Teen Witch was an aesthetic pioneered in the early 2010s and popularised by the online magazine Rookie.
The aesthetic revolved around a mixture of alternative media popular with teenage girls and the iconography of Catholics and Pagans - shrines, crosses and inverted crosses, Ouija boards and white dresses. The imagery referenced in this aesthetic often sat closely with the interests of Tavi Gevinson (teenage editor of Rookie Magazine) and Petra Collins, a photographer who produced many editorials for the publication.
In February 2012, Rookie Magazine published a collection of homemade shrines sent in by readers and dedicated to pop-culture icons. In August 2012, as part of a touring series of meetups to advertise the magazine, Gevinson and Collins created and photographed Strange Magic, an installation at Urban Outfitters' LA outlet, Space 15 Twenty, which featured multiple similar shrines.
Shrines of this kind often featured candles (if allowed by parents), physical media like books and DVDs, photographs, relevant relics and other pretty items for aesthetic value, and were arranged in bookcases or small alcoves.
Collages and zines
This aesthetic prioritised DIY media made by the teenage girls in question, and Rookie Magazine writers often encouraged their readers to make collages as a form of artistic expression. Zines (small, homemade magazines) also existed in abundance.
- Vintage white wedding dresses and nightgowns
- Homemade flower crowns (see Rookie tutorial) often adorned with leftover craft materials such as pipe cleaners, alphabet beads, googly eyes, etc.
- Creeper shoes
See the numerous room inspiration/tutorial pieces published by Tavi Gevinson and Rookie: room inspiration part 1 by Tavi, room inspiration part 2 by Tavi, How to Make Your Room Look Like a Movie by Tavi. Key pointers included:
- Antiques from thrift stores/charity shops arranged on shelves/dressers
- Vintage lingerie as decoration
- Intentional and pretty mess
- Shrines (see above)