illustrated by natalia swarz

hazel cills, reporting live from the internet

on teenage dream couple britney and justin.

by hazel cills

The sound of a hand gliding across a scale of wind chimes. A single dove released into the sky. Then, suddenly, a full round of applause. This is what I imagine happened when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears walked hand in hand onto the red carpet at the 2001 American Music Awards in what has gone down in Internet history as one of the greatest denim moments of all time. 

The two pop stars, then a starry-eyed couple, wore coordinated washed-denim ensembles—Spears zipped into a form-ftting strapless gown and Timberlake in a patchwork suit with matching hat. The duo took the “American” part of the awards ceremony’s title seriously, and that red carpet moment will live online forever. 

Blogs like “Old Loves” (which photographically chronicles celebrity relationships past and present) and decade-themed style Tumblrs exist because the best nostalgia is the kind that simultaneously warms your heart and sends a shiver up your spine. We’ve all had moments like the denim-coated one captured between Britney and Justin all those years ago. Our own bad outfts, botched relationships, and past notions of “cool” live on in Facebook albums and accounts, when once we could forget our daring ensembles of the past by simply avoiding dusty photo albums. So while fipping through this denim- devoted issue, aspire not to duplicate runway trends but to create something that will cause you to look back and smile—or even better, blush.