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Back to Cool

Time 4 Class

May I introduce you to a few new friends? Meet Brynn McIntosh and Iana Witham. Brynn and Iana both attend the Griffin School here in Austin (see "The Griffin School" below). We've recruited our new pals, along with their friends Alex, Mallory, Rose, and Camp, to take us Back to School -- with style.

Wow. Hang out with a bunch of high school kids if you want to feel really, really old. Or really, really young, in the case of our friends at the Griffin School, whose take on style and fashion sends our heads into a cloud of 1977 ... or is it 1987? No matter -- everything old is new again, right? Well, sort of ... "I keep rolling my eyes," laughs Kim McIntosh, mother of Brynn, of today's take on fashions we first experienced a long, long time ago. "I think they make it look better," says Anna Nedeau, Iana's mom, "but you can never make bell-bottoms look good."

"God, I adore bell-bottoms," replies Kim, at which point a long, protracted debate regarding bell-bottoms ensues.

Like me, Anna and Kim are "old school" -- our lives were saved by rock & roll. We lived through glam, punk rock, and the birth of hip-hop the first time, only to see it reinvented, modified, and reinvented again, year after year by each new crop of kids. It's just a little jarring when the kids are old enough to be your own ...

All of what you see here -- hair, fashions, color -- the kids pulled together themselves. We took them out to a few local boutiques, and they pulled from their own wardrobe to create the "look" for this spread. What we see has more common threads than just the obvious nods to the past. What we see is subculture alive and kicking. While some of these fashions have had their 15 minutes in the mainstream, for the most part, the elements here are established indicators of a cultural underground. Just ask any culture studies professor about "bricolage" or "signifiers" or things that "challenge hegemony." But hey, that's college stuff. We don't have to worry about that yet. This is high school, and it's time for class.

Many thanks to the fine local boutiques that lent items for this shoot: Gail at Blackmail, Courtney and Amanda at Buffalo Exchange, Julie at Groopie, Leah and everyone at Legs Diamond, Alex at New Bohemia, and Claudette at Toy Joy. Also thanks to our models: Brynn McIntosh, Iana Witham, Alex Caraccio, Mallory Collins, Campbell McFarland, and Rose Ogle. Also many thanks to: Griffin School Director Adam Wilson; shoot assistants Neil Diaz, Stephen MacMillan Moser, Kim McIntosh, and Anna Nedeau; and to the parents of all the kids.

TEXAS SALES TAX HOLIDAY: FRIDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 2-4

Just in time to outfit your tike or tot in the very latest for the back-to-school melee, the state of Texas celebrates a weekend-long retail holiday with sales tax exemptions on a number of clothing and footwear items. This is the fourth of these annual holidays. The law exempts many items of clothing and many types of shoes priced under $100 from sales and use taxes. Some of the exempt (tax-free) items include: baby clothes, bathing suits, boots (cowboy and hiking), caps, coats, dresses, hoodies, hose, jeans, jerseys, PJs, pants, shirts, sneakers, socks, suits, sweats, tuxedos, underwear, and work clothes (including uniforms). Some of the items that are still subject to tax include: accessories, backpacks, boots (climbing, fishing, ski), fabrics, handbags, helmets, ice skates, jewelry, personal floatation devices(?!), rollerblades/skates, safety goggles, specialty sport shoes and uniforms (cleats, bike, bowling, golf, baseball or football knickers, etc.).

THE GRIFFIN SCHOOL

Located on the grounds of the historic Perry Mansion, at the corner of 41st & Red River, the Griffin School is a private high school offering a college-prep curriculum to students whose needs are not being met by traditional high school cultures. The school offers challenge and direction through individual interaction with instructors in a nontraditional environment. The Griffin School encourages community involvement, both within the school and outside in Austin at large.

For more information, contact griffin@griffinschool.org or 454-5797.



Mallory in tux top and plaid safety pin skirt from Legs Diamond and hose from Buffalo Exchange. Alex sports an original shirt and skirt by Iana Witham, and Iana proudly wears her own concoction of what a Griffin School cheerleader would be.

Mallory in pinstriped dress from Legs Diamond, high-tops from Journeys, and bag from Blackmail.

Mallory in same outfit as first photo and Rose (r) makes her debut in blue work shirt and skull & crossbones necktie from Buffalo Exchange and plaid slacks from Foley's.

Camp looks too cool for school in his Atomic Cafe club shirt and olive bondage pants from Buffalo Exchange.

Iana and Rose in their own clothes, including a pair of spectacular purple moon boots, a lovely "Cheer Up Goth" T-shirt, and some snazzy reversible Converse.

Brynn in teeny handcuffs choker from Buffalo Exchange and her own "Afro Ken" T-shirt (a character whose items can be found at Toy Joy).

Rose and Iana in their own colorful tulle creations.

Rose in rock star "leather jacket" T, tiger-striped skirt from Legs Diamond, and Bettie Page handbag from Groopie.

Brynn's shock of red hair is enhanced by her red shirt from Buffalo Exchange and foxy Foster Grants from Groopie.

Alex in pirate motif, with blouse and slacks from Buffalo Exchange, umbrella and handbag from Groopie, and skull ring from Toy Joy, joins Rose under the shade tree.

  • More of the Story

  • Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style
  • Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

    Back 2 Cool

    The Griffin School kids take us back to high school in style

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Back to School, Fashion, Griffin School

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