From AO3 to Your TV Screen: Talking with the Creators of Truth Slash Fiction

Truth Slash Fiction Trailer Screencap

Source: Truth Slash Fiction

Posted by Sage and Kim

Slash fiction has been around for about as long as fandom has (thank you, Kirk/Spock shippers), so you’d think it would be part of the mainstream by now. But despite its prevalence, writing and reading slash fan fiction is still considered a fringe interest, which is why that corner of the internet responded so strongly to the existence of one independent TV pilot. Truth Slash Fiction is the story of a high school student named Emma who is welcomed into a writing group who create and share their stories about Emma’s favorite band, Truth. The show will move back and forth between Emma’s real life and the stories themselves. It features original music and a new boy band who are poised to become a meta-sensation.

Truth Slash Fiction isn’t just preaching to the choir; it’s inviting outsiders to gain a better understanding of the appeal of this addictive art form. The show is making the rounds at television festivals all over the country. Over the summer, the show was awarded Best Comedy Pilot and Best Actress at SeriesFest in Denver. Next up is the ITV Festival in Vermont and the New York Television Festival. Fans are already rallying around the show, making fan videos and leading campaigns to persuade Netflix to pick it up. But other members of the slash community are wary that the show may not be truly representative and could contribute to negative or inaccurate assumptions about what they do.

We sat down with the guys behind Truth Slash Fiction, creator and writer Charlie Sohne, director Daniel Schloss, and composer Tim Rosser, to get the Truth (#sorrynotsorry) about this groundbreaking new series.

Sage: The first thing that I want to know is, where did this idea come from, and how aware were you of this community before you started?

Charlie Sohne (Creator): Honestly, not at all really. I read – I think it was a Slate.com article. And I was taken with it, because it profiled a slash fic writer and it was right after After [a famous Harry/OFC fic] had sold. Because After is hetero, so it’s interesting that this book sold for six figures when actually, the more vibrant part of the community is writing slash fiction. It profiled this one writer, and she was really funny and she made a great case for what slash fic was in the relationship between her as a writer and the boy band. And I was struck by how much she sounded like the people who we all were in high school and college. Very creative, funny. But the big difference was that rather than being off in the corner working on a novel, she – because of AO3 or because of Wattpad – was part of a much broader community, which had a social aspect.  And around the same time that I was reading this stuff, (to Dan) you came to us, and were like, “I want to do a narrative project, would you write something?” And it was kind of like kismet. I was like, “Oh my god, I just read this thing.”

Daniel Schloss (Director): Charlie and I were roommates in college. And every summer during college, we’d make movies that Charlie would write and we would direct together. So we hadn’t done that in a long time. I run a small content production company in Brooklyn doing branded content work and wanted to get back into narrative. So as soon as Charlie had this idea, it was very appealing to me. It was extremely imaginative; it had the chance to do a real emotional story but also really funny parts and epic musical sequences, So, everything about it, from the boy band to bringing the stories to life to Emma’s story…I was really excited.

Sage: When did it go from, “We want to do a narrative,” to “This is a series, not just a short film or a feature.”

Dan: Everything Charlie writes is ambitious in an amazing way. There are a ton of characters in this, there’s a boy band to create, there are a lot of locations. From the beginning, Charlie was talking about it as a web series. We decided we couldn’t do a whole season; we didn’t really have the resources to do that. We wanted to tell the story right. We wanted to put everything we had into the pilot and then hope and pray that people would like it enough that we could get the resources to hopefully do more of it.

Charlie: What was most interesting to us were the slash writers. From the beginning it was a character piece. And especially now with TV, it’s a format where you have much more time to explore characters. And there were so many. The more research we did, there were a variety of reasons why people come to slash and why they write slash. And the relationships of different writers to the boy band is dramatically different. So, there was something more narrow about being like, “here’s a movie about a slash writer,” where you’re going to focus on one. Where, over the course of the series, we’re going to have a chance to focus in on all of these characters in the writers group and get a broader perspective of what slash is.

"#truthslashfiction is blowing up". Vanessa, Margaret, and Topher are part of a slash fiction writers group.

A photo posted by Truth Slash Fiction (@truthslashfiction) on

Sage: Such a cool idea to do a writers group that actually meets to take that online part into something that’s a little bit more cinematic.

