my first teen vogue

Thinking back, I guess I never really grew out of the Tomboy phase. My brother and I would sit and mimic Wham's and Pow's from the TV screen as we watched the original Batman series on Saturday mornings. I grew up trailing at my brothers heels like an Australian cattle dog because all I wanted to do was play paintball and computer games with him and his friends. My brother, being 8 years older than I, wouldn't have any of it. So I can still imagine myself lifting rocks to peer into ant sanctuaries and baking Creepy Crawlers by myself. I also know that those are weirdly things I'd still enjoy if I still owned a Creepy Crawlers oven. But what I can also remember is when I started dressing more like a girl than a boy.

I still have it! My first Teen Vogue. The February 2006 issue with Gemma Ward - rising teen supermodel - gloriously on the front. She was everything. Unique, strange, and breathtakingly beautiful. I like to think choosing her as someone I looked up to wasn't exactly unhealthy for a kid like me. She was a positive role model and I found someone I could relate to because I also happened to be awkwardly tall and ridiculously scrawny.

It was then that I began to dress... "fashion forward". I say that in quotations because fashions typically make their way to small towns last. So wearing something that's so in in magazines at the time can get a kid made fun of (more than I already could of been being the unattractive skinny girl). I proudly would like to say that I was the first person wearing the t-shirt-under-tank look at my school at the age of 14, also sported by Gemma Ward in that very issue of Teen Vogue. Guess what look is making it's rounds again this year - you got it! 

Ever since I was an awkwardly tall 8 year old, my crazy aunt would always say "She's gonna be a model someday", talking to me as if talking to a third person. And after years of being conditioned by those words and choosing dream jobs from the Teen Vogue Handbook, I was scouted at the age of 16 in the lineup of a Subway. I worked as a model throughout my time at University and when the opportunity came to travel to Europe, I trusted my parents in that education was more important and remained in Canada to finish my degree in Fashion and Textiles.

This post is somewhat of a Throwback Thursday, or a Thankful Thursday. I've had so many opportunities growing up. I've worked in the Fashion Industry doing garment production, traveled as a model, worked along side one of Canada's top lifestyle influencers. I know how to weave on a loom, screenprint and natural dye fabrics. I've met so many creative people and now I'm working in Illustration. All because I found something in the pages of a magazine that glued me to it like a magpie. It all reaches back to me dreaming my days away in the pages of Teen Vogue in a small town far, far in the rainy East.

But I guess I'll have to admit, I still wanna play video games and watch Gargoyles on TV. Just while I look a tad more fashionable. So I guess thank you Gemma, and thank you Teen Vogue.

World Mastercard Fashion Week Toronto  l  Photo: Arnold Lan

World Mastercard Fashion Week Toronto  l  Photo: Arnold Lan


Illustration: © Shayla Bond / Teen Vogue Images: Pinterest