Teenagers are like another species to me now. They aren’t the kind we were. The other day I spotted a group of little teen girls ( who were probably taller than me in reality ), venturing into the city on their exciting school holiday shopping adventure. All 3 in a row wearing their Doc Martens and ripped boyfriend jeans with oversized cardigans. The allure of a group, the subset. Matching to a tee but not being ashamed of it. Individuality is barely a dream, or even a thought that flits across the mind. When now I could think of nothing worse than only hanging out with people who wore exactly the same jeans, with the same choker, and the same black boots. It’s all about the diversity.
The subsets seemed to die in the early 0000’s, at least in my limited life of suburbia. The only genre that applied was “dag”, everyone looking generally terrible in school groups. Sadly this was my identification ( or was it normcore at it’s finest? ). Poor-fitting flared jeans, surf brands, and sports jumpers with Converse sneakers ( the only slight cool factor ).There had to be some girls out there looking fabulous, but alas, this was not I. I had to wait to grow into my style, even though I had an innate love of clothing and fashion designers – worshipping Collette Dinnigan from the age of 11.
Maybe it was better that way. You know you lived a true childhood when you look back at photos and cringe at the awful outfits / braces / glasses. There was no glam, no designer childrenswear, or even trend-driven options for the teenies. We all need some embarrassment on 21st birthdays anyway. Cool kids of today, sorry, but your birthday speeches are going to be ridiculously boring. Should have just shopped at Target.
Elena Kholkina cleverly captures the spirit of the Russian teen in her images – as every teen in the world. I couldn’t tell you if that was her intention, but it screams through loud and clear to me. Moments of joy and spontaneity, contrasted with times of thought, reflection and sombreness. Out to find their place in the world ( and as I’m learning, who, of any age, has actually found it yet? ).
(Images from here)