Don't get me wrong: I love the Face Hunter.
But looking at the shots FH is presently blogging from Iceland, I am left to draw the following conclusions:
1) Either people in Iceland dress the way I did when I was eleven, or;
2) I had a really kickass sense of style in sixth grade.
Probably both statements are within a few degrees of accuracy.
I went to middle school at a time (this would be around 1990) when one of the hottest trends was layered, different colored slouchy socks. My favorite pair of socks were tye-dyed all the colors of the rainbow, and I wore them with my skintight white Farlow jeans (that's right, skinny jeans way back then, beeyotches). If you weren't layering your socks, then you had to pull down the slouches of your socks so they lay just so over your Keds. And god forbid your socks should be too thin; you could tell cool socks from dorky socks at a glance by the thickness of the weave. The socks had a label too, but I've forgotten what they were called.
Are you getting a sense of what middle school on Long Island was like? The only thing that could save you from social obsolescence was the labels you wore. "Clueless," which thinks it's a movie about fashionable teenagers in the nineties, didn't come close. Put "Heathers" together with "Mean Girls," take out the cathartic relief of the school blowing up or Rachel McAdams getting hit by a bus, and you have some idea of it: relentless peer judgment in a pressure cooker that never went off.
But there was a time, before Farlows, before I knew which were the cool socks and which ones the "dorky" ones, a naive time when I wore whatever inspired me in my drawer that morning: I had tights in some really electric colors, blue, fuschia, crazy patterns, and I would coordinate them to match or to contrast the colors in my outfit. One day, thus garbed, I arrived at school, and, judging from the way the kids were looking at me, I had the sneaking suspicion that I had gone too far. This is the first recollection I have of feeling like everyone else had received some brochure on "how to be cool" in the mail over the summer, and I had not.
I quickly turned to my best friend at the time, who was already beginning to stray from me to become best friends with a bland wisp of a thing called Meghan, and acted like we had decided it was going to be "crazy color day." "Why didn't you wear your crazy tights today?" I said to her, loudly enough to be overheard by anyone passing by who might deride me for, or be blinded by, my ensemble. "We said it would be crazy color day!"
In retrospect, I can't blame her for ditching me. I was trying to implicate her in my fashion faux pas.
Today, I tend to think, and think hard, when picking out an outfit. And I play it safe in that Parisian gamine vein; all my stuff comes from Claudie Pierlot and Comptoir des Cotonniers. But I saw a cool co-worker last week wearing violet tights with camel brown boots... and who knows. I might be tempted to deviate from my opaque black tights...
(If you're just discovering Face Hunter through this post, check out The Sartorialist while you're at it...)