Artist Tuesday Bassen is known for her illustrations of glamorous bad girls living their best lives. They rock girl-gang jackets, wield spiked baseball bats, and file their fingernails to dangerous-looking points, not unlike Bassen’s own fingernails. Her line of clothing, which she’s selling from a new namesake storefront in Echo Park, gives all women (and gender non-comforming people too) the chance to live their bad-girl dreams. Bassen’s satin jackets, scout skirts, and embroidered polo shirts are available in ten sizes, from XS to 5XL, rather than the three or four sizes typical at most clothing stores.
Bassen, who grew up in Nebraska, first traded snowy Midwestern winters for snowy New York winters before settling in L.A. In New York, she primarily focused on ceramics. “I’ve always been really interested in making art objects that are also practical,” she explains. She attributes her love of practical art to growing up in an environment where the art around her had to be functional.
It wasn’t until 2015 that she began to dabble in making clothing. Her well-known zine, Ugly Girl Gang, features characters wearing satin jackets. At the suggestion of a friend, Bassen brought the jacket to life. Now known as the Mixed Emotions Satin Jacket, it remains her most popular product to date.
Bassen says she never pictured herself in the world of fashion because of its tendency to toward exclusion. An advocate of size inclusivity, she began making her jackets in sizes XS to 3XL. “That’s one thing that made me not really interested in fashion in the first place,” she says. “I really hate the default of exclusion.”
Bassen’s outsider perspective is something she uses to her advantage. “I feel like sometimes when you’re well-educated in a field you normalize some aspects of an industry that are awful,” she says.
Her company places an emphasis on the ethical treatment of workers, manufactures almost all its products (with a few exceptions) in L.A., and repurposes dead stock and vintage materials to lessen its consumer footprint.
In Bassen’s words, she says she makes clothes that “take that level of whimsy and intrigue, and apply it to a level of street style and practical way of dressing.” Her affinity for “cutesy Americana” and vintage artwork from the ’50s and ’70s is apparent in each of her pieces.
With each item she designs, Bassen tries to accomplish two things: create a thoughtful atmosphere and make people happy. “There is nothing more exciting than seeing someone try on a skirt and be like, ‘Oh my god, this looks amazing!’”
Tuesday Bassen, 1292 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park.
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