Friday, August 30, 2013

Blogger (C)RUSH // An Interview with Jen Hanley (aka Gnarlitude)

Who is Jen Hanley (aka Gnarlitude)?
Writer. Rock'N'Roller. Trouble maker. Late night artist. I love my husband more than anything else in the world. I like books more than people. Vintage over new. At 13 my favorite band was Amebix and at 31 my favorite band is Nirvana.

When did you start your blog Gnarlitude and what was the reasoning behind it?
My friend Cali Dewitt (who is super brilliant) said I should do one because every time we talked I had all these crazy stories and I should start writing them down... Back then (07/08) I never really saw blogs that had everything I liked all at once so it made sense to start my own.. motorcycles, fashion, obscure punk bands, art, etc.. 

How would you describe your own personal style?
My style has really stayed the same since I was a young punk teen... black motorcycle boots, tight black jeans, rnr/vtg black tattered shirt, leather jacket, vintage black floppy hat, tons of old bondage bracelets my husband and I wore as teens paired with a ton of turquoise rings.... every day. When the weather is nice enough in Florida , I pull my monkey fur coat off the wall and that tops it all off...

What are some of your favourite pieces you cannot live without?
I have this vintage motorcycle shirt that Kurt Cobain also had and wore in photos for the Bleach LP... I found it years ago for $2... Norman Reedus actually almost bought it from me but I'm glad I kept it.. I've never seen another one ever.. and my monkey fur coat because it really classes up all the trashed shit I wear..

Where are your favourite places to shop and who are some of your favourite brands that you continue to revisit?
All my favorite pieces have come from flea markets and antique shops, usually for devastatingly cheap from people who do not realize what they have. I'm incredibly picky so I tend not to stray from what I like. My favorite brands I'll love forever are Repetto, Bandit Brand and DEVASTEE... I love Ann Demeulemeester and Saint Laurent but I'd rather just buy the old stuff that they're inspired by anyway.

Who are some of your style icons?
Nico (forever, she would have loved Ann D.), Terry The Tramp (Late 60's Oakland Hells Angels)... all the dudes in the crust punk bands from like Portland that I grew up listening to. I just bought a sick vintage mohair sweater for $10 so a little Kurt Cobain too.. I read this interview with him the other day and really agreed with what he said regarding style...


Where do you draw your influences and inspirations from?
RNR, books, vintage music/motorcycle/xxx magazines! I have huge collections of all and really kind of surround myself in them every day. I'd be bones in a casket if I hadn't found punk as a kid.

What are some of the key things to remember when putting together winning 'outfits' or looks?
Fuck trends... wear whatever you want... just don't try too hard because it's always obvious..

Chelsea Wolfe credits you as a style muse introducing her to brands like K/ller Collection and sending her rad vintage pieces.  Have you worked as a stylist before and is it something you would be interested in pursuing? And have you worked with many other celebrities or musicians?

Chelsea rules and while I've bought for a few other well known friends, it's always been where that person approached me because our styles sync up... I go shopping most days if not all and am bombarded with so much amazing stuff all the time and happen to live in motorcycle heaven so anything black leather related, I'm going to find it and it's going to be dirt cheap and vintage and unreal. I don't know that I'd pursue it so much as would be more than happy to buy for someone if I really liked them because I'm going to be buying for myself anyway.

The 1970s, bike culture and music seem to inform much of your style and your blog. What is it you love so much about these aesthetics?
Growing up very much in the thick of motorcycle culture, I guess it just stuck with me. I romanticize the 70's because it was still a time when anything goes, no cameras on every street corner, things just seemed more relaxed, not as fucking police state as they are now. Bike culture has always mirrored that so it was only natural that I'd go from hanging out with punk kids, most of whom would "grow up and move on" (barf) to this culture where they're going to be this way until the day they die. My husband and I live the way we want and do things how we want. No morals, no rules, 'no class, no values,' you don't like our lifestyle, we don't like your laws.

You have worked as a style blogger for various sites as well as your own like Another Magazine and Urban Outfitters. How did you get into writing for other sites and whats your advice to other bloggers who would love to get their word and style out in bigger ways?

Like I said, when I began Gnarlitude, there was nothing out there like what I was doing. So my advice is just do your own thing ! I got picked up for AnOther and Urban because I had my own voice and style and they could appreciate that and wanted the things I knew about. I never shopped Urban more than once but like seeing some obscure band on MTV when you're young (though I know that ship has sailed these days) I was looking out for the kids who might benefit from hearing about the shit I was into, which was different from the norm.

I was a big fan of your Jewellery collaboration with Meadowlark.  Do you think you will do any other collaborations in the future?

I have been working with my friend Francois Allary of DEVASTEE (Paris) every season for the past three or four now and each time I see our tees on the runway I still can't believe it! The Meadowlark ring was so great and they're so cool for still making it after all these years! I work for my friend Jen who runs Bandit Brand and we are coming out with a few collab tees real soon too.

Your etsy store 'The Wild Few' is an eclectic collection of awesome vintage shirts, pins and one off taxidermy pieces. How much of your time is spent thrift shopping and what are your best tips for second hand and thrift store shopping?

I am shopping ALL the time... My husband and I are lucky to do whatever we want, whenever we want, all the time so we are at the flea markets at 5am when people are just unloading and finding the new pieces put out bright and early at the second hand shops. We have a good friend who is an antiques dealer and he takes us with him on very big trips and also brings us back these phenomenal pieces, clothing and taxidermy that cost him like nothing (especially when he buys out estates). A lot of our old biker friends are always getting rid of things too and often let us shop their closets. So, tips? Befriend your weirdest local antique shop owner and wake up EARLY! (Or, as is often the case, stay up all night.)

What are some of your favourite websites and blogs that you frequent?

Evan Sabourin! He's my favorite artist right now. Love Kathy Grayson / 'Art From Behind'. I like Cat Marnell a lot and wherever she's writing.. her book will be phenomenal. I'm so out of the know on web sites and don't spend much time behind my laptop, Purple Diary is the only one I remember to check every few days. If you like Taxidermy I suggest checking out my husbands tumblr, (I run it for him because he's not into the internet) It's my fuckin favorite by far !!!!

What can we expect from you and Gnarlitude in the next twelve months?

Right now we're shooting a TV show all about my husband. Seemingly within the year, you'll find us on the air... Other than that, a lot of buying and selling so keep an eye on the shop !!!