenly counts CEOs and high powered executives among his network – so how did this boy from Sydney’s North Shore break into Asia’s property and finance elite?

CONTEMPORARY REBELS

June 2
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I first met the Piermarq boys via my old job, where they were quickly integrated within the tight-knit ‘happy hour’ clique. Robbie Russell and Justin Callanan were laddish and whip-smart, with a highbrow yet grounded essence. The larrikin gallerists’ work was secondary to their personality, at least at first; a hovering ghost on the periphery of boujelais-fuelled nights that only hinted at their rich and colourful artistic worlds.