LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
5 October 2014
The Weaker Sex

Is Stella McCartney living in a parallel universe on planet Stella spinning out of
orbit? Just asking. You decide.

With feminism at the minute so on trend, so fashionable, so – you know:
Beyonce (let’s laugh together here), Mylie Cyrus (again), Emma Watson (no
laughing...applause only) Stella seems to have missed it entirely.

Curiously (but really, is anybody curious about Stella – really?) SM has not
only changed her photo–op image from sexually available featuring décolletage
to her waist for a more demure expressionless rabbit-in-headlights image. SM
is promoting her latest collection as ‘celebrating the softness of a woman and
her fragility. Strength on its own in a woman is quite aggressive and not terribly
attractive at times’. We can surely agree: the woman is on her own planet.
SM enthused about “allowing a woman to be soft and gentle, and enjoying
comfort”. Geishas? OK maybe not the comfort bit, but what is she thinking? I
use that term cautiously.

SM included her BF (where was Gwennie?) Kate (Moss) in her breast cancer
awareness promotion: “Kate is in the campaign because we have known each
other for a long time and she kindly agreed to be part of it on the day of our
Winter 2014 ad campaign shoot.  It’s also a big deal for Kate to bring
awareness to this cause.”

(Not over yet) “It’s something that she has never done before, Kate is a strong
feminine woman with a daughter and a husband; a strong family unit. For her it
was important to bring awareness to this campaign to keep families together.”
What! No,no.no. We simply cannot let that go by. Let’s start with ‘strong’ then
we can move on to ‘family unit’ and on to let’s keep ‘families together’. Truly SM
is losing her tenuous touch with reality. At 40, Kate’s out every night and at the
end totally legless, plus remember a few years back her nanny quit finally out of
frustration with Kate’s limited involvement. We do remember. And what does
“let's keep families together” mean exactly? What families?

SM’s latest show in Paris is all floaty, flowing wisps of transparent fabrics, so
‘feminine’. Wait. Not quite so ‘feminine’ was the vest on an emaciated model via
SM’s Instagram. This being the one before it was quickly replaced with a model
who hadn’t been starved in a cave for a month with only a stale biscuit a day for
nourishment.

And...what the hell is the image on the vest? A mouth full of ant eggs? Black
foam? Are those teeth? No really. What the hell is the image? It looks creepy
and mon dieu – aggressive. The caption read: ‘Well worn!!! X Stella.’ 15% of
the vest sales going to Linda McCartney Centre. Only a percentage? Only
15%? Isn’t the disturbingly near-death image rather indelicate as her mother
died of breast cancer in 1989? Hmmm.

When SM’s 1million (really? really?) followers began a campaign to ‘unfollow
Stella’, brand Stella panicked and quickly released a statement describing the
picture as ‘misleading’. A Stella representative told
The Independent:  "We are
a house that celebrates all shapes, all sizes, all races and all ages (ha). We
should have been more mindful… It was a quick snap done backstage that was
misleading....” And how can an image of an emaciated model be ‘misleading’
exactly?

Having accumulated £46m from her pricey frocks sold to ‘all shapes, all sizes,
all races and all ages’ and clearly owing her ‘success-for-all’ from her direct
lineage to one of the most famous men on the planet and (there’s more)
beginning her career with a brilliant designer, Phoebe Philo (Céline, Chloé,
OBE), SM is falling into self-delusion surely.

Perhaps SM could read
Vanity Fair magazine which has discovered a 50 year
old interview with Bette Davis. “I think men have got to change an awful lot. I
think, somehow, they still prefer the little woman. They’re just staying way, way
behind...[women] are so bored with the whole business of trying to be the little
woman, when no such thing really exists any more...this world’s gone way
beyond it.” We could all read it and weep.   

Perhaps SM could attend ‘Women Fashion Power: not a multiple choice’ at the
Design Museum's “most anticipated exhibition of the year”. “Designed by the
world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, it is the most revealing presentation of
modern fashion ever to be shown in the UK.” Opens 29 October, Stella. See
you there.
                                    
