Thursday, December 24, 2009



Hello adoring public,

I am going on vacation, and I said this earlier. Lara Stone blah blah blah. Whatever. Everyone is fat in my eyes. Except me and Karl. We are fabulous.



Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yesterday a friend of mine called around (by this time the book crisis had been averted, and I'd sent all the editors away with cakes and bacon), and said "Karl, do you know that it's Christmas soon?"
"Oh really", I said. "Christmas has become this tradition- it's boring. The same thing every year- gifts, food, people, getting drunk, family. It has become old hat. If one is going to do the same thing every year, one might as well commit suicide immediately. It's not conducive to creativity. You see these fat mummies and daddies giving their fat children these presents, and them opening them up with vigour and excitement. And what is inside these presents? Not a painting, like the Monet I received for my 5th Christmas. These children are being given hideous multi-coloured Hannah Cyrus and Montana Jonas cds! These toys and things with bells on them! They are disgusting. I loathe them. I loathe the fact that Christmas is the same every year, for a good majority of the world. And I loathe the fact that Christmas is a holiday- holidays are for people who work 9-5 days; they are a sort of concession for selling your soul to meaningless work. Even my telephone cleaners don't work 9-5- my telephone cleaners are masters of their craft, and at night they go ballroom dancing with kings and queens- princes and paupers (chic, of course) and so on. The janitors at Chanel have masters degrees in biochemistry- their cleaning is so incredibly scientific that a couple have been nominated for Nobel prizes ("is that what you call it? A No-bell prize?"). These are not 9-5 people. They are Tom Waits people, in a Tom Ford suit.

So you see, I see Christmas as a hideous festival of decadent and depraved boredom. It makes me want to vomit- and I would, if I had eaten something in the past 47 years. Instead, I will draw you a picture of a tramp vomiting. Do you understand my point?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Black Books

I found myself blockaded this morning- a deluge of books that I haven't had a librarian catalogue yet had fallen down, blocking both entrances to the chateau. I was "booked in", to play on the American phrase "snowed in". Thus, I couldn't actually get out of the chateau today- I've been reading through each book that blocks the main entrance and discarding it when read- "digging through" the books, so to speak.

By noon I had my first visitor- I never have visitors before noon, so I occupied the morning by reading War and Peace, A Spot Of Bother, Pale Fire and so on- just a few books, no more than 50 in total. An Artist Of The Floating World caught my attention in particular- the whole "Floating World" allusion gave me an idea: to escape from my deluge of books faster, I could build a boat.

Obviously, a boat to move through the books- by now more had gathered, from where I don't know (once one surpasses a certain amount of books, one finds that they start to appear by themselves- like a bank account with a high interest rate), would not be a normal sort of boat. (That was a long sentence! I felt like Joyce for a bit there). This boat would obviously have to be built of editors, who happen to make books cower in their covers. When an editor is near a book, the text starts running into one another- an "a" runs into a "b", "z" runs into "!", "!" runs into "?" forming a "?!", ?!" goes into a pub and the proprietor asks "What sort of beer would you like?" and "?!", quite surprised by it's newly personified state, promptly becomes an alcoholic and ends up as a prostitute before writing a bestselling autobiography. Meanwhile, the proprietor of said pub runs into an entire sentence and everything gets very messy- they realize that they're old friends who haven't seen each other for years and stay fixedly in the center of the book, whilst pandemonium takes place before them. Eventually, logic simply gives up and the book vanishes in a puff of absurdity, all thanks to the editor.

So I place an ad in the newspaper for editors. I rang up the man and said "Hello"- "Hello Karl" he said, and I said- "How do you know it is me?", to which he replied "your Franco-German-Swedish accent is rather distinct", to which I agreed. Eventually I placed an ad for editors- specifically, ones who are legally blind without wearing glasses, and ones who have several critically-regarded authors under their Prada belts. Eventually these editors knocked at my door- I could see them arrive, flying through the air and landing on my doorstep with umbrellas a la Merry Poppins. The books cowered back. I fashion a microphone out of one of my high collars, and ordered them to form a boat.

