Style

Secret Style Icon: Weetzie Bat

The month wouldn’t be complete without this.

I was 14 when I first discovered Weetzie Bat at my school library. I was experiencing a lot of new ~teen feelings~ during that time, relating to the longing angst of Angela Chase while also trying to decipher the quirky, in-love-with-life lyrics of Björk songs. Francesca Lia Block’s book (the first in a series) tied together all of these themes that were dancing in my head and wrapped them up in a sparkling little story about a bleach-blonde, Jayne Mansfield-loving, mosh pit-seeking girl and her makeshift family of misfits coming of age in Hollywood. I fell fast and hard for Weetzie, her gang, and the incredibly lush details Block uses to bring to life a city that is both dirty and dazzling. I don’t think I talked about it with any of my friends until much later, like it was some sort of special secret that I should keep to myself.

The book is very short, yet spills over with vivid descriptions of the “pink flamingo sky” and Weetzie’s “old fifties’ taffeta dresses covered with poetry written in glitter.” It also touched on serious subjects that were treated as taboo at the time—homosexuality, interracial families, AIDS—and infused the whole story with magic: Weetzie inherits a lamp, and a genie grants her three wishes. As you might expect, getting everything your heart desires doesn’t come that easily. She makes mistakes and fumbles from time to time, especially in her relationships, but she always stays true to herself.

Clockwise from top left: Chelsea Kane as Weetzie; a still from Autumn de Wilde's Weetzie-inspired shoot for Paper; two looks from Wildfox Couture's Fall 2012 collection.

Over the years, Weetzie fans have paid tribute to her in their own special ways. In 2010, Wildfox Couture did a Weetzie-themed editorial that included shooting on location at Oki-Dog, where Weetzie would devour the “wildest cheapest cheese and bean and hot dog and pastrami burritos.” They also sponsored a reading of the Weetzie Bat screenplay that was hosted at West Hollywood’s Book Soup in August of that same year, with singer/actress Chelsea Kane portraying Weetzie. There hasn’t been much talk about the possibility of a movie since, but Weetzie fans continue to keep their fingers crossed. Wildfox also partnered with Francesca Lia Block to create a mini-collection called Magical Creatures, which will be out this fall. And photographer Autumn de Wilde shot a Weetzie Bat tribute for Paper magazine last year.

Weetzie is a cult icon, with style that is easy to envy but even easier to replicate. She rocks many eclectic looks, like pink Harlequin sunglasses, dangling earrings, fringed pants, colorful kimonos, moccasins, feathers, and even dresses made out of old cartoon bedsheets. She embodies a particular girliness, appealing for being both accessible and original at the same time. Channel her free-spirited, pixie-punk steez with these outfits. Then make a wish (or three) and pretend you’ve been transported to “hot and cool, glam and slam, rich and trashy, devils and angels, Los Angeles.”

Clockwise from top left: Love Heart tee, $36, Topshop; Jayne Mansfield pinup necklace, $24, Etsy; palm print leggings, $24, Topshop; chicken purse, $28, My Pet Chicken; studded slippers, $56, Topshop; Maybelline lip balm, $3, Target

Clockwise from top left: vintage pink dress, $64, Etsy; cloud sunglasses, $12, ModCloth; tassle earrings, $13, Romwe; flamingo bag, $30, ModCloth; Minnetonka moccasin, $40, Nordstrom; lamp charm, $75, Westenra

Clockwise from top left: pink leather jacket, $147, Amazon; retro dress, $38, Romwe; Nail Rock Toonland nail wraps, $8, Asos; Nail Rock Meadham Kirchhoff nail wraps, $14, Topshop; Betsey Johnson wedges, $86, ModCloth; Betsey Johnson pineapple earrings, $45, Zappos; sunglasses, $13, Asos

36 Comments

  • Moxx June 28th, 2012 7:07 PM

    I think I might really need to read those books.

  • Lily June 28th, 2012 7:18 PM

    Why haven’t I read this book yet!?!?

  • Doink June 28th, 2012 7:25 PM

    ok. i’m getting this book ASAP, then rereading all this month’s posts again so i fully understand their greatness. i think this issue should be renamed for weetzie bat!
    on another note…do want EVERY OUTFIT here.

  • keezey June 28th, 2012 7:48 PM

    I must read these books…but I owe the library $38.50…so I can’t go back until I pay it off :(

    • Kathryn June 29th, 2012 12:08 PM

      At least you aren’t like my friend, who is banned from the library and owes them like $95 in overdue books!

  • Tyknos93 June 28th, 2012 8:08 PM

    Sooo I guess my first paycheck well be spent on the Dangerous Angels series eh?

    http://blazoningpens.blogspot.com/

  • Ben June 28th, 2012 8:20 PM

    I looked for this book at the library a while ago but couldn’t find it :( Maybe I should buy it on the Internet!

  • WitchesRave June 28th, 2012 8:36 PM

    This was slinkster cool, but personally ive always felt closer and prefered witch baby over weetzie. I dream of having purple eyes and my own angel juan!

    witches-rave.tumblr.com

  • samk June 28th, 2012 8:44 PM

    This was great!! Weetzie Bat is probably one of my favourite books of all time :)

  • Kathryn June 28th, 2012 9:07 PM

    If that dress in the last one is in stock when I get some money, I’m totally buying it. And that pink leather jacket is so awesome too!!

  • havefun June 28th, 2012 9:34 PM

    I loooove the third look.

  • Skatapus June 28th, 2012 9:55 PM

    Hey Rookie, I love the site, but I just wanted to say that I’m starting to feel a bit isolated by all of the Weetzie Bat posts. Clearly it’s been a big inspiration for you guys this month, but speaking as someone who hasn’t read the book and isn’t planning to in the near future (a long list already of books to read) it has been seeming a little bit repetitive, at least to a chick like me who can’t really relate to the content. This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate the aesthetics (great btw!)…but yeah.