***

So then while the concept of feminism has totally eluded Stella for the last 43
years - not so at Chanel.

For ever the showman, Karl Lagerfeld, has moved his models from the
supermarket to the streets. From domestic goddesses to feminist anarchists.
Looks good, but unfortunately it was not actually authentic was it?

Megaphone, placards down the Grand Palais. ‘Divorce for all’, ‘women’s rights
are more than alright!’, ‘history is her story’, ‘He For She’(thank you Emma)
‘match the machos’, ‘free freedom’. Sacré bleu.  No ‘weak is winning’, ‘soft is
superior’, gentle is good’ then?

Lagerfeld apparently once admitted: “Everything I say is a joke. I myself am a
joke.” After his show he announced: “There are so many demonstrations in
Paris that it was funny to have also a fashion protest.” Now who says feminists
have no humour? Not exactly what he said though is it....

Lagerfeld showed loads of pin-stripes, baggy trousers, trouser suits. Lagerfeld:
“I don’t see why every human being is not on the same level, especially in my
business. Today, everything is forbidden. Political correctness killed
everything!” He For She, Karl? If only.

                                  
 ***

Another celebrity with limited talent and self-delusion willing to annoy us, Tracey
Emin has felt the need to instruct us that “female artists cannot be successful or
fulfil their potential once they have children...they are emotionally torn. It’s hard
enough for me with my cat.” This is the best bit: “There are good artists that
have children. They are called men.” In a word: WHAT? The woman clearly
needs a refresher art history course. What utter crap. Anyone who does art
knows the compelling determination behind it. Home is where the art is...in the
studio.

                                      
***

Ed Sherran. Sing. Perhaps not. Ed dedicated a song about homelessness to a
Tory. Not just any Tory toff, but PM CallMeDave! So wrong. If he had sung for
Boris they could have debated hair colour. Ginger never wins though does it.
"I met David Cameron the other day, really randomly. It wasn't in that situation
where you're in a meet and greet at 10 Downing Street, I was playing a gig and
he came down and he was singing (No!). It was fun (No!)...I was playing this
gig at some guy's house and was a very, very intimate environment, and they
stopped the gig and I only had one song left. He was like, 'I'm so happy that
you came here Ed. Obviously David Cameron is here, would you dedicate a
song to him?' And I was like, 'Oh... I've only got 'The A Team' left to sing'." Like
really? Any of Ed’s recently gained credibility has disappeared into the abyss.

                                       
***

Dedicated-to ex-PR PM CallMeDave opened his mouth at the Conservative
Conference and Lynton Crosby came out...not singing. Surely you remember
him, right? On the far right, Australian spin master strategist getting misogynist
anti-immigrant PM candidates elected. As you do.

Dave just couldn’t resist going lower than low when he tried desperately to get
the enraptured-brain-washed to shed a tear connecting the poor health of his
now deceased poor disabled son and ‘his’ NHS – again. So low.

But leaving the conference, we must return to the Palace. Well, his country
retreat to be specific. CMD’s ego-enhancement clearly knows no limits when he
gathered some 20 MPs to be mesmerised by his self-inflated power position as
the source for ‘English votes for English’ law. He was simply powerless to stop
himself from recounting yet another ‘I know the Queen and you don’t' anecdote.

This is how it went down: when the Queen and Philip made a rare visit (first in
20 years) to Checkers months back the Queen mentioned that she had the
original Van Dyke’s A Family Group at Windsor Castle. The Checker’s curator
corrected the Queen. He told her this was the original and hers was merely a
copy. MPs guffawing all round.

Oh Dave. How long have you been PM? (way too long if you need to respond).
Protocol, Dave, protocol. CMD seems drunk on his own PR. To the Tower,
Dave! Or. Her Majesty has a list of jobs on the offing. Dave could become the-
gum-remover-of-the-parquet four hours a day, five days a week (including
Sundays), on a part-time salary based on a rate of £15,912 per year. That’s
not all, CMD. You would be responsible for making of royal beds and the
laundering of royal linen. Surely better than life in the tower, Dave, and you
could be in touch with everyday life. Very.
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