Lagerfeld Sets Aside Fat Phobia for Renn

“Crystal and Karl, Sitting in a Tree” by Marjorie Ingall

Belatedly, here is Crystal walking in Chanel’s resort show in San Tropez last week. She looks beautiful and fierce, mah nishtanah.

There was a flurry of “OOH GROUNDBREAKING!” buzz when these pix hit the wires, given that Crystal is nominally plus-sized and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has made some colorfully fat-phobic comments in the past.

A quick rundown of Karl’s hatey-hatey, to refresh your memory:

On demands for larger models: “These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.” (Interview with the German magazine Focus, re-reported here.)

Expressing his horror at H&M for producing his line (a mass-market line he’d made exclusively for the company) in larger sizes: ”What I designed was fashion for slender and slim people,” Lagerfeld sniffed. “That was the original idea.”

On the fact that eating disorders certainly are not a problem in the fashion industry: “[Models] have skinny bones.”

On the importance of being skinny: “My only ambition in life is to wear size 28 jeans.”

Lagerfeld is a famously former fattie who lost 92 pounds in 13 months when he became obsessed with the super-streamlined designs of Hedi Slimane and NEEDED to fit into them. He co-wrote The Karl Lagerfeld Diet (published in Europe in 2004 and in America in 2005), which included such advice as starting with around 800 calories a day, having your chef make you quail in aspic, refraining from any exercise since it makes you hungry, and sprinkling cold water on your breasts to tone them. (I’m going out to stand naked in the rain right now! OK, I’m back.)

All this is spectacularly quote-worthy, and Lagerfeld knows it. There’s a reason he dresses like an unholy combo of cowpoke, Teutonic Thomas Jefferson and Spanish fan dancer. There’s a reason he’s still relevant at his cryogenic age of 147. The man’s a master media manipulator.

Read the rest of Ingall’s insightful piece at her website.

Related content:

Carrie Fisher Joins the Ongoing Star War Against Fat

Why Being Fat Is–and Isn’t–All That

Size and Sardine Packed Southwest Airlines

NYTimes Writer Barely Apologizes for her Discriminatory Remarks Against Fat People

If You’re Fat, Your Paycheck Might Not Be

Jennifer Jonassen: A Sizeless Star

Weight Stigma: Breaking it Down with Advocate and Activist Marilyn Wann


7 thoughts on “Lagerfeld Sets Aside Fat Phobia for Renn

  1. thanks, sharon! i think crystal’s an amazing model, but i wish i thought her (genuine) fabulousness meant greater tolerance for actual plus-sized people.

  2. Well after I get a chef I’ll try Karl’s diet although the idea of no exercise isn’t actually appealing.

    Perhaps it’s time to start making totally rude and outlandish remarks. It’s worked for Karl, Glenn Beck and omg I can’t think of the other guy’s name, which shows my plan for not paying too much attention to the news is working. Really, are we making a mistake by not saying things like “fat mummies with crisps” and getting in the news with our ideas.

    Crystal does look beautiful and it’s hard to imagine that her size is groundbreaking. The fashion industry and those who watch it, which is virtually all of us, is nuts if that’s what we believe.

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