Dust off Your Dancing Flipflops

It’s a Beach Ball from worn on 8tracks.

We’re busy picking the songs to dance to at our issue 14 launch party this weekend. What are some of your favourite beachy tunes? Let us know in the comments!

The Beach Ball
May 12, 2012
The Dovercourt House
805 Dovercourt Rd. (just one block north of Bloor St.)
Bare-legged at 9 p.m.
Sweaters back on at 2 a.m.

Crushing on Katie Serbian

You might know Katie Serbian better as Bambi Davies, the former bassist (and only non-brunette member) of Dum Dum Girls, a Wornette favourite. Katie has since moved on to Cheap Curls, a solo project that is anticipating its first release. Naturally, I’m excited to see the aesthetic possibilities a new musical act brings; will those iconic Dum Dum Girls tights be topped? Read on to find out!

Can you tell us about what you’ll be working on now that you’re leaving Dum Dum Girls?
I’m actually working on several different things. I have my own project called Cheap Curls that is releasing a 7″ on ArtFag Recordings early this year; I am finishing my MASTERS (!!!) at UT Austin

Nice! What are you studying?
It’s sort of interesting to explain. I am studying Rehabilitation Counselling. The name often conjures up a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, but it’s not that. It’s similar to a social worker for people with mental and physical disabilities. Very different from music!

So, I guess (because this is, after all, a fashion interview) there’s a huge range in your closet between what you wear to class and what you wear on stage.

Let’s start with that! Dum Dum Girls has such a defined aesthetic—was that intentional, or did you all have similar styles to begin with?
It started out as just a suggestion: “Let’s all wear black vintage dresses?” And then it grew into a strong aesthetic as the band also grew. As far as our personal styles, I think we were all fairly similar. The first day we showed up to practice together we were all wearing the exact same pair of jeans. I think it was the Urban Outfitters Cigarette pants? In black, of course.

When you played the Toronto show, you all came out in [Worn Crush] Zana Bayne harnesses. Was that coordinated?
Yes. Zana Bayne gave us all samples of her line. I LOVE HER. We got to meet her in New York when we played on Fallon. She is a gem and super talented.
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Are You Ready For Heartbreak Karaoke?

Sing Your Heartbreak Out from worn on 8tracks.

To prepare for next Tuesday’s Heartbreak Karaoke, the Wornettes rounded up some of our favourite songs about love and loss. Of course, this is just a small sampling out of the millions out there. What songs are you hoping to sing? Let us know in the comments—or better yet, come out to the Supermarket in Toronto on Valentine’s Day and sing your heart out.

Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue)
February 14, 2012 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
$7 Admission
$5 Admission if you’re wearing red or pink

Crushing on Ohbijou

The bar is packed from wall to wall despite the icy Toronto weather. A half-dozen eclectic-looking musicians walk onto a small stage carrying a variety of instruments. The crowd falls silent, folding to the ground kindergarten-style, and all eyes are drawn to two diminutive women standing at the edge of the group. One wears a sheer blouse and high-waisted shorts, the other jeans and a simple white hoodie covering most of her bespectacled face; one holds a violin and the other is empty handed. They couldn’t appear more different, but the audience is uniformly spellbound.

Casey and Jenny Mesija, the sisters behind Toronto’s haunting orchestral pop band Ohbijou, seem to have a lot in common. When they agreed to talk clothes with WORN, I assumed that, along with genes and music, they’d have coinciding views on style. What is it they say about making assumptions?

Do you two ever share your clothes, now or in the past? Was a hand-me-down system ever put into place?

C: Not really, we have very different body types. There are articles of clothing that we each own that make us envious of the other; I often buy shirts that end up looking better on Jenny.

J: I never got hand-me-downs from Casey. It was usually her that borrowed (or sneakily took) my clothing.

How would you compare and contrast your style to your sister’s?

C: I don’t intend to be stylish. My sister on the other hand is incredibly fashionable. I’m lucky because I have a partner who knows how to dress so I get some help in that department, but my sister looks stylish in whatever she decides to wear.

J: Casey and I share a common attraction to all things neutral, and we’re not really attracted to patterns. We share similar tastes in cuts and fits of clothing, and seem to be most comfortable in loose fitting T-shirts.

Do you think that how you dress has any relation to the music you make? Is there a connection between music and fashion in general?

C: There’s definitely a connection. Every aspect of yourself is a part of your performance, from what you wear to the instruments you buy. When you feel the most comfortable, you’ll likely perform the best. If you feel good and confident with what you’re wearing then it will lend itself to a better performance. We try to dress in the same colour palette to keep a cohesive aesthetic on stage. We like to make every performance special and show our audience that we really care about what we’re doing, so changing clothes is a small detail that helps elevate our performance.

J: Style of dress doesn’t really have any relation to the music that we make or our performance. We’re going to make more of an effort to have performance dress in order to get in the mindset of a performer and have a more cohesive stage presence. I think that many musicians share this same outlook with stage dress. Stage dress allows musicians to get into the mode of the character or how they want to perform on stage.

What was your most memorable show and what were you each wearing?

C: One of our first shows was at a tiny festival in Guelph called Track and Field. My sister and I decided to pin red feathers to our grey shirts for that show — something about it felt very special. We felt in flight, perhaps, at ease and so lucky to be performing outside while the sun was setting — it was a perfect summer evening.

J: Our CD release show for Beacons. We all made an effort to dress up and when we changed into our outfits before the show it made us even more excited to get on stage to play.

Notice a pattern? The Mecija’s never saw one another’s answers; in the name of convenience, we communicated via e-mail. It was interesting to discover that, perhaps by virtue of their responding independently, they have drastically different ways of thinking about their world. Although Casey and Jenny share a last name, a hometown, and a band, and though often their aesthetics collide, the ideological paths they take to get there are unique.

Fashion has a very particular way of fitting people into groups. We look around and make assumptions daily: hipster, conservative, wealthy, slob. But generalizations don’t really describe much more than the surface. In fashion as in everything else, our motives are our own. That is, until we find our common ground.

How much of your personality is attached to what you wear?

C: I like to think that my personality is in the clothes I choose each day. Perhaps subconsciously more than anything — if I’m having a bad day I’d probably reach for dark clothing without even fully realizing.

J: I definitely have personal preferences in terms of styles of clothing and shoes that I will wear, but my style is something I don’t think too much about; I know what I like, and picking the clothes I want to have in my closet comes naturally.

Interview by Alyssa Garrison