The making of Nancy Drew

“Nancy Drew is as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker.” – Bobbie Ann Mason

On a steaming hot Monday in Toronto’s High Park, a bunch of Wornettes and friends got together to pay tribute to 3 notorious girls who gather clues and solve crime, all in swishy skirts and lacy gloves. Issue 9 is starting to come together and I can shamelessly say I think it’s going to be the best pages yet, not the least of which is Esme Wornette‘s brilliant adaptation of the Nancy Drew mysteries. Just a little sneak peek at how I spent my Monday…

Our make-up columnist Bella B. (who is quickly becoming our regular photoshoot make-up artist too) creates some dewy little ladies.

Events intern Chelsea got wrangled into being our George.

Esme’s darling little sister was our Bess.

Wearing comfy shoes for as long as possible!
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The Cutting Edge

A few weeks ago I decided (after many weeks of internal debate) to cut my ratty, peroxide-damaged hair short. Like really short.

Here’s what it looked like to begin with.

I already look like a little kid and I enjoy dressing like one, so having long uncombed hair with crooked bangs wasn’t really helping me project the maturity or togetherness that I occasionally require for things like job interviews and buying wine without getting carded (every time!). Standing around one day at work, I thought back to all the summers I had spent with thick wavy locks gathering sweat on the back of my shoulders and finally turned to my friend Tiffany who was rearranging the hangers on a rack of dresses and said, “Hey! Do you wanna cut all my hair off?”

Tiffany usually cuts my hair at her Montreal apartment. She’s a professionally trained hairstylist but became disenchanted with the salon world and went independent a few years back. “Sure! I could use some more photos for my portfolio. What do you say to doing a few different cuts along the way if I do it for free?”

Woah. Getting to try out a bunch of different hairstyles with no commitment and the whole thing would be free of charge

“My friend Liz does makeup for movies, and I’m sure she’d want some new portfolio pictures too. We could get Marilis to take the photos!” Tiffany continued. I dove straight into the bottomless sea of google image search to hunt for short haircuts and style inspirations. A week later we were sitting in Tiffany’s living room surrounded by garbage bags of clothes, chugging coffees to shake off all of our hangovers. I set up my laptop in the corner and broadcasted Day One of the Haircut/Makeover Photoshoot.

It took us five hours to cut, do makeup, style, and photograph three different outfits. We collaborated on all the looks, drawing on our professional experience and then stuff like America’s Next Top Model and icons like Twiggy, Edie Sedgwick, Agyness Deyn, and even Lady Gaga. By Day Two, we were in the swing of things and did seven different looks in about four hours. Both days felt way more like play than any kind of work and the only money exchanged was when we paid the delivery guy for Chinese food. My favourite photos are from the later looks, after I warmed up to taking photos.

I’d love to do it all again knowing what I know now and working with this awesome team, but I’ll have to wait a few years until my hair grows out again… Let us know what you think!

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Crushing on Yokoo

interview by Anna Fitz
photography provided by Yokoo

Atlanta-based designer Yokoo has been picking up steam on the internet, gaining recognition not only for the oversized chunky knitwear that she makes and sells but also because of her eclectic sense of style, minimalist self portraits, and that trademark haircut.

Where did your name come from? Was it inspired at all by Japanese designer Tadanori Yokoo?
Years ago, I had fallen in love with my college freshman English professor, and he had decided to give me a Y for my birthday. It was wonderful. The next day I broke up with him.

The three “O”s were not always so cute. They actually started out as zeroes. When I found them they were rather humble little things. They used to tell me how they were all going to be big, big movie stars one day. I told them if they wanted to be movie stars then they had better change their names, because no one would ever give an Oscar to someone named Zero.

Finally, they agreed and decided to call themselves Oscars. I told them that was just plain stupid, and then they settled on just “O.” Oh, and I fell in love with K because she can cook. But don’t tell her that because she’s really sensitive.

How did you dress when you were in high school?
One has to understand that high school used to be nothing like it is today. Dressing up was not a part-time job the way it is today. You had maybe like three or four kids that put a lot of time, if any, into chiseling a look out for themselves. Because it contrasted so drastically with my environment, I was fascinated with the whole preppy lifestyle. I had a certain fondness for United Colors of Benetton. Then I would incorporate a lot of the underground hip hop hippie movement into my style as well. People like De La Soul had a huge impact not only on my way of dress, but also on how I started to perceive the world. I wore the hippie hip hop haircuts, the big medallions, and a lot of Nikes.

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Coco’s Blog: Dear New Model…

You are flawed – just like everyone else. You’re never going to be pretty all the time. That’s life. But you’re also a total stunner. By some happy accident of genetics, no matter what you’re wearing or doing, you’re about twelve times prettier (oh, subjective Beauty!) than anyone within a hundred feet of you. You could be three inches shorter or twenty-five pounds heavier and it would still be the case. These are The Facts; accept them and forget them.

The pictures they take aren’t really about you. You are a vehicle for an idea – but it is not your idea, so you don’t get to decide how it plays out. Whoever is directing you has put all kinds of thought into what they want. Take direction, even if you think it will make you Not Pretty (did I already mention this is impossible?). Good fashion is rarely about being attractive in the conventional sense. Editorials are meant to create an aesthetic, convey a mood, and show off some clothes. Again – no matter how impersonal it seems – it’s not about you. Not yet, anyway.

Listen to your photographer and your stylist. They have a lot riding on what comes out of a photo shoot. They probably already have careers and reputations and are even more invested in what goes to print than you are. Besides, the photographer is going to take ten times as many pictures as anyone can ever use, so you have lots of room for error. The reason for all this excess is to capture something unique, enigmatic.

I know you’ve seen a thousand pictures of models with scowls and pouty lips. It may seem counterintuitive, but (and I can’t stress this enough) DON’T MAKE THIS YOUR DEFAULT FACE. It’s not very interesting and, unless you’re really good, it’s going to look amateur and campy. The best thing is to try not to have a Default Face at all. Forget what you see in the mirror, forget your Best Angle. The magic pictures are going to happen in between your “modeling”.

And finally, remember that this is not everything you are. You might be really lucky and make a career out of this, but you probably won’t. Your success or failure here does not define you. You are a living, breathing, three dimensional human who is of infinitely more value than a two dimensional image. Try not to ignore the former: sooner or later it will be your backup plan.
And just please, try to relax.
I promise it’s going to be fine.


Photography by Mario Sorrenti