We met Logan Fenley riding north on the number 11. His wrapped, snapped, and capped getup blared warning for blustery blasts to give right-of-way. But our Fashion Chiefs, ever wary of the smoldering ember, wondered if the tough talk reduced to a mere smokescreen.

Fenley turns out in what fire fighters call turnout gear: charcoal fire jacket rescued from Belmont Army Surplus, safety snapped, vapor-barrier lined, and roomy enough to pocket the spare oxygen mask or stray cat.

Unbuckle the D-rings and two more pragmatic tiers–one Sears Roebuck sensible, the other checked-flannel warm–comfort and protect. from beneath the double-duty layers the perversely named Calvin, poster imp of the unruly and the irreverent, poses, his slingshot poised.

Fenley ties up the look with a Clan Stewart tartan (though he traces his own. Scottish roots to the Logans, Kerrs, and Farquharsons) knotted at the neck–sort of an impromptu glengarry, the soft brimless cap with trailing streamers worn by regiments of Scotch Highlanders. Equal parts tradition-bound and hippy-go-lucky, this scarf hat (its precursor debuted in the collections circa 1967) honors the fire fighter’s ethic of duty and ingenuity.

Five-alarm grit gear, fronting for brazenly boyish bratliness, accessorized with matching gap-tooth smile and I-won’t-grow-up Chuck Taylors, ignites an incendiary Fashion Statement: “Ready, Aim, Fire!”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Yael Routtenberg.