"You are going to form a boat in an orderly fashion and then you will cruise through my front door"
"What's the angle you're going for, Karl?" one said.
"Research shows that if you paint your door purple it'll be more appealing to children" said another.
"If we change the colour of your grass to a logo of some sort- how about the Chanel logo- that'll be more appealing to the crucial 18-30 year old market" said yet another one.

Eventually they did form a boat- two hours later, after I had finally convinced them that my abode is chic and perfect and all I hired them to do is form a boat. They burst through the front door, as the books rearranged themselves into orderly piles- somewhat orderly, and attempted to disguise themselves as different things in order to avoid editing. One became a lamp. It has not yet changed back from a lamp- so I think I'm stuck with it! It's a very chic lamp, anyway, so I can't complain. The only Ayn Rand book I own (I was sent it by a perverse stalker who knows how much I loath Ms. Rand) turned into a pile of rubbish, and I had an assistant sweep it out. The rubbish-man came an hour later.

There Is No Time (B is for Budgets)

This year, I have cut back from having four butlers to only two. I got rid of everything gold that I own, and replaced it with silver. I’ve only bought three hundred and sixty two suits, almost half of what I’d purchased in the same time period last year. I have been cutting back! This is what I do in a so-called recession: I budget. All this bling is vulgar- modesty is the new chic. Can you imagine what it’s like to only have two butlers? It’s simply horrible- I can’t have four separate drinks of diet Coke at the exact same time (I don’t trust assistants with my drinks of diet Coke, they’re a different breed of creature entirely.) Yet I am cutting back in order to survive in these difficult times.

An economist would tell you that a “budget” is a plan in which you lay out how you are going to spend your money. In my opinion, economists have less value when it comes to economics than a drunk in a bar. They’re paid liars. Actors are also paid liars, but with actors even the dimmest dullard from the public knows that the actor is simply acting- it appears that many people don’t know that the economist is acting. I suppose if you’re going to put your trust in these economics, one might as well put their trust into actors. Extend that to celebrities and one ends up with what half the celebrities of the world are doing: asking people to put their trust into them. This Bono and his concerts for the people in Africa, for example. And all these other charities with celebrity spokespeople. The only thing vaguely related to charity I support is road safety in France, and that’s because it’s very unattractive when someone is splashed all over the road.
Anyway, I define budget as something rather wider- I include socialising and whatnot, too. For instance I didn’t bother to go to the Met Ball this year (in New York), because I am budgeting my company- my charm- my social life. I don’t like talking to bores anyway, so it’s an excuse to get out of things one does not like:
“Hello Karl, would you like to come to our social event?”
“No. I am limiting my socialising this year because of the recession.”
“Oh! The recession, the recession…so awful…imagine how poor old Louis Vuitton feels about this recession! Can’t be good for his back pocket…”
“Louis Vuitton is a brand. The person is dead.”
“Oh. Fab!”

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a frog:

One day, a Princess kissed the frog:
And turned the frog into a ninteen year old dropout who enrolled into the military Pea:
The readers of the frog were not very impressed!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Karl's Little Rule Book

There's fashion journalism and then there's fashion journalism. Cathy Horyn, Robin Givhan and Suzy Menkes fall into the latter camp. Amy Odell et al fall into the former. The problem with fashion becoming a "popular mass culture" thing, with the advent of shows such as America's Top Model, Project Runway, etc, means that fashion "journalists" such as Amy Odell have a job. This isn't fashion journalism- it's writing about celebrity culture (see: The Hills) disguised as fashion journalism. What disappoints me is that she writes for New York magazine, albeit in the online arm of it- New York magazine is where Tom Wolfe started writing a lot of "New Journalism"- quality writing. And of course, Mr. Wolfe can wear a white suit and still look incredibly chic and not look like a waiter.