Charlie: That was a big early decision. It was thinking about presenting that sense of community on-screen. If you could tangibly see five kids sitting down in the back of a bookstore, I think it would communicate emotionally what’s going on on AO3 in a much more film sort of way.

Sage: And those people would, if they could! If they lived in the same place.

Dan: I didn’t know if there were many slash groups that met in real life. And I always wondered if when people who wrote slash watched it, they would think it was unrealistic. And it’s been very gratifying, a lot of people on Twitter have said, “Oh, if only! I wish I had that.”

Kim: It’s so collaborative, but not. You have all these people producing work for free for the masses.

Dan: And editing each other’s too.

Sage: And creating trailers and fan art and mixes.

Kim: “I loved this work and I’m going to make a photo collage.” So the series is going to focus more on the writers as opposed to exploring the dynamics in the boy band?

Charlie: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s been the interesting thing in talking to places that might want to do it or might want to fund it. There’s the opinion that, “Oh, the boy band, what’s that like?” And I think that the boy band’s characters will play into it, but we’re keeping – at least for season 1 – Emma’s world…I don’t want to say sealed. But it’s important to us that this is a realistic show. It’s a show about a normal girl who goes to high school and has friends. We don’t want to become this sort of aspirational, Disney Channel thing where, then: she meets the boy band! I get the plot reasons for stuff like that. What’s appealing about the show is that people see themselves reflected in it. So you don’t want to make it too much of a level of unreality where we’re no longer engaging in how slash fiction plays into people’s lives.

#truthslashfiction

A photo posted by Truth Slash Fiction (@truthslashfiction) on

Dan: The boy band is present in their lives like they would be present in our lives. Tim and Charlie are going to write a ton more songs and you’re gonna hear the music a lot and we’re hopefully going to product a lot of music videos. And the stories that they write will come to life and echo the emotional journeys of what’s going on in Emma and the writers group’s real lives in high school. So they’ll be present in those ways, throughout.

Charlie: That is a good point. A major way they’ll play into it is through the slash stories themselves. In the pilot, you get a little taste of what the slash stories will be like. I’m excited, in the future, rather than doing snippets of three stories, getting to see a story unfold that actually parallels the real-life drama.

Sage: When writers hear negative opinions about what they’re doing, it’s because people think it’s so separate from their lives. Like you said, if you’re sitting in the corner writing a novel about anything, nobody would say, “You’re a teenage girl, why are you writing about a thing you don’t know about?” They would think, “You’re an artist, and this is coming from a particular place.” And yet that’s not really the conception of fic. So I love that you’re going to be connecting it to her life.

Kim: And so often, fan fic is for YOURSELF. It’s so a weird and interesting relationship to explore, because you’re expressing your love for this boy band but you’re doing it for yourself and to share with other fans.

Next stop: Vermont! @itvfest

A photo posted by Truth Slash Fiction (@truthslashfiction) on

Charlie: I’m coming to this obviously later; I don’t think I’m an expert at all. But it’s interesting to see the evolving relationship with that and what’s the level of interaction between a fandom and canon or between a fandom and the real people involved. And that’s the reason that we wanted it to be an ensemble show. Because the level of emotional engagement to the canon or to the actual thing depends on the person. And there is this sort of inherent sexism that is tied up in fan fic generally and particularly with slash fiction, where it’s viewed as somehow different than other creative pursuits. So that’s an advantage depicting it as a writers group. You give people outside of the community an image that they’re familiar with, it draws that connection. Actually, one of the first things that I read was that Rainbow Rowell book.

Sage: Oh, Fan Girl! It’s great.

Charlie: I think she hands in a piece of fan fic to her college professor. And that’s a big debate. Someone the other day asked us, “What do you want people to walk away from the series with?” And I do think that’s a large part of it: to recontextualize fan fiction and make people realize that it’s an artistic pursuit and it’s an artistic pursuit through which people find community. And a lot of the judgments or over-generalizations of it are off base.

Sage: I was on Tumblr and I was like, “Oop, they heard about it.”

Charlie: Yep!

Kim: The Larries found it.

