Karl Lagerfeld: or, The Root of All Evil

For those of you who are unfamiliar with good ol' Karl, he secured fame and fortune as the designer for Chanel's fashion house, he has a self-titled line of his own, and he's a noted photographer (and probably other stuff I don't know about).  If that doesn't jog your memory, you might remember him as that creepy guy with the plastic face and white ponytail who wears the same damn shirt, vest, and sunglasses every day... as a member of the fashion industry I feel that qualifies as ironic.

Anyway, I take particular issue with Karl Lagerfeld for several reasons, and because I'm petty I hope I can convince you to hate him as much as I do.  My reasons aren't many, but I'd say they're fairly compelling:

1. He's like the worst kind of shallow frat boy.  Some of you may know about the recent push in fashion to ensure that models are of a more healthy body weight, and many designers (Prada, for example) are now including fuller-figured models on their runways and establishing minimum weight requirements.  This fairly revolutionary change was not limited to runways, either, but many magazines ran editorials with plus-size models and incorporated more realistically sized women in their content.  Then along comes Karl.  When the whole fashion world seemed to be buzzing about this extremely positive change, he decided to announce that fat girls just don't model his clothes right, and he communicated that he had no intention of instituting the above-mentioned changes.  You can just imagine him at a kegger, party in full swing, red cup in hand and Kanye shades firmly on, sporting the "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt.  Karl Lagerfeld tends to remind me in this sense of one of those awkward old people.  You know, the relic of a former era, who every once in a while will say some appalling racial slur or sexist remark that has everyone loudly shushing him and giving apologetic looks to anyone unfortunate enough to have heard grandpa's latest insult.  Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against old people, but Karl Lagerfeld has retained those attitudes that just should have stayed in the past.

Now you may be saying, "Okay, so Karl Lagerfeld is kind of an ass and can't conceive of women as anything besides mannequins.  But there are lots of those people out there, why all the hatred?"  Well, that brings me to my second point...

2.  Karl Lagerfeld's designs for Chanel are total shit.  Chanel has a reputation for being classy; just the name evokes images of pearls and classic suits.  Karl Lagerfeld is single-handedly running this great fashion house straight into the firey pits of hell.  Season after season I excitedly went to Vogue's website, style.com, to see the latest shows, Chanel included.  Naive as I was, I initially hoped that the monstrosity I saw was just a bad year and things would look better next season.  Not so.  After this pattern repeated itself for a while I lost all hope, but seemed to figure out his design strategy.

I figure what Karl Lagerfeld does is he goes to a trailer park somewhere in the United States, and on his stroll through he takes careful notes on what all the trailer trash is wearing.  Then he says to himself, "I'm going to bring that back in style."  This would explain why this last fall all his models looked like the abominable snowman.  I had foolishly thought that those hideous yeti boots were gone from fashion forever, but thanks to Karl I get to cringe every now and again when I see a pair yeti-ing their way down the street.  Karl seems to abandon all notions of form and figure-flattering (which makes you wonder why he thought healthier-sized models would have made a difference) in the interest of throwing whatever's on hand on the model and saying "Yes, so avant-garde!"  To me he is the definition of the designer whose only interest is pushing boundaries and being sensational, not designing nice clothes.  He's a lot like Zoolander's Mugatu, but without the advantage of being hilarious.  I suppose in all fairness I should admit that I haven't bothered looking at his self-titled line, as usually by the time I've looked at Chanel all I want to do is wash my eyes with bleach.

Awful.  Finally, the last reason why Karl Lagerfeld is the devil's agent:

3.  Karl Lagerfeld's smile makes children cry.  Luckily, he doesn't often smile for just this reason.  But the odd time when he seems to forget his mouthful of nightmare-inducers, he'll flash us his not-so-pearly whites (more like toxic waste yellow).