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Our Frank Goes Back to Fashion School; Feels Very Old, Very Tired

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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.


Like a fish out of water about to fall into a trash can while trying really hard. Image via Reeling Reviews

Dear Fashion College,

What does one do when they're shifting career gears post-layoff in the middle of a super crappy economy? You guessed it! One goes back to school!

Yours truly bit the bullet back in August. And we didn't just go to school. We went to fashion school. In New York City.

And we love it, we do—no regrets. But, man, being a full-time student when you're staring 30 in the face and used to a certain income level (even if said level isn't exactly platinum) is a slog-and-a-half. Not only is it a ton of work (granted, we're working harder this time around because we want to be there, we're draining our savings to be there, and, well, simply put, we just care more) but our peers? Oh man, our peers: Let's just say the median age of full-time students appears to be about 13.

You never really think about how, after college, you could never pass yourself off as a college student again. Until you're back on campus and everyone's all smooth and apple-cheeked and untainted by the realities of work, real life, and boxed wine. Then you think about it and it becomes clear that you're probably closer in age to most of your professors and the geriatric who rings up your Diet Coke at the cafeteria than you are to every apple-cheeked, Mood-tote toting kiddie on the escalator every morning.

Also stunning: Your fashion and culture references, your pop history? We'll put it this way: You're going to talk a lot more about The Facts of Life, John Bartlett, Talking Heads, Altman's Prêt-à-Porter and Stephen Sprouse with your teachers than with the other students in your studios. And they'll be talking about stuff you won't even be able to wrap your mind around. Like Christina Aguilera.

It's refreshing, though: The unbridled creativity; the outpouring of ideas and enthusiasm. It's inspiring and certainly gives you a glimpse at that young and naive version of yourself, who, back in your more innocent days once had those unbridled outpourings. Before being quashed professionally by a series of budget cuts, micro-managers, the fearful and the status quo.

That said, we're tired. We're ready for it to be over. And it almost is. Who's hiring? Where the cash at?

PS: Just a final note: You think Fashion Freaks dress nuts? You should see the Baby New York Fashion Freak pupa-iterations wandering around campus with their sushi and cigarettes and Starbucks. Man—every trend at once; so much neon animal print; lots of Betseyville; lots of Chinatown Louis Vuitton; boys in brooches; boys in jeggings; and more girls doing the ugly hair-piled-on-top/granny-glasses thing then you could even begin to shake your judgmental, Marc Jacobs-cuffed fist at.

· Love, Frank [RNA]