Sage: The Larries found it. And some people were excited and some people were a little bit trepidatious, because they’re so used to being made fools of. And they were like, “This looks great, but are we going to be the butt of the joke again?” There’s that constant fear.

Dan: We’ve gotten a lot of emails. And I’m relieved that through our trailer and a couple of things online, it’s coming through that we do have respect for the community and we don’t want to misrepresent them. We’ve had lots of emails like, “We just want to make sure that you’re going to be careful about this, because we’ve gotten a lot of flack.” And we are going to be careful about it.

Charlie: And that’s actually great. These people’s concerns have been shared. We’ve gotten very personal, well thought-out emails that engage with the subject matter. And that’s great because it leads to a conversation, where we can be like, “Great, I totally see why you would be worried given the context of the way the community has been treated.” But it gives us a very direct way to answer some of the concerns.

Dan: And learn from them.

Charlie: And learn from them. And everything has been communicated in such an open-hearted, open-minded way. Just like, “Hey, I’m really excited that this thing is happening, but I just want to make sure that I’m not going to get hurt by this.”

Kim: That particular sect of the fandom does get attacked a lot. Not just by the fans. By the media, by the people running the band, so I totally understand that.

Dan: As much as we can with the show and with the platform we have, to be inclusive of the entirety of how fans interact with the boys and what kind of stories they write, that’s kind of our goal.

Sage: I like that you put out that FAQ that says yes, you’re focused in this particular show on a young woman, but you’re very aware that the demographic can be very different.

Charlie: That’s a big part of it. As the series goes on, there are two queer characters in the writers group, they’ll be significant parts of the story. This is not just going to present the community as one thing.

Dan: It’s like how Orange Is The New Black started with one woman going to prison and at this point the show is an ensemble piece.

Kim: Do you think you’ll open up the age bracket in the future?

Charlie: Definitely, as far as acknowledging the spectrum of the diversity of the community. But we are really thinking of this as a high school drama, so as far as the main characters in it, it’s going to be very focused on high school stories. But I think it’s a very worthwhile thing to note that this show could be one of the few points of representation for the community and with that, comes a certain level of responsibility to acknowledge the community beyond that.

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In Appreciation of Liam Payne

Posted by Kim and Sage

Happy birthday, Lima Bean! Customs says we can’t ship you a new dog and our fear of Warner Bros’ legal counsel says we can’t steal you any props from the set of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. All we have is this post in your honor, handcrafted and gif-ed with love.

A true cinnamon roll, Liam Payne is what we’re missing most during this band hiatus. Besides his international tour of grocery stores and malls, Liam hasn’t been doing much in the public eye lately. He’s been far too busy inking a solo deal and getting to work on the first confirmed side project of the One Direction break. Liam is such a goddamn champ that on the very day he announced his personal contract with Capitol Records, he changed his Twitter and Facebook cover photos to pictures of the band. LIAM PAYNE CARES ABOUT YOU. He super gets it. He doesn’t think it’s weird that this means so much to you. And he doesn’t want you to needlessly stress about the future. He is a solid, stand-up dude, and I’m so glad that we’re doing this. –Sage

Many moons ago, there was a time when I had not yet imprinted on Louis Tomlinson and I had proudly declared myself to be a Liam girl. (God, my life would be so much simpler if I had just stuck with my original instinct. JUST KIDDING I LOVE YOU LOUIS.) I was/am a Kevin girl when it came to BSB and a JC girl with NSYNC, so it’s easy to see why I initially looked at Liam Payne and said “that one”. Clearly, I have a penchant for serious and responsible boy banders. But what’s been wonderful about deep-diving into my love of One Direction is seeing all the layers that Liam has. Sure, he’s the workhorse of One Direction who takes his job as a superstar very seriously. But Liam is also endearingly goofy. He’s charming as fuck. He projects warmth and you KNOW he gives good cuddles. He finds joy in the simple things, be it the latest superhero movie or whatever delightful antics his bandmates get into. He’s as faithful and as loyal as a golden retriever but will also fight you if you come at him. He makes mistakes and he refreshingly owns up to them in the most candid of ways.  As Sage said, he’s a cinnamon roll and we’re so lucky to have him.

