black halter bodysuit, American Apparel. red "shawl," American Apparel. corduroy pants, Old Navy circa 'my highschool years,' head scarf, vintage. grey glass bead necklace, W'Erin Art X Erin Magoc. black beads/black&gold bangle, sister's.
Photography by Jeremy Zerbe
Frolicking amongst the religious symbols of my youth should probably have had more of a somber affect on me, but childhood memories of gathering between gravestones in Mt Airy cemetery to watch the annual Tarentum fireworks display set off from a barge on the Allegheny, always turns somberness to glee. Sure, a graveyard is a strange place to plop down your worn comforters, kick off your flip-flops, eat candy and gaze up at the sky, but when the whole town does it the place becomes a field of familiarity, and the creepiness dissipates with the sounds of OOO's and AAAHH's and the oh-so summertime smells of fireworks and charcoal grills.
My retrospective comfort in cemeteries blended into the other oddities of my upbringing. Raised by partial ex-hippie parents, I dressed to pay homage to some bygone era of braless-ness and headscarfs. I'm not 100% sure that my mother burned her bra back in the day, but she definitely has the potential to have such a kick-ass feminist side.
My Janis Joplin-esque get up began with inspiration from Anna Sui's 2011 resort collection which screamed clean, feminine hippie. With some inversion on the girlishness of her peasant shapes, floral and paisley patterns, and lace slips into my dark colored masculine cords and complicated accessorizing, all I ended up taking from Sui was the theme, and I emerged more Grace Slick and less flower crowned love child. There was just no subduing the rock 'n' roll.