Aesthetic phases

I was reading this month's Editor's letter for one of my favourite sites Rookie, by one of my favourite people, Tavi Gevinson, which happened to inspired this post. Particularly this section:

'When I stopped writing my blog halfway through high school, I began keeping journals just for myself, each one cycling through a different personality as I had with fashion and with acting. For the duration of each journal, my handwriting would change, I’d dye my hair, I’d hang new posters on my wall, I stuck to a narrow selection of my wardrobe and my music, I chose a new route for the walk to school. I am similarly strict about the monthly Rookie themes, dictating to our illustrators and photographers which colors, motifs, and types of lighting to use in their work for us. My friends get annoyed with me for how often I try to art direct our hangouts instead of seeing where the night takes us—Can we all wear these colors, walk down this street, listen to this song?'

This resonated with me a lot, as I do very similar things with my own blog and life.
I like fashion and blogging because it's an extensive form of dress up. The appeal of fashion to me has always been the expression of identity, and the way you can change your entire essence with what you wear. With my blog, I can categorize not only these choices, but also the inspiration behind them. Fashion is simply a segment of the entire world of concepts I love to create. These are made up of films, tv shows, songs, locations, light, photos, artists etc. Each aesthetic I mentally create is made up of an extensive list of inspiration and elements. For example, over the summer, I became obsessed with the TV show The Carrie Diaries. This lead to listening to '80s punk bands, begging my friends to hang out at our local burger restaurant because of it's diner-like decor, wearing lots of bright prints and poofy skirts and wondering why mobile phones take all the fun out of calling your friends (it's because pay phones are obviously way cooler, despite practicality issues). 

The Carrie Diaries aka my '80s dream (source)
Sometimes, I'll direct these worlds. I will fall in love with a TV show, and start dressing like the characters and then listen to the soundtrack and ask my friends if we can go to this place and that restaurant because they all have a similar vibe. But other times, they will fall in to place. I will end up doing something new, with certain people and the light will start to seem really fitting and beautiful, and some sort of sound will fall into the background, and it will just work. These spontaneous scenes are so magical and I then feel the need document them in my journals and on this blog (which I love, because I can highlight the best bits and record the aesthetic of that time in my life).

Taken in Martha's Vineyard over the Summer, which is a very aesthetically pleasing place.

You might call all these concept intervals 'phases' and that's probably why it resonates so much with me and other teenagers, right? Aren't teenagers known for 'phases', and to cringe back on them later? I feel like a lot of adults will call them 'phases', and they might be right as a phase is defined as 'a distinct period or stage in a process of change or forming part of something's development', which I suppose sums it up well. Somehow I find the word quite patronizing, so I
feel like aesthetic needs to be in there. So let's call them 'Aesthetic phases'.

Aesthetic phases are great. Your constantly developing and changing little aspects of your life which creates these wonderful worlds. They just make existing as a teenager that little bit more interesting.

-Lexi xo


  1. I liked this post. Personally, the implied life-span of 'phases' scares me - the fact that they're going to be laughed back on when I'm older. Sometimes aesthetic phases feel like ME in all facets of the word, but I also know deep down that it's 'just a phase' (which, as you said, is sooo patronising), and that it's bound to end someday. EXISTENTIAL CRISIS MUCH?! hahah anyway, nice job :)

    1. I know exactly what you mean. Each year as I get older, I have to remind myself that I was actually cooler at the previous age than I will give myself credit for. Thank you!

  2. I think the patronising part of 'phases' is that adults are in that stage of their lives where everything has to bee permanent, you know, whether they actually want it like that or need it like that. Whereas teenagers get to enjoy the temporary-ness and non-fixed-ness of things and go through phases adults don't have the carefree-ness or safety to do anymore. I just made up a lot of words. Love this post, Lexi.

    1. You're right, I suppose it's almost an envy that teenagers get to experiment all they want, without the pressures of stability, acting like an adult etc. Thank you Khensani! x

  3. I am the same way! I find that these little phases I end up creating for myself make my life feel more manageable and controlled amidst the hecticness (and the general lack of control) of being a teenager.

  4. I love this post! I find nothing more satisfying than getting into one of these aesthetic phases and feeling completely and utterly myself in it, wondering how I used to be any other way - it's funny how they come and go, and I love blogging for it's ability to capture them all and store them up for me to revisit someday. I love that photo of you at Martha's Vineyard! xx

  5. Our whole life is a little different phases. Each of them brings us a new experience and skills.