All Things Glorious and True

Kat Asharya

I met Kat back in zine times, when people made friends through trades and letters, and those friends were often a combination of allies, collaborators, and maybe even the cool cousins you might not have had in your given family. As such I distinctly remember getting one of Kat’s zines and going to rent Breathless because she used stills from the film as background art — a quietly expansive moment in my film appreciation history. It was telling reading this collection of essays from Kat’s departed blog NOGOODFORME that I was familiar with most of the films she mentions either because I reflexively continued following her suggestions or I developed similar interests.

NOGOODFORME started as a fashion blog but evolved into a team effort with two other once-zinesters, Liz and Laura. (This book only includes Kat’s work, but Liz and Laura continue to blog together at Strawberry Fields Whatever.) Over time the blog became less specifically about fashion and more generally about pop culture, and this collection includes sections on movies, music, celebrity icons, life and love, as well as style. I didn’t realize how much I missed Kat’s writing on this blog, though I do follow her where she writes now on katasharya.com. These essays include her breezy wisdom, as well as a cheerfully irreverent feel. Since NOGOODFORME only partially focused on contemporary topics and trends, the pop culture references mostly come from a place of lasting interest, giving this book a similarly enduring quality, plus Kat’s commentary on various pieces adds some context and dimension.

An example of the offhand depth of her writing, Kat opens her take on “Dopest Shit We’ll Wear This Fall” by prefacing:

At some point in life you make a decision to be a verb instead of an adjective, and you run with it — especially when you realize what it is you are running towards and not away from. It doesn’t mean you lose your poetic nature, your fanciful imagination or your freedom, but it does mean you’re all systems go and anti-autopilot. Clothes can either enable or disable you; I’m firmly of the camp that they should be part of your mission and it’s perilous to ignore them.

In a scary bit of internet ephemerality, after Kat had collected her writing offsite merely out of casual curiosity, the site was hacked and years of entries were lost, making this book both a farewell and an archive.