We've known for a long time that the New York fashion blog has been the equivalent of a half-finished meal of McDonald's given to a homeless man who Scott Schuman then photographs.
What I mean is, there's no surprise with Ms. Odell's latest travesty of an article, with comments from Eccentric and Grumpy Old Woman Ann Slowey, who is convinced that my niece Tavi has a secret team of elves writing her posts. I kid you not- Tavi, of style rookie fame, has a secret team of elves writing her posts! She's got a whole room of them- if you stand outside it you can hear the click-clack of typewriters, and Tavi yelling "GET TO WORK CATHY HORYN! GET TO WORK WOODY ALLEN! THOSE JOKES DON'T WRITE THEMSELVES! GET TO WORK NABOKOV! I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE DEAD!".
To quote Ms. Slowey, "You look at her video, and the writing doesn’t sync up with the way she talks about fashion."
Why? Because Tavi has the magical writing elves in a room, clacking out her posts! Those magical writing elves, busily writing everything out! I hope they get paid enough, hm?

That solves that question. A video, which is a few minutes long, proves that Tavi has these magical elves writing for her! Ann Slowey said so! And she's a magazine editor- she even knows what a magazine editor does: "...How does that help me distill the collections? What am I supposed to be buying? That’s what an editor’s job at a magazine is."
According to Ann Slowey, Magazine Editor, an editor- nevermind Tavi is a writer, not an editor- is supposed to "distill the collections" and tell people what they should buy. Nevermind publishing interesting photographers and fantastic writing (a la New Yorker re writing, and even Vogue had an interesting article about Comme des Garcons- in the 80s). No, the editor of a magazine has to distill collections for the idiot consumer who can't do this themselves. They're too stupid! And then the editor has to tell them what to buy. The reader, who just spent money on your magazine is too stupid to make their own choices!
And on this subject, I'll quote Roger Ebert, the great film critic: "Advise the readers well. This does not involve informing them, "You'll love this!" If I approached some guy in a restaurant and told him what he would love, I might get a breadbasket in the face. No, we must tell the readers what we ourselves love or hate. If we work for employers who think we should "like more movies like ordinary people like," we should make a donation in his name to the Anti-Cruelty Society."

Hmm. You mean that the reader of your magazine isn't stupid?! Whatever next. Maybe if you started taking this viewpoint, people would start reading writing in magazines again- especially fashion magazines, and not simply skip to pictures of the pretty models (to post them on their tumblr.)

Odell writes "It would be easy for people like us to feel a little insulted by magazines hiring 13-year-olds to do the job of a serious fashion critic, a person with years of experience who has probably toiled for newspapers to print their words or even care about what they have to say"
There's several problems here- Odell isn't a serious fashion critic, for example. Cathy Horyn, despite her love of bacon is. Odell writes a celebrity fashion blog, with emphasis of the "celebrity". Horyn writes sometimes scathing reviews, but always insightful- always placing things in context, always considering that the clothes are more than simply pretty frocks. Tavi's doing a fine job as a serious fashion critic, comparing dresses at Calvin Klein to being stained with tears. Just because she's thirteen years old- as Odell never fails to point out, doesn't invalidate what she writes.

Throughout the piece it's both said and implied that Tavi gives fashion advice. It's perhaps to grasp for some people that Tavi is in fact not doing what the fashion industry's been doing for years- telling people what to wear. This is obviously a very difficult concept for Ms. Slowley. I suspect she hasn't read Tavi's blog. Even the title implies that Tavi is giving fashion advice- "Editors Like Tavi But Don't Take Her Fashion Advice Seriously". Nevermind that Tavi doesn't give fashion advice- her blog is not kind of "ASK AUNT OHIO!" enterprise.

Yet as my niece Belle was saying to me earlier- this is typical New York Fashion Blog- the sort of publication that sees fit to devote an entire article to the relationship of my daughter (Jane) and her boyfriend (Amit). Because that's as important as Lacroix going bankrupt, of course.

