Yesterday I went to Walmart to accompany Tim while he bought a knife. Near the check-out aisle we saw a children's homework folder featuring a florescent peacock whose claws were locked into a big read heart. The heart donned a sash that read, "Ed Hardy.""Isn't that horrible?" I remarked to Tim. "What does this have to do with elementary education?"
"What is that?" He seemed to agree. "Is this the new Lisa Frank?"
What a good point! I'm pretty ashamed for not realizing it earlier.
Lisa Frank essentially raised the girls and lady boys of this generation, teaching us to love nature and music in terms of the neon hues and an unrelenting sunniness that don't exist in nature or music. She made a pass at designing clothes, but I have no memory of anyone showing up to a sleepover in a knee-length teddy bear sweatshirt. [Of course I'd torch a children's hospital to wear one now.]
And once our generation's guard was down, Christian Audiger came in and created a dangerous version of Lisa Frank. As Ed Hardy he employed dragons in the place of unicorns, skulls instead of rainbows, and used neon tigers to replace neon tiger pups with long eyelashes. Once he cornered the corny clothes market, he went back to where Lisa Frank had left off [when she was sued for $30,000 for asking little girls for their birthdates and addresses and then fell into obscurity] and rejuvenated the trend of blinding school supplies.
I was pretty down about this, having not heard from Lisa Frank for over a decade, thinking about the world my children will someday think was brightened by Christian Audiger. Today I went to two Dollar Tree retailers [I usually go to them in Illinois and Florida] because they were next-door to most of the guitar stores in Portland, ME. I weaved around the store, considered buying candy, and then found something even sweeter --
the Lisa Frank section! I only had two dollars so I didn't buy everything I wanted [stickers, mini notebooks, fold-out gift boxes printed with a beautiful Lisa Frank gumball machine] but I did get a set of four Lisa Frank keychains! The charms are too fragile [cardboard] to actually be thrown into my bag with my keys and loose coins and old food so they became single-use necklaces!