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hearty magazine | MEET JEN FROM GNARLITUDE


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Jen Hanley describes herself as a "27 year old financially secure french sex maniac ex-model junkie alcoholic insomniac house guest" but now the storm has calmed. She lives on the beach with her husband, who is a taxidermist (seriously), and her Boston Terrier, Nico. Jen runs the fashion blog, Gnarlitude, which she refers to as "Sleep Deprivation and Stories Of My Bullshit Youth." She also writes for the Urban Outfitters blog, Street Carnage & TV Boners, AnOther Magazine and Sex Savages on Wheels--a website she started with her friend and ex-dive bar co-worker, Cass, dedicated to their common love of motor bike culture. She's got a great sense of style and even better taste in music. We decided to pick her brain.

Why is it important to have a blog?

This question is sort of lost on me. I guess I've been writing my own since the end of '07 and for the most part, it's still embarrassing. I still find it funny that I dedicate any time to it but I guess if I had to list one thing making it important it would be that maybe I'm getting some people into some ripping things they'd had yet to hear about. I have my own voice and all that and it's why I started it in the first place.

Why did you decide to start Gnarlitude and what does the word mean?

Because I never saw what I was into on any blogs. I wanted my own place to see what I wanted to hear about and it just wasn't around. I pulled the term from an article in Thrasher Magazine about Darren Navarette (aka the Vertical Vampire) who runs Creature Skateboards and is a sick skater. When I named the blog that fit pretty perfectly with my well being. It's about having a gnarly attitude, being crazy as hell, doing shit that is totally shredding.

You express your love for head-to-toe white quite often. Is white timeless and why do you adore it so?

White's good because it looks the best when it's dirty and it's inevitable that it will be dirty by the end of the day, if not sooner. Anything white is bound to get completely fucked up somehow, whether it's grime or blood. The best part of wearing head to toe white looks is wearing them for a week straight cause no matter how many times you wash them, they never lose that greyish color.

Which era, scene or subculture is the most inspiring to you?

Since about the age of 13 I've cursed myself for not growing up in the 60's and being around for the best punk shit in the 70's (NY/SF). As I got older I got more into Zeppelin and The Doors and wanted to push back that birth year to the 1950's so I could see all of them in their prime beginnings and still be in the thick of the punk era when it was really crazy.

You clearly have a thing for Easy Rider and motorbikes. How did this love get so strong?

Riding a bike 80 mph down the street with no one around you and the wind in your face is the best feeling ever and experiencing that even on the back of a bike like I did for the first time as a young teen would give you a long lasting love for motorcycles.

Who is the best designer going right now and why?

Ann Demeulemeester. I could go on about why I think she's the best all day long. She always sticks with herself, never follows bullshit trends and constantly turns out the best boots in history. The most expensive things in my wardrobe are a pair of her leather leggings and purple suede motorcycle boots and they are the best purchases I've ever made. They're both timeless, exquisite pieces. I may leave them at home when we go out on the bikes but I'll still be wearing both of them when I'm 50.

When you were sixteen, who was your idol?

I never really had idols but I always looked up to Saira Huff, she was the singer of my favorite band Detestation. She's a friend now and is still so fucking cool.

What's life as a Taxidermist's wife like?

He brings home ALL kinds of crazy shit and is now that guy picking up roadkill, as long as it's not past its prime, ie: fresh. My favorite though is the not so crazy but very useful scraps of alligator hides tanned black. I turn 'em into these real sick bracelets. I'm hoping for some pieces large enough to sew into a bag. It'll be interesting to see how many more animals we have in our house in a year.

Name three people (living, dead, famous or friends) who have the most incredible style.

Dash Snow, Terry The Tramp, Lemmy Kilmister

What are five things in your house you wouldn't trade for anything.

My puppy Nico, Demeulemeester motorcycle boots, all of Dash's zines and books, my vintage monkey fur coat and bag and my record collection.

What helps you get out of bed every morning?

Spending another incredible day with my amazing husband and seeing what kind of shit we can get ourselves into

And lastly, why does fashion matter?

I love fashion but having your own style is what really matters. If you're just going to wear a designer look head to toe straight off the runway then it's just boring, no matter how chic/expensive the clothing is. If you feel you have to wear what's on trend or hip that season then I don't think you're ever gonna get it.

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