    • abbs June 28th, 2012 11:26 PM

      I don’t think they mean to isolate you or be repetitive. I think they were just trying to show appreciation for something they love while at the same time presenting their readers with something new and quirky that a lot of them have never heard of. You know when you love something SO MUCH you just want to talk about it ALL the time and EVERYONE to know? I think that’s the same thing. But I also get what you mean because I haven’t read the book either and can be pretty confused sometimes, but I’m still learning and appreciating new, refreshing material (:

    • Anaheed June 29th, 2012 1:04 AM

      Fair enough!

    • purrr June 29th, 2012 11:16 AM

      I agree with Skatapus – just look at the tags page. http://rookiemag.com/tag/weetzie-bat/

      FIVE posts with the word “Weetzie” in the title or description, and all written in the past month.

      Even the David Bowie tag isn’t like this.
      http://rookiemag.com/?s=david+bowie

      I think it was good when you would spread out your influences and have articles themed to them far apart. But right now it looks like all of the Rookie staff members have signed a contract with Francesca Lia Block that says that you will write an infinite amount of articles about her books and in return, she will bake you cakes with lavender flavoured frosting. And of course, none of you were able to resist.

      what abbs said is also fair – except it still is way too much Weetzie for one month.

      • Anaheed June 29th, 2012 1:41 PM

        Yeah, it got a little heavy this month.

  • old hands June 28th, 2012 11:04 PM

    weezy!

  • courtneyloveskurt June 28th, 2012 11:39 PM

    My library doesn’t have these books. Why, library gods, whyyyyyyy?

  • Adrienne June 28th, 2012 11:52 PM

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Ahh I need to read this book now. And that dress from Amazon is so beautiful!

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • pocketmouse June 29th, 2012 12:08 AM

    I love the Wildfox photos, as soon as I read Weetzie Bat and they mentioned Oki Dog those were the first photos that came to mind :)

  • Narita June 29th, 2012 12:16 AM

    WHY. Why wasn’t I aware of Weetzie Bat before I read this atricle? THIS IS THE BEST.

  • modaboutyouu June 29th, 2012 12:50 AM

    come on, now, is this really a “secret” ?
    weetzie’s the coolest and so are these looks.
    [:

    • Marie June 29th, 2012 12:16 PM

      Not anymore…but it was back when I was a teen! (dinosaur 90s era)

  • Olivia June 29th, 2012 1:10 AM

    well. i had to buy the motorcycle jacket. hollllly shit. that is so PINK.

  • julalondon June 29th, 2012 3:17 AM

    Marie, the clothes and accessoirizes you found on the internet are JUST PERFECT. I just wish i could have all of it because that is just the way i like to dress!! Thank you! xxx

    • Marie June 29th, 2012 12:16 PM

      Thank you! I wish I could have it all too! xoxo

  • Bloom June 29th, 2012 4:10 AM

    I really need to read this book now, how haven’t I before?!

  • lylsoy June 29th, 2012 5:17 AM

    Weetzie bat is, was and will always be my favourite book and style inspiration.. and if you have not read it, you should absolutely do it ASAP- I can tell you, that book changed my life! btw, I started working in a cafe and when I come home I am craving Rookiemag…! i love you guys!

  • Rushmore June 29th, 2012 1:01 PM

    I hope Autumn de Wilde directs the movie, her music videos are amazing.

  • Stephanie June 29th, 2012 2:24 PM

    I want ALL OF THESE THINGS!!!! Thanks for the great guide to Weetzie style!

  • laceyr July 2nd, 2012 6:23 PM

    Oh man! I read that book about ten or eleven years ago when I was maybe 10. Its so crazy to see people still reading it, but I’m sure at the time the book still wasn’t very new. I too was completely inspired and a little obsessed with the book and became a raving Block fan. I have read every book she wrote that I could possibly find, and many many times over the last ten years. So thanks for reading it! And thans even more for some of these awesome weetzie inspired outfits, and I love the pics of models pulling from that inspiration!!!

  • evalavendar July 14th, 2012 2:08 AM

    I LOVE WEETZIE!!! I just finished the first book and it was sooo amazing! Weetzie is literally like my new role model for LIFE, man. She is just so confident and sure of herself and she is amazing!!

    xx Eva
    stylewandering.blogspot.com

  • pusupulu July 30th, 2012 3:46 AM

    It’s such a shame that the finnish translation for this book sucks donkey balls. SERIOUSLY. It was so horrible that at some point I could hardly read the text because my palm was so deep in my face. AND???? If they’ve done such horrible job at translating why the hell they don’t have the original one in libraries? ugh I guess I’ll just buy it online when I’ve finally managed to get over my gruesome first encounter with Weetzie Lepakko…

    On a side note… What I was able to gather from the book is that Weetzie is a total rave girl with far too many ducks. And that’s not what I was expecting. I was expecting this mysterious and unique girl, but to me it seemed like she was just a whorish drunk. Don’t be harsh on me, my eyeballs dropped out of my head and ran away on the 30th page because that’s when the translator gave up on life and started to translate the sentences using google translate wich leads to dialogues like this:

    ‘I don’t think it be like it is but it do.’ Weetzie said
    ‘Gay Weetzie I duck men like Dirk’ Dirk answered

    so I really didn’t get the chance to get to know Weetzie. I hope the things that I learned about of Weetzie from ”Rakkaus on vaarallinen enkeli” weren’t her only characteristics.

    And to be honest… I’m feeling quite alienated because she is clearly the red string that holds rookie together and I’m not digging her based on my experiences :/

  • catonthemoon July 30th, 2012 11:46 AM

    AMAZING, my favorite author, this is fantastic!