Friday, May 3, 2013

Femmespiration Friday: Andrea (Making Graves) Zollo

Greetings, femmes & femme-lovers!
I’m Charlotte, visiting from Mountain Prep, and I am so excited to share with you my femme inspiration:

Andrea Zollo.

But first, I have a confession to make. I started this blog post in March and kept stopping… and starting… and stopping. I thought about backing out because I didn’t feel that I could accurately express why she is my femme inspiration. I have nothing academic or enlightening to add. All I can really say is that Andrea Zollo is just one badass lady who deserves to be recognized. Not only due to my undying love for her, but also for all of the formerly-mopey Seattle teens who idolized her from 2001 – 2007. Also, I've collected way too many photos of her to back out now (seriously, way too many).

Thrifted blouse made cool!

Full disclosure: I rarely dress like Andrea Zollo anymore, in fact you could label me as a Prep with rebel tendencies. But I didn't care about fashion until I discovered Andrea Zollo... so you could stay she was the starting point of everything fashion-y I've done since.


 Andrea Zollo arrived in my world and stole my heart at the tender heart of 16 (2004). I had just gotten my driver's license and my friend, Kim, convinced me to drive to a local music show to see this awesome band that I had heard nothing about.

Pretty Girls Make Graves

That band ended up being Pretty Girls Make Graves (haven’t heard of them? Go buy their albums) and I was blown away not just by the music, but the lead singer, Andrea Zollo. Her attitude and snarls on stage described everything my angsty teenage self was feeling. PGMG was promoting The New Romance, and their song Something Bigger, Something Brighter woke me up from the fashion hell hole I was in when she sang:

Make it electric, make it electric Make it electric, make it electric I've got to know I'm still alive

She clearly didn’t give a shit about what people thought, or how she dressed. She dressed for fun- what an idea! There was no difference between her everyday clothes and her stage outfit; it was all the same to Andrea Zollo. Her exceptions most noteably came when they were shooting music videos.  
 Each time she got on stage is was a new orchestration of thrift store finds (way before Macklemore) that became gutter glam, from shredded prom dresses to menswear vests.
Look at all those colors!

She had her staples in those formative years of mine, which I of course copied: oversized shirts layered over tanks, heavy bangs (always taking over her face), red lips, and heavy eyeliner.
Strange layering, red lips, hidden eyes.
She also rocked a lot of bandanas (which I of course started doing).

I even managed to replicate her jerky shoulder dance she would do between verses... now I'm starting to sound like a stalker
By the time I turned 17, I had shed my goth-light Hot Topic wardrobe, in favor of band shirts and thrifted treasures. Andrea inspired me to look beyond the mall, and that it was okay to be a little wacky and borrow from the boys. It was okay to be the anti-cheerleader without needing to be in a Hot Topic costume.
Bandana - check; Eyeliner - check; Local band shirt - check.
Copied layers + the best soda in the WORLD
Andrea Zollo is also a big inspiration for me when it comes to body image. I was pretty chubby for most of my childhood, and really hated myself around the time I found Pretty Girls Make Graves (as I feel most teens wearing Hot Topic do). I know the Beth Ditto post really hit this one of the mark, but while I love Beth, it was Andrea that I really looked to. Not that it matters because they are both good friends who are positive body image role models:
Look how drunk and sweaty they are!

Which I could have been a fly on the wall at this house party

Moral of the story is that every thrifting/shopping trip since 2004 has been met with the mantras “what would Zollo buy?” and “Make It Electric”. I think everyone needs their own sayings when shopping, and since Andrea I’ve gathered some real keepers.
I took this at their last official show, in Seattle. Summer 2007.

Summer 2007.

Bonus: Even though I've grown a bit in my style, I always manage to have some Zollo inspired flashbacks:
April 2013: red lips, thick bangs, blinding white skin.

XX Charlotte

P.S. A HUGE thanks to Meg & Melina for letting me guest post - I feel so honored!


  1. Pretty Girls Make Graves was one of the first things we bonded over at Smith, Charlotte! :-)

  2. Great... Thanks for this I still love and listen to her till this day.. so amazing to turn people on to her and her great band

  3. Great... Thanks for this I still love and listen to her till this day.. so amazing to turn people on to her and her great band