We were always going to do an appreciation post for all of the boys, but it feels like this one for Liam falls at the perfect time so we can remind ourselves what a peach he is. (Sage and I have been yelling about him for the past week over gChat and GOD it’s felt good.) He may not be the most attention grabbing or headline making of the boys but that doesn’t make him any less special or worthy of celebration. Happy Birthday, Lima Bean. You’ll always be my first love when it comes to One Direction. –Kim

1. LOOK AT HIM

All of the boys of One Direction are beautiful. There’s Louis in all his dainty angularity, Harry in his outrageous otherworldly-ness, and Niall in his boy next door sunniness. And Liam? Helloooooooooo Mr. Classic Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

liam ground

LET ME LIVE

What has been lovely/torturous about the extensive way that One Direction’s career has been documented is that we’ve gotten to see the boys grow up before our very eyes. Liam was always a cute kid, if a little gawky and unsure of himself in his own skin. But suddenly he ditched the Bieber haircut, grew a little facial hair, and packed on some muscles. It was like the overnight birth of a freaking heartthrob. Look, I know some people valiantly defend Liam’s overly shaggy Bieber hair but I assert that cutting it all off is one of the best decisions this kid has ever made. All of the sudden we could see his face and his bone structure and those soulful brown eyes and those strong brows and it was a LOT. I know it’s cheesy to say that he became a MAN but that’s exactly what happened.

GOD YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT EYE CRINKLES, LIAM. And the POPPED COLLAR. This look is too much, leave me here.

What’s amazing about Liam’s beauty is that he can go from smoldering sex on a stick (that gif of him just sprawling on the stage? Who the FUCK told him that was an okay thing to do? THIS IS A FAMILY SHOW.) (OR IS IT?) to overgrown adorable puppy dog with one smile. His smile lights up his entire face and his eyes squinch up and GOD it’s like staring directly at the sun.

And now let’s talk about how he wears a freaking SUIT. Good Lord. He should wear suits or at least jackets ALL THE TIME. The only other suitable (HA!) alternative is those tight henleys he tends to favor on stage, especially when they are deep v-necks. I don’t know why Liam remains the lone holdout in regards to the ultra painted on jeans that his bandmates are partial to except for the fact that he KNOWS that we can’t handle seeing those thighs in jeggings. Liam will rock a good slim cut on a regular basis but the difference between his skinnies and Harry’s skinnies is significant. Get on Harry’s level, Lima. You have the body for it, trust me. And I like death and dying, so I need it.

This tapered jacket though. Look at his waist and shoulders. BABY BECKHAM REALNESS.

Then there was that time when Louis LITERALLY ripped Liam’s shirt open, popping off all the buttons, leaving his chest and abs and hips exposed for the rest of the show. Bless you Louis. You knew we all wanted to see the goods and you delivered. I CAN’T STOP STARING AT THESE GIFS, HELP. It’s like the perfect amount of body definition that every dude should aspire towards. Also, look at that diaphragm work. Baby is singing CORRECTLY. That’s exactly why I am staring, just checking out his technique, that’s all, I swear.

shirt liam 2 shirt liam

OH MY GOD ARMS AND SHOULDERS.

Liam has had struggles with his body in the past (and I say “struggles” lightly because he’s ALWAYS looked good to me, extra 10 pounds or not) and I love how he takes PRIDE in how good he looks now. Of course that pride ALSO entails murder via Instagram selfie at any moment. I’m not proud of the things I yelled the day he posted this one (or the numerous others) but I don’t regret them either. He knows EXACTLY what he’s doing — Kim

Christmas weight dusted!!

A photo posted by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

2) The Voice

history

When I try to explain to n00bs how to pick out Liam Payne’s vocals in a One Direction song, I tell them to listen for the guy who sounds like he’s in a boy band. That’s no dig. Liam is a CROONER, the likes of which have fronted boy bands since long before the newly formed 1D hit The X-Factor stage.

It’s well-known in the fandom that Liam hit vocal lessons hard between his X-Factor auditions (more on that later). Now in 2016, you can still hear the raw talent in that voice but you can also hear the training. Lima is usually the base of OT4’s harmonies, but he also swings up to that “Fireproof” falsetto without any audible strain. And that’s not just on studio tracks. I’ve seen the band live three times and in every instance have been stunned and impressed by the ease and speed with which Liam flies up and down his range.

