Fear and clothing: Karl’s naked nuggets and me
A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion
Nothing brings home the inevitability of the end quite like a very, very famous person’s death. If even Karl Lagerfeld succumbs to mortality then what hope is there for the rest of us? The last time I saw him in the flesh he was taking a lap of honour at the end of the 2017/18 spring-summer Chanel haute couture show. He trundled along in a slightly robotic fashion beneath the very real looking faux Eiffel Tower fading into the very real faux clouds that constituted the set for the show. He ambled forth in a stiffly mechanical manner and made me think that perhaps he had replaced himself with an advanced style automatom that bore all the marks of Karl – the powder white ponytail, the jet black sunnies, the monochrome Hedi Slimane suit, the high collar and the gloves. Always the gloves.
Sadly this was not the case and to the best of my knowledge there is no AI Karl receptacle waiting in the wings to take up the cudgel of fashion and wield it with wit, erudition and cutting humour. This sucks. If, however, the people who are working on such marvels need help with their Kaiser Karl prototype I would like to submit some of his pearls for contemplation. I propose that we all follow his edicts and erudition for a better outcome (in life and everything else). Here is a handy guide to his wisdom as interpreted by me: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” Yeah though you walk through the valley of death, don’t do it in sweatpants because you will catch sight of yourself in the mirror and recoil further into the pit of despair.
“Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty ugly people. The worst is ugly short men.” If you are going to be ugly be nice.
“Be politically correct, but please don’t bother other people with conversation about being politically correct, because that’s the end of everything. You want to create boredom? Be politically correct in your conversation.” Too much wokeness will put other people to sleep.
“Selfies. They are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big the head is too small. No. this is electronic masturbation.” Don’t indulge in narcissistic dysmorphia, it can only distorted your sense of self.
“There are not too many people with an opinion I care for.” Take your own counsel – and stop reading Twitter.
“When I was four I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday.” From the mouths of babes. Finally, “I am very much down to earth. Just not this earth.” Sadly now truer than ever.