Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Short news round-up

(think we'd forgotten?)

Lisa Armstrong in the Times today has an interview with Karl Lagerfeld

Predictably, he likes the notion of despot, indeed, has fostered it, adopting a uniform of white shirt (he has more than 1,000, mostly from Hilditch & Key), drainpipe trousers, frock coat, white ponytail, omnipresent sunglasses and a carapace of rings (he has hundreds) that garland his knuckles like armour. What he dislikes about going to Germany, which he does as rarely as he visits Britain, is the Teutonic habit of calling him Karli, or Karlchen. Anyone would think he preferred his more common nickname of Kaiser Karl.

The Kaiser persona is so recognisable that it has become a Hallowe’en staple in New York; recently Roberto Cavalli attended a party in Lagerfeld fancy dress. “An act of courage, no?” retorts Lagerfeld. “His silhouette is a little . . . just say I think I look better.” Since his dramatic weight loss seven years ago (he says that he keeps in shape by foxtrotting with Oscar de la Renta), The Look can border on the demonic or, on milder days, on the vestments of a malevolent Dickensian priest – “defrocked” as he puts it with relish.

Also in the Times, is a piece on the 30 things every woman must have in their wardrobe

I have 20 of those items, lacking, among other things, a crisp white shirt, a blazer and kirby grips. But I do have a cocktail ring, in fact I have two.

7 comments:

Nancy (nanflan) said...

I thought the piece was fun, but the readers' letters about it! What is it with people? Enough with the puritanism already--I, for one, have no desire to go about in sackcloth and ashes at all times.

And for the record, I have most of the items on the list although I've no clue what Kirby grips are.

Linda Grant said...

I think you would call them bobby pins.

And this is why this blog exists, to take a stand against the puritans

Deja Pseu said...

Well, I'd dispute a couple of those items as must haves (a sequin bolero??? a cashmere jumper??) but the one item I still am searching for is the LBD.

And regarding the Puritans, I'm often reminded of that wonderful quote by Emma Goldman, "If I can't dance, it's not my revolution."

Deja Pseu said...

Or does "jumper" have a different meaning than "a sleeveless shift meant to be worn over a blouse or sweater?"

lagatta said...

A jumper is the kind of sweater Americans would call a pullover. I don't have a cachemire one now because I'm too skint to buy anything new these days (I did find a perfect merinos jumper at a charity shop not long ago) but it is certainly something I'm plannng to buy, as cachemire is warm without excess bulk. I have a winter coat that is a cachemire/wool blend.

I do agree with the comment saying that lists tend to be space-fillers and lazy journalism. A sequin bolero would have about zero use for me, as would at least half of the other items listed.

I was very surprised at the comments about African women. I have worked a lot in NGO stuff and North-South conferences, and the African women I met, even from very "popular" milieux, are extremely proud of how they dress, as are the men. Idem people in the slums of India, and Haiti, where I have no idea how their mums keep the little girls and boys attired in such sparkling white dresses and shirts.

Linda Grant said...

A jumper is a sweater, any kind of sweater, with sleeves, without sleeves. It's the same meaning, just two different words.

Natasha said...

Interesting how the comments went all the way to puritanism again - why do they hate pretty things so much? Why do they think they are our morally betters because they don't wear pretty clothes and are depressed about the world the whole time?
Strangely enough I've always thought this was a German topic - German women often dress drab and boring and have issues about using make-up (seen as "bad for the skin"), I'm quite surprised it seems to be international.
I don't really agree with all the points on the list - I really don't like wide patent belts and I wish the 80s revival would stop, I'd look really weird in a sequin bolero.
But I agree about cashmere and the little black dress - both classic and you can wear them for years. After wearing cashmere it's sooo hard to get back to anything else.