The technique is only half of what makes Liam’s voice so special. He’s so expressive. He knows exactly how he wants each verse to make you feel. (Usually, hot for him.) Where Harry skews rock star, Liam swings total bedroom-eyes, panty-dropping, slipping-into-a-warm-bath R&B. Liam recently signed a solo deal with Capitol, and I know I can count on him to make the baby-making album I was hoping for from Zayn.

Speaking of Zayn (and no shade, because Liam loves him), Liam is the number one reason why his departure didn’t vocally debilitate the group. To be clear: nobody sounds like Zayn Malik but Zayn Malik, but Liam’s warm, super-masculine voice slotted in right to the gaps left by Zayn. He even hits that “You and I” high note, if it’s slightly less confident. And I nearly broke in half when I heard what he did with the “Night Changes” bridge. “HOLY FUDGE STICKS” is right, Viner.

Liam never looks bored on stage. Because he keeps himself busy by exercising his voice. (And pelvic thrusting, but that’s another bullet point.) He is the king of note changes, adding his own flourishes to songs fans have heard a million times before. (Case in point: these “Through the Dark” riffs.) There’s nothing like hearing a stadium full of fans collectively lose their shit because Liam goddamn Payne came through with an unexpected high note. He’s got your melody, but he won’t be contained by it.

one note liam

One note? What are we, The Wanted?

P.S. If for nothing else, the band must return from their hiatus so that they can perform “Never Enough” live and I can hear Liam swinging for the fences on those falsetto ad-libs with my own two ears. A-HOO-AH. – -Sage

3) His Work Ethic

LOOK. AT. THE. BABY.

One of the things that has infuriated me the MOST about this Dan Wootton-led tabloid smear campaign against One Direction (I say one of the things because let’s be real I’m INFURIATED 95% of the time. The rest of the time I am crying.) is the fact that he’s CONSTANTLY saying that Liam James Payne is ready to throw away his career in music to live as Cheryl Just-Pick-a-Last-Name-Already’s boy toy lap dog. Liam is so loved up that he doesn’t give a fuck about his career anymore, so says Dan. He’s gone as far as to say that Liam is wandering the streets aimlessly because no one wants to represent him and he’s washed up at the age of 22 (23 NOW HAPPY BIRTHDAY BB). To all of that, I scream “REALLY?! LIAM?! YOU’RE SAYING THIS ABOUT LIAM?” at the top of my lungs. I do that because no offense to the rest of the boys of One Direction, because they all work very hard, but Liam? Liam has always wanted this the most.

Liam famously auditioned for The X-Factor at 14 and got cut with the ole “you aren’t ready yet, come back when you are” adage. This comment is used ALL THE TIME on reality shows, from American Idol to So You Think You Can Dance. Contestants don’t always take this advice to heart. But Liam Payne took voice lessons and returned to The X-Factor auditions two years later more polished and not willing to take no for an answer. Then, when his solo dreams were crushed and he was put into a band with 4 strangers, Liam was determined to be the best boy band member EVER. He has poured himself into One Direction for the past 6 years and his dedication has never wavered. Then, when his band takes a well-earned break, what does Liam do? He becomes the first member of 1D to actively and openly get into the studio even when the tabloids dismiss him as a lazy kid happy to coast along on the coattails of his highly publicized “relationship”. All throughout this hiatus, as these articles have flown about, I have said that I can’t WAIT for Liam to pull a Beyoncé and drop his record. “Surprise, bitches.” It’s happening and I can’t wait. Don’t EVER call him lazy in front of me, unless you want a swift crack in the jaw. –Kim

4) His Song Writing

songwriting

Even if they don’t realize it’s them, the one song that people who aren’t fans of 1D know is “Story of My Life.” It’s their most recognizable hit with the most crossover appeal and it was co-written by Liam Payne and the rest of the boys.

Liam has songwriting credits dating back to 1D’s debut album, a huge feat for a member of a band put together on television and surrounded by image-manufacturing producers and writers. He’s always wanted to be in the trenches, putting himself into their songs. We poke fun at Liam for being so blissfully straightforward and sweet with very definable wants. And you might think that his lack of dark-and-twistiness means a shallow pool of songwriting ideas. But Lima pulls it out of the bag musically and lyrically and has helped create some of the band’s most outstanding hooks. I’m talking the hooks you want to scream out of a car window to a frightened UPS driver.