This post isn't simply about the post about Tavi, or even about "The Cut". It's about the decline of fashion journalism. Long actual fashion critics such as Tavi and Horyn. Long live bacon muffins. But nevermind the "bollocks" (as the kids say)- the faux fashion journalists who attempt to pass themselves off as something more. They're demode.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A History Lesson

The "house of concrete money", Margiela, will not have a creative director/designer replacing Mr. Margiela after his departure several months ago. Writes the wonderful Suzy Menkes in the IHT: "Ever since Karl Lagerfeld was tapped by Chanel in 1983, followed by John Galliano at Christian Dior in 1997, other storied houses have tried to fill the shoes of a deceased or departed creator. But as the design appointments become a revolving door at houses like Nina Ricci or Emanuel Ungaro, the replacement mechanism seems to have broken down."

This would be all very well and good if Margiela was producing collections worth looking at since Mr. Margiela's departure. Instead, the collections produced have been haphazard, amateurish, and resemble a 5 year old's science project. The "replacement mechanism" has worked many times, hm? Lanvin, Dior (I suppose), Dior homme, Jil Sander, Issey Miyake, Burberry, and so on. This replacement mechanism Mrs. Menkes speaks of is only broken because sub-par "designers" (a certain Ms. Lohan) and designers ill-suited for the house in question have been hired. This is a fault on the part of management.

I urge you, readers, to think back to a time before I was at Chanel. Yes, dear reader, there was a time! I was once only designing 275 collections a year, as opposed to the 300 when I started with Chanel. Anyway- Chanel was a snoring troll. It wasn't even a sleeping beauty- it was incredibly ugly. It had warts and it hadn't had a haircut in a decade and the dress it wore wasn't even couture. People has dismissed Chanel as something "of the past"- I kid you not! And how did this happen? Why, because Chanel was designed by a team. A committee.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, committees are for communists and democracies. Not for a dictatorship! Not for an auteur, such as myself, or such as Mr. Hitchcock.
I agree- collaboration is important, and I wouldn't be anywhere without my little old French seamstresses. But even they (of course they) would balk at the idea of this...democracy idea, or worse, this communism idea. It simply doesn't work. There's too many forms to fill, to many people to agree with. Do you know what's more effective than democracy? A guillotine. I have one sitting in my office, actually. It's very good for making deals. The French kings had the right idea, no?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Well, well, well. I've had rather a lot of comments on this blog as of late- it seems my post about dear Mr. Kane provoked some readers! I'm totally bemused as to why, especially given the nature of some of the comments.

"David" writes: "Somebody please tell him to check every once in a while.", before adding in his "tumblr" address at the end, because everybone wants to "check out" his "tumblr", I'm sure- this is nothing against you, David, I just think this "tumblr" is incredibly disgusting and filthy. People should read a book instead- I just finished Never Let Me Go, recomended to me by the most wonderful person in the world apart from myself. It's fantastic.
Anyway- why should Mr. Kane "check" Is this bizzare, twisted form of punishment you have devised for him, David? Mr. Kane may be a mediocre designer and say stupid things, but even I don't think he deserves to be subjected to lookbook of all places.

"Tenisha" actually goes on to create a conspaircy theory, one which can stand side-by-side the email I recieved the other day claiming an Arab lady designed all my designs which I stole, in 2005 (more on that later).
"I wrote about these comments on blog and actually found his comments hilarious, especially about not caring what a 14 year old thinks. Maybe Chris said these comments to get people talking. Why else would he go after or care what a 14 year old thinks? I mean his not stupid. He knows talking ill about the blogosphere, especially in fashion, would get the bloggers commenting, whether good or bad...we are talking about him. Mission Accomplished."
I like how you're familiar enough with Mr. Kane to call him Chris. But that's beside the point- I genuinely believe, in my frozen heart of frozen hearts, that Mr. Kane is out of touch. If he wants to get people talking, he should design a good collection, hm? There's no value in getting "the bloggers" (whoever they are) talking negatively about Mr. Kane- there's no perverse millionaire going around the blogs thinking "I'M GOING TO BUY THIS BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE HATES IT". Or maybe there is! But I have not spotted this perverse millionaire yet.

