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Welcome to Haystack Stories, a website rooted in nostalgia.
Past. Present. Perfect.

Winona Forever (But Especially This Week)

Winona Forever (But Especially This Week)

Jayna has several very beautiful tattoos. Jenna has none. But were she to get one, it would be a friendship tattoo with Jayna, and it would probably say “Winona forever.” Our shared love for Winona Ryder is one of the driving forces behind the creation of this very site. We both spent our adolescences idolizing the actress’s inimitable style, choppy, tousled mop, and overall waifish perfection. Jenna has seen Reality Bites maybe more than any other movie ever (though she still can’t totally define irony), and Jayna spent her teen years sleeping under this photo (and trying to get away with wearing overalls and no shirt out of the house, like a dingbat).

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Onscreen, we watched Ryder's big eyes and china doll delicacy slip into characters that ranged from the madcapped (Lydia Deetz) to the supernatural (Mina Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula) to the quintessentially HER (Lelaina Pierce). Offscreen, we obsessed over everything from her clothes (at times heroin-chic, at times little girl prim, always PERFECT) to her boyfriends (Johnny! Matt! Tom… Green). And when she took a step back from the public eye following a shoplifting scandal in 2001, we worried: would this be the end of our idol? Or worse: would she return only to be haunted by the spectre of that grainy security cam footage (and headband-punctuated court outfits) for the rest of her career? Part of what we love about her is her otherworldliness. She appears to have dropped down from another, better, planet, like some sort of one-of-a-kind—and certainly once-in-a-generation—specimen. This makes her seem at once magical and extra-fragile. And, so, we feel fiercely protective of her, or at least of the image of her.
Kill your idols? Uh, no, swaddle them in tissue paper and store them in a treasure box forever, thanks.

The recent Winona resurgence, fueled by her starring role on Netflix’s Stranger Things, feels like the exact right way for her to reemerge. That is, as a character living in a near-perfectly restored past. We fell in love with 90s Winona, and now she’s back, in the 80s. It’s a double dose of nostalgia—the upside down, but also the right side up

And while we wait for Stranger Things to return (as well as Ryder's onscreen reunion with Keanu Reeves in Destination Wedding—yes, you read that right), we have something arguably better: a god damn Winona Ryder RETROSPECTIVE at the Quad Cinema in the West Village. Edward Scissorhands, Heathers, frickin' Lucas? Yep, they’re alllll playing at what the theater is calling “Utterly Winona,” a film series running August 17th through September 1st. As the program's onsite synopsis reads, “The late 1980s and the 1990s would have been a lot less interesting at the cinema without Winona Ryder.” Our teenage walls would've been too. #winoforever

Gossamer's Verena von Pfetten on the Ultimate Adolescent IDGAF Lipstick.

Gossamer's Verena von Pfetten on the Ultimate Adolescent IDGAF Lipstick.

Is Something You Love In the '90s Black Hole?<br>(Oh. Most Definitely.)

Is Something You Love In the '90s Black Hole?
(Oh. Most Definitely.)