September 12, 2010

Asking to be insulted and getting it.

I just ran across this passage written by David Rakoff, in an essay — from this book — about Paris fashion shows:
All of the designers I have met up to this point have been very nice, although upon being introduced to Karl Lagerfeld, he looks me up and down and dismisses me with the not super-kind, “What can you write that hasn’t been written already?”

He’s absolutely right, I have no idea. I can but try. The only thing I can come up with at that moment is that Lagerfeld’s powdered white ponytail has dusted the shoulders of his suit with what looks like dandruff but isn’t. Also, not yet having undergone his alarming weight loss, seated on a tiny velvet chair, with his large doughy rump dominating the miniature piece of furniture like a loose, flabby, ass-flavored muffin over-risen from its pan, he resembles a Daumier caricature of some corpulent, overfed, inhumane oligarch drawn sitting on a commode, stuffing his greedy throat with the corpses of dead children, while from his other end he shits out huge, malodorous piles of tainted money. How’s that for new and groundbreaking, Mr. L.?


Ron said...

You have to make sure you use ass-flavored Pam, but if you do, those ass-flavored muffins will pop right out, no problem!

rhhardin said...

It's not new and groudbreaking:

"So one day, then, tired of trudging along the steep track of earthly voyage and of staggering like a drunkard through life's dark catacombs, I slowly raised my morose eyes (ringed with huge bluish circles) toward the concave firmament, and, though so young, dared penetrate the mysteries of heaven! Not finding what I sought I raised my dismayed gaze higher, still higher, until I caught sight of a throne fashioned of human excrement and gold upon which, with idiotic pride, body swathed in a shroud made of unwashed hospital sheets, sat he who calls himself the Creator! He held in his hand a corpse's decaying torso and bore it in turn from eyes to nose, from nose to mouth: once in his mouth one can guess what he did with it. His feet were immersed in a vast pool of blood, to whose surface two or three cautious heads would suddenly rise like tapeworms from a full chamberpot, and immediately slip back again quick as arrows: a well-applied kick on the bridge of the nose was the familiar reward for breach of rules (caused by the need to breathe in another element--for after all, these men weren't fish!). Amphibians at best, they swam between two waters in that loathsome liquid!

And then the Creator (having nothing left in his grasp) would with the first two claws of his foot seize another swimmer by the neck as in a vice, and raise him from the reddish slime (delicious sauce!) into the air, there to be dealt with like the others. First of all he would devour head, legs, and arms, and lastly the trunk, until nothing was left--for he crunched the bones. And so on throughout the other hours of his eternity. Sometimes he would exclaim: "I have created you, so I have the right to do with you what I will. You have done nothing against me, that I do not deny. And for my pleasure, I make you suffer." And he would resume the cruel repast, lower jaw moving, moving his beard clotted with brains."

- Lautreamont

traditionalguy said...

That was a 9.5 put down score. The skills of a writer should never be disrespected unless you plan to kill that writer.

KCFleming said...

“What can you sew that hasn’t been sewn already?”

rhhardin said...

As ye sew, so shall ye ream.

Michael said...

I am going to buy and read everything David Rakoff has ever written.

Mumpsimus said...

"...upon being introduced to Karl Lagerfeld, he looks me up and down..."

"...not super-kind..."

"The only thing I can come up with at that moment..."

That's some really awful writing. Don't people hire editors anymore?

CrankyProfessor said...

The Manolo will love it!

David said...

Thing is, Langerfeld does not give a rat's ass what the writer thinks. He is a very thick skinned guy. I watched a lengthly show about Langerfeld on some fashion channel last night. Really not my cup of tea, I would think, but I could not turn it off. Nor could I avoid liking the guy. An actual existential man who can laugh at himself.

Trooper York said...

The people in the fashion industry are very impressed with themselves.
They think that their shit doesn't stink.

Once I was supposed to have a trunk show with a very well known designer. At the time he was just beginning to venture into "plus" sizing. His ready to wear dresses went for a pretty high price point from $185 to $600. We promoted him
fiercely and at the time was 30% of his plus business in the United States. Yes that's right my little store.

Anyway his salesman sets up this event. A trunk show with the designer. Oh did I mention that he was Japanese and didn't speak any English. He would just stand and smile and bow and take compliments on his line.

The day before this event, the salesman calls and tells me that the designer was backing out. I guess it was beneath him to come out to Brooklyn to deal with the hoi polloi.

Now I was stuck. I promoted the shit out of this event and I had no designer. What was I going to do? Oh Woe is me!

So I went to the Chinese restaurant on the corner and hired one of the cooks to dress up in a suit and come and smile and bow to all of my customers.

It worked out just fine.

Trooper York said...

Needless to say I do not deal with that designer anymore.

We have found we can make great "dressy" dresses ourselves at a much lower price point.

Fashion designers are just too smug and self-satisfied.

Trooper York said...

Fashion is a mugs game.

David said...

So Trooper, my wife is in NY right now, visiting her former (thank God) fashion model daughter.

Where can she see your stuff?

AST said...

What can he design that isn't just a reshuffling of what people have been wearing forever?

rhhardin said...

There's a quirk in copyright law that explicitly encourages copying in fashion.

Only the label is safe.

Podcast withJohanna Blakley, with Russ Roberts, here, on intellectual property rights in fashion.

former law student said...

pogo and ast are correct.

The last breakthrough in fashion was Rudi Gernreich's monokini.

Hemlines go up and necklines go down. Body part focus changes over the years, to make sure that every woman feels inadequate (thick ankles, tiny boobs/big boobs, etc.) at one time or other. Sometimes the body focus is ludicrous, as when Eighties' women were all dressed as linebackers.