Her hair. It's a scorching fluorescent pink. The color of cotton candy from Mars.
Then there's the eye shadow: arced over her eyes in turquoise flames.
Circling her wrists: a rainbow entanglement of gel bracelets.
Slung around her neck: beaded chokers and peace symbols juxtaposed with plastic pendants in the shape of revolvers.
Here she comes, impossible to ignore, trolling the expanse of the Burlington Mall. A petite beacon of outre style.
"I love standing out," said Kelsey Dicicco, the atomic-pink-haired, freckle-faced 14-year-old, accessorized in her aqua sweatshirt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tank top, and mini shorts.
An iPod looped around her neck, fingers texting on a Sidekick, the Billerica teen added, "I love anything bright and obnoxious."
Talk to kids in the malls, often the town common of suburbia, and you'll hear that open-minded philosophy again and again. This isn't "The Breakfast Club" or "Pretty in Pink." Today, it's harder to slot teens into neat little fashion buckets. If there is a trend in teen fashion, it's that the traditional high school archetypes - jocks, preps, princesses, even punks - are endangered species.
Instead, today's kids are guided by a crackling blend of experimentation and hybrid customization. The youths dip into cash from after-school jobs and from mom and dad's wallets, and parade past expensive clothiers and lowbrow food courts. Adults stare. Parents cringe.
Pause, then, to look through a Burlington Mall display window at 19-year-old Julie Ofcharsky.
Wearing a strapless dress with tiered ruffles - or her description, a "black flower with sparkles" - the Betsey Johnson salesgirl seems a student of the Cyndi Lauper school: feminine yet edgy.
Outfits are nothing without accessories, she says - just blank canvases. Today, for example, she's italicized her ensemble with a bow-shaped pendant, a thick pink belt, fleur-de-lis fishnets, and black suede boots. But you can't get this kind of look without spending a few bucks. All told, her outfit cost roughly $1,000, she said.
"It's embracing femininity in a funky, over-the-top way," said Ofcharsky, of Wakefield, eyes accented with teardrops of dark blue eye shadow.
People's dress is a clue to their psyche, she said. "Clothing is the first, most immediate form of self-expression," she said.
If you apply that reasoning to Moses Galiwango, here's what you'll find: a laid-back emphasis on comfort with a hip-hop persuasion.
The Waltham 19-year-old, wandering Burlington's maze of stores with a friend, admitted he's not exactly gifted when it comes to his gear. In that sense, he's a minimalist - open his closet and you'll find an endless parade of white T-shirts and Rocawear jeans.
The real flair comes with his mane. Every once in a while, he unfurls his 2-inch-high mohawk.
Other than that, he's blase about trends. "I stay the same," he shrugged, coif like an exclamation point on his head. "Fashion changes."
Undoubtedly so - but it's here, among such mad scientists of fashion, where trendsetting sometimes begins.
Well-known designers frequently send scouts to scour city sidewalks and crowded malls for fresh looks, according to Lynn-based couturier Lisa Micheels; several websites, including streetpeeper.com and street-fashion.net, also immortalize bourgeois fashionistas.
"There are trends that do come from [teen and street fashion]," said Micheels. But "I don't think that teenagers, by any means, set the style for what the rest of us wear."
Nor do they wish to.
Nineteen-year-old Dinny Spang, for her part, has no, absolutely no, intention of being out-hued.
In her quiver of flirty dresses are hot pinks, blazing yellows, limes, and a spectrum of blues.
And her outfit as she shops?
An aqua babydoll dress, ruched at the chest. Matching flip-flops on her pink-toenailed feet.
Of course, the ensemble is arresting from several stores away.
"I'm always attracted to bright colors," said the blond Spang, of Andover, clutching a Nordstrom bag. (Inside? A T-shirt designed by tattoo artist Ed Hardy.) "It makes you stand out."
Individuality is a much darker quest for 16-year-old Kelsey Pratto.
Her palate? "It's really just black," said the Peabody resident, seeking out her latest monochrome inspiration at the Northshore Mall in her hometown.
But dark doesn't mean drab. If you threw open her closet, here's what you'd find: Victorian-style dresses, lace and silk corsets, sweatshirts with pre-punched thumbholes. Her mother, Tamara Pratto, estimates that her daughter spends $1,000 a year on clothes - split 50-50 between parents and daughter.
"I don't want to look exactly the same as everybody else," said Pratto, a hip-length, red and black striped sweater and black pants darkening her tiny frame.
She added with a roll of the eyes: "Boring."
Tamara Pratto wishes she were a little more dull. Still, "they made a deal": She allows her daughter to experiment with clothing, but there's to be nothing permanent - no tattoos, no piercings. Also, "I do have veto power," said Tamara.
But her head-shaking is to be expected. Adults aren't supposed to get it.
Teens purposely "de-identify" themselves from their parents during the development process, according to adolescent researcher Jennifer Tanner of Rutgers University. In many ways, that's achieved by experimenting with fashion.
"Teenagers try on clothes to try on different personalities," said Tanner. "It's just the beginning of a life quest to find out who you are."
And right now, in this gilded galleria, that persona is what?
For Bostonian Rashad Williams, the answer is: "Hip-hop skater." He wears red, oversized Dickies shorts and a black T-shirt with crown patterned crown logos.
"Retro vintage," attested Carlisle 22-year-old Julia Blum. Her ensemble: a black canvas dress with puff sleeves, pearls dotting her ears, lashes curled in an emphatic "U," hair in a beehive that recalls the troubled British pop diva Amy Winehouse.
"A mix of watered-down punk with an industrial feel," responded Candace Cobuzzi, among the crowds at the Burlington Mall.
The Waltham 18-year-old flaunts a thicket of purple hair and a clashing ensemble: lime green tank, purple plaid skirt, purple and black striped socks.
Skulls are also a theme. One grins from a choker around her neck; others stare hollowly from her canvas bag.
Conformity, to her, is terrifying.
"You don't have to settle for what's dull," she said, shaking her purple passion locks. "I dress the way that I feel looks good. I do stand out, but that's not my goal."