Before she could drive, vote, or order a dirty martini, Tavi Gevinson was an arbiter of style. Launching her fashion blog Style Rookie at age 12, her spot-on runway critiques and fresh perspective made her a beloved front-row fixture. And her quirky-cool aesthetic caught the eye of everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Alexander Wang.
Now 23, Gevinson is still at it—writing and editing her online magazine, Rookie, while also flexing her creative muscles in front of the camera, in films like Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Person to Person with Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson. And her knack for dressing has evolved too, with polished looks by Gucci, Miu Miu, and Thom Browne all getting that Tavi touch.
While we’ve been following her fashion evolution for years, it turns out we’re not the only ones. Actress Odessa Young, star of the upcoming film Assassination Nation, has also been heavily influenced by Gevinson’s sartorial genius.
“The way that Tavi writes about fashion makes it so accessible to me and so many other girls,” says Young. “Plus, she always seems to wear what makes her happy as opposed to trying to please other people—and to me, that is inspiring.” So for InStyle’s June issue, we connected Young with Gevinson to talk all things fashion.
On the agenda? Canadian tuxedos, wearing pajamas in public, and why you should never really regret an outfit. Read on for their full chat below.
Odessa Young: Tavi, I’ve been obsessed with you since we met in Sydney. And I’ve always read Rookie! I love that you encourage girls to always dress for themselves.
Tavi Gevinson: That’s so sweet—you made my week!
OY: What sort of things are you loving right now?
TG: I used to get super dressed up all the time, but lately all I want is to be comfy. I’m into pantsuits and matching sets. And I just discovered I could pull off a Canadian tuxedo.
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OY: Ha! Why didn’t you think you could wear one?
TG: Pants just weren’t on my radar. Then I got some pieces from Calvin Klein and—welcome to the denim trend.
OY: I enjoy looking like a mechanic too [laughs]. Have you ever had a look you’ve really regretted?
TG: There are lots of photos that I’m horrified to see. But then I realized no one is invested in it as much as I am.
OY: So true. I once tried to channel Sean Young from Blade Runner. I wore a white suit with a bizarre strappy bra underneath and had ’50s pinup hair. That was embarrassing.
TG: Sounds like a triumph to me. Be proud of that one!
OY: Well, Blade Runner is the best. It all looked so good in my hotel, but then I got to the red carpet and it all fell apart. With social media, it seems like every outfit is permanent now. All of a sudden we have these tattoos of our fashion history.
TG: I’ve slowly learned that you have to live your life and accept that something felt right at the time, you know?
OY: Agreed. Do you have a designer who excites you right now? I’m feeling very refreshed by Gucci since their show.
TG: I love Thom Browne. I have a great navy suit [above] and then a corduroy one with penguins all over it.
OY: Oh, I love a penguin. Especially on a sweater. Weird sweaters have sort of become my thing. That and jumpsuits. I’m obsessed with this vintage find I wore to the première of Assassination Nation at Sundance [below].
TG: I have a hard time with jumpsuits. I do love a PJ set, though. I have one from Prada with stars all over it.
OY: Wearing pajamas in public gives me a lot of confidence.
TG: Yes! Feels like you’re just hanging in your living room.
OY: I don’t have a ton of experience dressing for events yet, but I’ve already learned that the way you present yourself is an important aspect to this job. Does the pressure to be fashionable ever get to you?
TG: I mean, I definitely get insecure about how I look sometimes. I try to think of getting dressed for the red carpet as an opportunity to wear something that I can’t wear in my day-to-day life or to break in something new that I’m excited about. You can’t take it all so seriously.
OY: Agreed. Last thing: Who inspired you to be an original?
TG: When I started going to Fashion Week, I’d wear these bold outfits, mostly because of editors like Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow. They made me feel like the most stylish person in the room is the one who’s having the most fun.
For more stories like this, pick up the June issue of InStyle, on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download now.