Finally, I shall leave you with a letter that arrived in my inbox the other day. My favourite sentence of this letter composed of lies and electronic ink is "and how Karl Lagerfeld at age

of 70 suddenly since 2005 became genius and legendary?!" My dear, I have always been a genius. (I've left the letter in the exact same way it came to me, the "poetic" formatting and so on.)


My name is Kolsoum Amirbandeh, I want people to know my story,

The world top fashion houses are against me, it is a complicated issue.

All started since May 2005, when I applied for job at CHANEL co. as a fashion designer; they

asked me to send them my CV & some of my designs by ordinary post, And so I did.

Unfortunately they used my designs (Haute Couture Fall-winter 2005- 2006). All expert Medias became impressed by the Chanel’s new collection and new style. Then I decided to plead for justice to court, but I thought they are powerful and probably it won’t be useful; so I decided to move on and do my own business, but soon I realized that it’s not over and they are spying on me all the time to get my new designs. I see all my designs every season not just on Chanel’s fashion show, even at the other top brands (Dior, Armani,…,Versace, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci,…).

The worst thing is that these companies use their power to avoid the investors after they had

agreed to invest, and unusually change their mind.

Even I can’t find a job despite I’m a professional designer. In other word, they have boycotted me. It seems weird but it’s totally truth. I have proofs.

I'm 24, grew up in an Arab country but latter I returned with my family to Iran, unfortunately in this country there is no place for fashion design, and may be because I’m in Iran , it is quite harder to reach out for help, but I won’t give up.

I’m wondering why with my level of design I can’t even find a job, and how Karl Lagerfeld at age of 70 suddenly since 2005 became genius and legendary?!

If you look at Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches from technical side, you realize, the shown collections

don’t fit the way he sketches; the style is different, the concept is different even the mood is

different. and every fashion expert knows that since 2005 the style of Chanel collections is

completely changed. I can easily challenge him.

Noting is worst than someone steals your work, your talent. I feel myself in exile; I definitely

need your help to publish my story.

I will appreciate if you can send me your answer.

Thank you

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christopher Kane Weighs In On Bloggers

Christopher Kane is remarkable in that he has graduated from Central St. Martins and managed to produce a semi-decent collection, once or twice. Of course- this is in between creating lazy collections where he places photos of mushroom clouds onto simple dresses and calls it "design". Bravo, Mr. Kane- this is why you're not in couture. He's not McQueen, nor even a Pugh.

Anyway, our esteemed Mr. Kane says this about bloggers: “It’s a bit mad, isn’t it? It feels like it’s happened all of a sudden and at some shows this season the front row was just all bloggers. I think it will die down though, and people know what they are doing. No one who wants to read a serious review of a show is going to look at what a 14-year-old thinks. But it has become more critical; people can say what they want about anyone on a blog without consequences and that’s quite scary. There are real repercussions for a designer if a photo of something is leaked by a blog; it can be copied in a fortnight and that can really harm a business."

Let us disceet his expert opinion: "It feels like it's happened all of a sudden"- nevermind critics like Cathy "Ohio" Horyn and Robin Givhan have been blogging for years. "I think it will die down though"- like ready-to-wear would die down in the 60s, yes? And of course, he talks about "serious" reviews of shows- it's a pity most "serious" reviews of shows are sycophantic rubbish bent toward pleasing the designers as a French whore is bent toward pleasing her customer.
Nevermind a 14 year old might actually be more honest and have more insight, than say, a review appearing on style dot com (with the exception of Ms. Mower). Of course, what Mr. Kane is really afraid of is actual critical reviews- "people can say what they want.." Meaning, Mr. Kane's lazy resort collection might be called out for what it is- horror of horrors! It might be revealed that Mr. Kane is a mediocre designer capable of creating a few "hit" pieces to satisfy the masses.

Mr. Kane is right to be afraid, and to dismiss bloggers as a flash-in-the-pan. Honest, critical opinions not coming from Menkes, Givhan, Mower or Horyn are a threat to his credibility as a designer- and so they should be. Nevermind whether they come from a 14 year old or a 140 year old (such as I). Perhaps he'll start designing clothes rather than gimmicks, hm?