Classic Rock Nostalgia Lifestyle Brand Awards
I used to have trouble finding a culture to identify with. My suburban upbringing was like a big empty compass without the little pointy thing. It might have been full of rose petals instead. Or all the tears I've shed over beautiful boys.
It's hard being a young, fresh Seattlite without a clique. I like coffee, but even the word roasting makes me want to scoop out an eyeball with the closest espresso measuring spoon. The latest wave of underground hip-hop has way too much background for me to ever feel confident I'm not culturally appropriating. I can't take time away from self-care to reinvent myself and if there's one thing my dad taught me, it’s that you can always return to your roots. He might have blasted Van Halen and Metallica during those early years of magic and imagination, but I also heard enough of the Beatles to be able to fill out the genre with some more avant-garde radness. My Captain Beefheart and Electric Wizard vinyls never fail to make me feel like I'm into something.
It's also such a struggle finding a lifestyle fits me politically. Once I took DMT in a meadow and saw the whole world braiding their hair into a circle. Ever since, it's been really important to make sure I live ethically... but between the environment, animals, underprivileged people overseas and the people in Seattle, it is sooo hard to not feel vaguely guilty.
All of this identity aesthetic shit really clicked for me when I popped into Seattle's ROVE boutique. Between all the vintage treasures were brands I'd never heard of that somehow knew who I was. A classic rock nostalgia chick. The love movement literally has tons of lifestyle brands on a mission to bring back bell bottoms and ringer tees with meaningful nods to modern social justice. In case you haven't been introduced, I'm starting the Classic Rock Nostalgia Lifestyle Brand Awards right now to highlight some of the most drool worthy forces in the scene. Hey, ho... let's go!
Best Feminist Sweater: Stoned Immaculate
Item: “Gloria Sweater in Sky”
Description: This must cop gem is a two toned sweater with a female gender symbol loud and proud across the front. I can never remember if that includes trans women but I think it does. Anyway, the description says, “power to the V.” The "Gloria" in the name of this fuzzy little treat is definitely a shout out to sexy 60s super babe Gloria Steinem. In 2016, Miss Gloria said, “capitalism isn’t compatible with anybody who doesn’t have capital.” I'm pretty sure the aggressive commodification of feminism defeats its own goals, but don't worry, this sweater is worth every penny. Its 100% merino wool! If she was surfing the third wave, Gloria would definitely know that she deserves nothing but the best- self care is priceless!
Best Graphic Tee: Sugar High Love Stoned
Item: “Eat the Rich ~ Boyfriend Tee”
Description: If you don’t speak millennial marketing, Boyfriend Tees are just extra soft and flowy, because like, dudes have less clothes and wear them a lot till they get soft. You don't have time for that though, it's gotta come “soft, super+soft 100% cotton with a special wash to make it even softer.” The softer something is, the more its going to take you back to that cozy time when the internet didn't exist and people actually valued quality. That's why a T-shirt with a pair of lips and the words “EAT THE RICH” makes sense at $76. You need to treat yourself to a comfy tee before you chow down on those rich people and slap a flower encrusted defibrillator on the revolution.
Best Lifestyle Blog: Dazey L.A.
Name: Boss Blog
Dazey L.A. is perhaps the most socially ambitious classic rock nostalgia brand. Owner Danielle Nagel used to design for the likes of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 before launching her own brand of vintage inspired feminist T-shirts. They recently rolled out a men’s line (can you say, boyfriend gift line?!), promoed on their Boss Blog as “Dazey Dudes.” The photoshoot featured a tall, pale hottie with a beard and two-toned chunky glasses posing with coffee in front of stack of cut wood with shirts that say “Stand for Something” and “Visionary.” I started having visions of starting a whole classic rock nostalgia family with him and then quickly closed my laptop. I need to focus on myself!
The Boss Blog is a big shout out to the whole 60s and 70s consumer community, featuring smaller nostalgia brands with noncompeting items. The recent post, “Dazey Lady Shop - The Girl Boss Tribe” includes my favorite accessory line, I’m With The Band Headbands, in the shoot. The owner wants to "nurture the human spirit" and "give back to things I believe in.” She's a white woman, which is cool because I sometimes worry that people who look like me can't live their lives with intention. “Whether you're a gypsy princess, a rock 'n' roll queen or vixen on a spirit quest, you will be effortlessly ruling in our velvet turban headbands.” Yaasss! She gets me. On the inside, I'm just a gypsy princess scrambling for the perfect outfit before I can get PSYCHED OUT. Do you sell shaman boyfriends too?
Best Motto Award: Top Knot Goods
Motto: Make Out Make Art
These boutique brands really understand the heart and loins of classic rock; there's only two things in life that are really worth doing, sex and art. If we could nail these two things, Trump wouldn’t be president. Lets throw a little extra love and peace to Top Knot Goods for their meaningful accessories. I was raised Protestant but I’ve always respected the symbols and rituals of Catholicism for their aesthetic appeal. Their La Rosa Cross Earrings or gold Jesus and Mary charm necklaces will definitely lend you a little bit of L.A. authenticity. Oh, and the “Cobain Track Pants” are currently on sale! “Amen.”
Sugarhigh Lovestoned assures me I'm not alone, there are other girls out there just like me. “We read books, listen to vinyl, drink (too many) americanos and have been known to bare our soul in a dimly lit parking lot or two…. We’re real.” Thank god! For their community building efforts (137,000 Instagram followers and counting!), we have to close out the 2017 Classic Rock Nostalgia Brand Awards with a notable mention for best mission statement. Sugar High's romantic and poignantly written copy evokes the soul of classic rock, rebellion against cookie cutter consumerist culture. “Sometimes, we’ll eat cookies for breakfast. We can drive our boyfriend’s stick-shift & we’re not afraid to know where the dipstick is.” Teach me where the dipstick is!