“MIDNIGHT MEMOOOORRRRIES.”

“EVERYBODY WANNA STEAL MY GIRL.”

“YOU AND ME GOT A WHOOOOLE LOTTA HISTORY. (whoa-oh)”

Liam’s songwriting prowess goes beyond the power pop single, however. He and Louis have an especially productive writing partnership. They captured exactly what it sounds like to chase freedom in the Four track “Ready To Run” (“There’s a future in my life I can’t foresee. Unless, of course, I stay on course and keep you next to me.”); channeled Fleetwood Mac on the Made in the A.M. deep cut “What A Feeling” (“What a feeling to be a king beside you, somehow, I wish I could be there now.”); and provided the world with the morning sex anthem it sorely needed, “No Control.” (“And the heat where you laid, I could stay right here and burn in this all day.”) I see the appeal of writing with Liam, because he is the kind of person you can trust with the vulnerability necessary to write a really trenchant, personal song. “Your deepest love,” as Louis once said.

I can’t end this section without mentioning “Illusion,” a Four bonus track that Liam wrote with some of the band’s most frequent collaborators. Reportedly, it’s about the early stages of a new relationship that our sweet ‘lil Lima Bean was in. It’s not even a favorite of mine, but knowing that context, the raw honesty and hopefulness of this song never fails to destroy me. He just WANTS TO BE LOVED. FOR WHO HE IS.

Can’t you see it?
I’m not trying to mislead you
I promise falling for me
Won’t be a mistake

No baby this is not an illusion
I’ve really got my heart out on my sleeve
Oh baby this is not an illusion
There’s magic between you and me

Protect this sensitive soul. Music needs him. –Sage

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Walk, Walk, Fashion Baby – The Best of Louis Tomlinson in 2016 (So Far)

Posted by Maggie

When it comes to the boys of One Direction, Harry tends to get most of the attention/love fashion wise (exhibit A), and yes, with good reason:

MICKEY AND MINNIE DAD SHIRT REALNESS LET US LIVE HARRY.

But it’s high time we took a closer look at Louis Tomlinson, whose management-crafted public image would have you believe that he’s a super straight, laddy bro pal Adidas enthusiast who doesn’t care much about fit or fashion.

 
A concept: Away from stage wear and Adidas promo, Louis is a secret baby fashionista. Listen, no disrespect to stage wear and Adidas, the combined force of which is responsible for this look:

The classic track jackets can stay.

But they’re not the whole story. His style is so much more varied and interesting on closer look. Harry’s sense of fashion lives out loud, but Louis’ developed a look that’s lowkey and more accessible, yet still stands on its own. I think Louis has great taste and has always paid closer attention to fashion than he lets on. When he told Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the AMAs last year that he didn’t know who designed his subtly sparkly suit, this was all I could think:

I’m onto you, Louis. And after you see my favorite 16 Louis looks of 2016 so far, you will be too.

1) The Starbucks Run Bomber Jacket (June 15)

Look at this coy baby in his $1,100 designer jacket. He looks so good and he knows it and I love it.

This look is so streamlined and effective. Classic jacket paired with a simple white tee and (cuffed) blue jeans, which alone are striking because he tends toward black skinnies. And the green of the tennies somehow doesn’t fight with the brown of the jacket. I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not big on brown but he pulls it off (he can pull off light brown too, my god). He’s like a modern-day, non-emo James Dean strutting down the Starbucks pap walk catwalk. He should use this collage on his go-sees.

Kim: I just have to butt in and say this is my FAVORITE Louis look of the year so far and probably in my top Louis looks of ALL TIME so thank you for leading with it. It’s been my home screen since June 15 and I can’t see myself changing it any time soon. Who the hell does he think he is just working the sidewalk like this? Let me live, Louis.

