In the past few weeks, I’ve started reading through old articles from the Profiles section of The New Yorker. I like learning more about the rich, famous, or otherwise notable, and I can read the articles online through my university’s e-journal database. (Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the cartoons in The New Yorker.)
Because of my recent reading, I have come to the conclusion that I am nothing like Karl Lagerfeld. I know, I know, it’s not like I’m frequently mistaken for the 70-something German designer for Chanel and Fendi (although haven’t we all been, once or twice?) but it was particularly this paragraph in John Colapinto’s article which made me realize how different we are:
Lagerfeld's determination to stay current requires ruthlessness and a lack of sentimentality. He periodically rids himself of art, objects, and places that, previously, had been sources of inspiration and pleasure. People are not exempt. “He kind of passes on, because he doesn't like the past,” one of the people who travels in Lagerfeld's circle says. “So then he decides you're the past and then he just puts you in the trash.” … According to his publishing partner, Gerhard Steidl, when Lagerfeld reads a thick paperback, he tears out the pages as he finishes them.Aside from the fact that I don’t generally mutilate books – even paperbacks – Lagerfeld’s obsession with the now and the new is almost diametrically opposed to my personal philosophy.
I don’t care about the new and the popular. I rarely see movies in the theatres, read books that are on current bestseller lists, or listen to music that’s currently getting significant radio airtime. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get around to consuming a lot of this media, eventually, but I’m more than happy to let the hype surrounding something die down before I decide if it’s worth my while. (I figure if it’s genuinely worth my while, it’ll still be around in a few years.)
I think this is also what drives me nuts about fashion – not just the impermanence of it, but the amount of time and money wasted on something so transitory. And that is how you can tell me and Karl Lagerfeld apart.