Marijuana, it turns out, does not grow in a little baggie in a black messenger bag plastered with Ron Paul 2012 bumperstickers. It grows on big plants, with big leaves, and then, there’s the bud part, and even that requires attention before it is deemed consumer friendly. (If you’re all, “Why are you talking about pot here?”—I assure you I am eventually going to talk about fashion. You know why? Because everything is fuckin’ related man!) The process of using tiny scissors to remove tiny stems and tiny leaves to turn pot into the sort of well-shaped, compact buds that make pot consumer shout “Sweet Bro” or opine “A nice organic indica like this…a glass of the Grant-Eddie 2008 Syrah…Fabulous!” is called trimming. The people who trim are called trimmers, and in the fall months of the year trimmers descend on northern California to work “The Season,” and, more importantly, to bring with them glorious examples of trimmer chic.
I spotted Theresa last Saturday night karaoking Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” at the National Hotel bar in Nevada City, CA. A few minutes later, John showed up, and the two of them, obviously enamored with each other, did a variation of the lindy as an incredibly drunk man with a short beard, Hawaiian shirt and Buddy Holly glasses sang “Highway to Hell.” As I watched them, I thought about trimmer chic, and what it was. Trimmer chic, like all fashion trends, draws on others. It is sort of like grunge, but then, it is less urban. It is sort of outdoorsy, but then, it is sexier. There is often something of Steampunk in it but as they have incorporated no fringe or lacing, and are not wearing hats, John and Teresa aren’t really in that camp. Have you seen Deadwood? It takes place in an old gold rush town, and Nevada City is an old gold rush town, and there’s a brand of trimmer chic that’s Grizzly Adams-meets-Alma Garret, and there’s a trimmer chic that gets dressed for, but does not actually go, cross-country skiing. These two are in the latter category.
With that bare chest, John is letting us know that yeah, he’s into peace and love, but he’s more into trance music. With her the-earth-is-my mother jewelry, Theresa is telling us she can keep up with the dudes, but she’s always ready to go to a Blessing Way. (A Blessing Way is a sort of baby shower, inspired by Native American tradition, in which you are forced to participate if you a. live here and are female and b. do not run fast enough when you see the pregnant person’s best friend approaching to invite you.)
John told me he was from the East Bay, and when I said, “What are you, 24?” he looked aghast, and said, “I’m 22. Do I look 24?” When I told him I thought his outfit was awesome, he said, “Cool.” But he rolled his eyes a little—I think he was trying to make me feel like “the man”—when I asked for the brands. Theresa, 23, from Texas, referred to herself as “a migrant worker. “ She later sang Alanis’ “Uninvited,” and had a beautiful voice, beautiful hair (“I never brush it. That’s what I do.”) and was extremely eager to show me her leather and crystal necklaces, the crown jewel of which was a suede medicine pouch housing a large chunk of azurite, which, apparently, has liver-cleansing properties. These might have come in handy in the morning, although both John and Theresa are so young and brimming with country health they surely sprang right out of bed and happily headed back to the trim scene. ‘Tis the season.
Above image: John wears a Mountain Hardwear windbreaker, Patagonia windpants, Vibram toe shoes, and a handmade knit headband, but as a necklace. Theresa wears a Carhartt jacket, REI fleece long underwear, and a t-shirt with a Pegasus on it. Merrell boots.
Sarah Miller writes for Lucky and Grist.org and is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She is from Massachusetts and lives in California. Her most recent favorite item? Floracopeia Nectar of Immortelle Facial Regeneration Serum. Follow her on Twitter: @sarahlovescali.
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