2) It’s a Gucci Sweatshirt (June 3) 

Louis is buzzin’ in this bee-appliqued Gucci sweatshirt and I AM SCREAMING. Don’t tell me he doesn’t care about designers because he’s incorporated this major one into his aesthetic perfectly. And if it just so happens to be from the line that is clearly inspired by Harry’s tattoos, well that’s none of our business.

I think the fan photo above is so cute, but this one is too:

NOUIS IS SO PURE. Also A+ photobomb, my dude.

3) The Blue Button Down in Monaco (May 28) 

As opposed to Harry in all his half-unbuttoned glory, Louis demurely buttons his shirts all the way up. Like every time. I don’t know why, but I find this so endearing in the midst of sheer shirts and slouchy tanks that show off his collarbones. This particular dark blue looks amazing with his eyes and skin tone, I have such heart eyes for it.

4) This Fucking Jacket (March 30)

This bitch loves jackets, and he tends to splurge on them (this one was a mere $1,200) which I love. He does wear a lot of tees and hoodies that many fans could afford or afford to imitate, but jackets are important and Louis treats himself. (Stars, they’re just like us.) I can’t really discuss this jacket coherently, it is so much. When I first saw pics, I felt like it was so unexpected for him and yet not really? It’s pushing the envelope, but in a really chill way.

5) Gray Jumper, Sun Kissed Fringe (January 29) 

Bonus: Ankles Out

I’m dead.

And guys, this is not a fluke, his jumper game is so strong. When he came out on stage for my OTRA show with sweater paws, I almost didn’t make it. Look how good he looks in mod black and white. I just.

Kim: There is an AMAZING Larry Fic called “In This Light” where Louis is a breakout pop star and Harry is brought in to be his stylist. Lou’s team wants to laddy-lad him up while Louis just wants to wear his favorite Burberry Purple Jumper and it is a LOT. The whole story is a love letter to Louis and his sense of style and it makes me HELLA emo. Lou had an especially amazing run of jumpers in January (Maggie totally picked the best one though) and all I could think of was that fic. Every time he was pictured in a new one, I shouted “JUST LET HIM WEAR HIS PURPLE JUMPER” to Maggie and Sage. And then there’s this excerpt…

“What would you wear today, if you could choose anything you wanted?” Harry asks. “We won’t find out, will we?” Louis replies.
He smiles while he says it, and Harry doesn’t say anything, but the non-answer hangs thick in the air. Harry thinks about Simon and about manipulation and control. He thinks about Louis’ bright and bouncy energy and about vibrant colour. He wonders who the first person was to tell Louis he was too much, to ask Louis to tone himself down. And he wonders whether, by knowingly dressing Louis down, he is any different than that person.

*SOBS* THAT’S SO FUCKING REAL.

6) Skeleton Tee and Boyfriend Jeans (April 21)

I almost don’t think this look should work, or maybe that I shouldn’t like it? I’m not typically one for such a washed-out denim, or denim paired with black denim, but I think he looks great here. And I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out the skeleton graphic. For the uninitiated, this might sound tin hat-y, but there’s a lot of support for the theory that Louis uses his clothes to communicate with his fans. And the skeleton/skull motif is a big part of that; fans can link probably a dozen shirts this year to his appearances in news cycles. (I’m not doing the work for you, you can use tumblr.) The most notable example is this shirt he wore for America’s Got Talent promo, the words on which coincidentally seem like commentary on Simon Cowell, but don’t mind me over here being bitter much. (Update: As we go to press, he’s at it again.)

Okay, I know we’re already in this midst of a side note but SIDE NOTE, the blue suit from the AGT appearance didn’t make the cut for this post. You have to get up pretty early to beat the blue suit from Louis’ mum’s wedding, sorry not sorry, although the shopping trip for AGT is the gift that keeps on giving.

7) The Winter Jacket and Guitar Case (January 10)

I am living for this winter jacket and the guitar case makes me the just the tiniest bit swoon-y. Singer-songwriters, man. Fuck. For the record, I’ve never looked this good at an airport in my life and he makes it look so easy. God.

8) Black V-Neck Realness (February 20)

 
Look at him slaying in basic black, you guys. He looks amazing. Always the slightly rolled sleeve to show off the guns, always a slight cuff to the skinnies because you tell a man by his ankles. And what’s that you say, this is faux black v-neck realness?

That just slays me harder.

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