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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for over a year. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his brand new column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.
Screenshot via A&E's Digital Room Tour
It hasn't been long since we've discovered you on Netflix. We've been enjoying Intervention for years; and streaming the show for months—nothing gets our working from home marathons going better than a hefty dose of anorexic twins who hate each other or the odd Hollywood extra who invents aversions to color and medicates possibly-fictional joint pain with Fentanyl lollipops. With all that Intervention floating around, Hoarders just kept popping up.
So we bit—our introduction to the A&E documentary/reality yuckfest being a episode split between a garbage-hoarding 21-year-old homosexual with an alcoholic dad and an elderly woman who, with her husband, was hoarding upwards of 70 cats. Images of backed-up sinks and dead cats (Did you really need to explicitly showcase each dead cat? Trust, the image lingers whether or not the camera was allowed to.) were straight out of a horror movie. We were disgusted. We had to look away.
And then we had to finish the whole first season which included a couple who bought a second house to help contain their hoardings (and pianos); another couple who seemed almost blasé about the fact that their clearance shopping was keeping them from having custody of their own children; a six-year-old-hoarder-in-training with attachments to spent cotton balls; and woman who stockpiled food, allowed whole pumpkins to rot in her living room and believed certain eggs to be too pretty to eat.
We haven't seen season two yet, and we've only seen snatches from three (like the gentleman who had given the run of his house over to something like 2000 pet rats), but we have yet to see a hoarder of fashion. So far, subjects shop clearance endcaps at big box stores, tag sales, flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores and the mall. And that's fine, but there must be someone out there that buys full Margiela collections season after season; a person that hoards Chanel bags; a vintage-obsessed shopper who can no longer sleep in her bedroom; an individual with designer shoe-filled shoe boxes lining each room of his house; some somebody with overflowing drawers of designer cosmetics or feather earrings or antique cufflinks or Swatch watches.
And, well, we really want to see that. And, for a variety of reasons—not the least of which being the guilt over and/or chagrin at our own crates of rarely-worn shoes, our own closet doors we can barely squeeze closed.
Stylelikeu might be the closest we can get for now—a website featuring video profiles of style-minded characters and their overstuffed wardrobes, jewelry boxes and bookshelves. It's fascinating, delving into a stranger's collections and bearing witness to their personal style and shopping mottoes and oddities; discovering their collections of ties and boots and caftans and tattoos.
Fascinating but clean and not-quite-crazy: Hoarders, find us the crazy. In the meantime, there's an episode about a woman who hoards live chickens and lives among them in an unheated trailer—we're going to check that out.
· Love, Frank [RNA]