Donna Tillotson originally asked the questions, by the way.
On Emmanuelle Alt, the Chanel Jacket, etc:
Do you think Carine is a part of a secret plot to replace the classic Chanel jacket with the new Balmain jacket? Do you think Emmanuelle Alt is a decoy robot of this movement who has been built to take some of the pressure off Carine?
For a very long time I was confused to who this Emmanuelle Alt is. I would be at parties, and if they were in France one of my people would tell me that this Alt person was also there. Yet I was never sure what this person looked like- are they are boy or a girl? Emmanuelle sounds like the name of a bad Spanish chef. Eventually I saw Emmanuelle's photo on a dart board in Anna's office at Vogue- "who's that?", asks I, "Oh, that skunk Emanuelle" Anna told me- or rather spat at me. Now, I am still not sure whether Alt is a robot or some sort of brainless, trend-following moron. The terms are not mutually exclusive, of course.
Carine, she is one of the "cool kids" who thinks she is oh-so-chic in her Balmain jacket. One wonders whether she was stoned out of her mind for the entire period of the 80's- it's not hard to imagine. She's trying to replace the Chanel jacket, it's clear- but the Chanel jacket is timeless, something the horrible smelly homeless man can only dream of. Frankly, I'm not worried- French Vogue is only read my American French students, anyway. Everybody in France reads a magazine which is far too chic to dictate here. But it exists.
Did you ever find out what Jealousy was? Did it end up being from the middle classes?
I started looking down a suburban street for jealousy. I saw mothers in zoot suits, and fathers in polo shirts, and children in brown suits and flowery dresses. Over the road the family wore the same thing- zoot suits and such. Yet each family looked over the road at the other family like the had something the other didn't have. This confused me. I walked to the next house, where a 40 year old woman with blonde hair trailing down her back had her dress unzipped by a fat man with grey hair. I felt like I was in some TV series. I went to the city with its metropolitan metal, and I found lawyers hanging off highrise towers: I asked them if they knew what jealousy was, but they just shrugged and directed me to the nearest white house. So I got into the white house, where they were serving sixteen white horses on white plates, and all smiled. I had heard that people who smile are not jealous, and I went elsewhere, toward the heart of the middle classes- the workplace. Yet, I saw people smiling here too. I wondered to myself: Is jealousy something which people pretend not to have? After this...epiphany, I wandered over to the Met ball, where I finally found jealousy by lifting up the wigs of the ladies who go there.