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Voguepedia | Karl Lagerfeld

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. Published in Vogue, December 2003.

Lagerfeld has become far more than just a fashion phenomenon. With runway conquests at the houses of Chloé, Fendi, and Chanel, and as a remarkable barometer of the twenty-first-century zeitgeist, he is an industry unto himself. In a business that tosses the word “icon” about with reckless abandon, he is genuinely iconic, wielding his trademark fan and his repertoire of witticisms—sometimes provocative, often amusing, and always Karl. Old enough to be the grandfather of some of his Parisian competitors, he is a modern Oscar Wilde, a black-leather dandy with a rock-and-roll pout.

In the deep, all-knowing German voice that could belong to no other, Karl Lagerfeld declared in 1984, “I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.” In this—as in so many things—he was, if perhaps not self-effacing, extremely prescient. Today, the influence of his designs is rivaled only by the infamy of his ever-present dark sunglasses (“They’re my burka,” he has professed), his magnetic pull towards controversy, and his tendency to say things like, “Vanity is the healthiest thing in life.”

Fifty-seven years after Vogue first showed readers Coco Chanel’s innovative LBD in 1926, the company was placed in Lagerfeld’s studded, fingerless-gloved hands, and neither the LBD nor Chanel were ever the same. “My job,” Lagerfeld has said, “is to bring out in people what they wouldn’t dare do themselves.” In a way, this is what he did for the Chanel image, as well: Its elegance and dignity had lost their clout among the sixties generation of jeans-and-miniskirts-wearers, but Lagerfeld was able to transform the house into the ultimate purveyor of bad-girl chic (wealthy bad girl, that is). He was, it turned out, the perfect designer to bring the nodding camellias back to life. “Tradition is something you have to handle carefully, because it can kill you,” he told Vogue in 1984. “Respect was never creative.”

In his first years as creative director, Lagerfeld was accused by some critics of going too far—so far as to desecrate their hallowed memories of Chanel. He threw so much leather and chains into his early collections that his old friend Yves Saint Laurent balked: Chanel, he said, had become “frightening, sadomasochistic.” “Who can say what is good taste and what is bad taste?” the designer has countered. “Sometimes bad taste is more creative than good taste.”

Although he has a love of the eighteenth century—he views it as both the most polite and the most modern period, a time when “no one was young; no one was old. Everyone had white hair”—Lagerfeld is firmly planted in
the now. “Fuck the good old days,” he told Vogue in 2004. “Today has to be okay, too. If not you make something second-rate out of the present.”

see the rest of the article: Voguepedia | Karl Lagerfeld

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Sometimes, silence is not golden. Acts of courage should not be forgotten…

Tom Simard

In Munich I lived in Schwabing, a borough once the home of prominent cultural figures like Thomas and Heinrich Mann. I was unaware of it being better or worse than other parts of the city, but my decidedly downscale lodgings may have played a role. I am not sure whether it had become what present day Alexanderplatz is to its previous incarnation written about so eloquently in Döblin’s masterpiece.

It was very simple: a bed, a small refrigerator, and even a tinier sink, and a hot plate. I ate mainly at the University of Munich mensa (cafeteria).

In front of the university was Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, named after a brother and sister who were key members of The White Rose Movement, a small group of university students and a professor, who opposed to Nazism wrote and distributed pamphlets. Here are some lines from one of them:

Since the conquest of Poland three…

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unusual weather inspires unusual activities!

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via Banksy New Orleans stolen! Katrina tributes removed and others covered up by the 'Gray Ghost'.

The online dissemination of the Banksy New Orleans graffiti raised awareness of some of the issues that persist in New Orleans. The Banksy New Orleans graffiti also drew attention to aspects of the Katrina disaster that I was not aware of previously – there were powerful images, such as Abraham Lincoln in a rocking chair, and the fridge piece prompted me to investigate its relevance (the ‘Katrina fridge’ became a symbolic reminder of the hurricane.)The Banksy New Orleans graffiti may well be disappearing, but it persists virtually and continues to deliver an interesting alternative insight to Katrina and its after effects.

via Banksy New Orleans stolen! Katrina tributes removed and others covered up by the 'Gray Ghost'.

for more works by Banksy, visit his website at www.Banksy.com

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“I looked out the window of the taxi on the drive into New Orelans and remarked, ‘There’s still so much devastation. I can’t believe they haven’t cleaned this mess up’ to which the driver stared at me and said ‘This part of the city wasn’t affected by the hurricane – its always looked like this.'” – Banksy

Friday, 29 August 2008
via Banksy New Orleans Katrina tributes published on the Banksy website.


Banksy is painting New Orleans, with various pieces around the city appearing in time for the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Banksy has published his New Orleans work on his own website at www.banksy.co.uk and the New Orleans graffiti has been picked up by media organisations and bloggers alike. All the images are available on the Banksy website and Banksy has also included notes on some of the photos. Here is a selection of my favourites from Banky’s New Orleans pictures:

via Banksy New Orleans Katrina tributes published on the Banksy website.

Banksy New Orleans – Gray Ghost Revenge! “In addition to its other problems the streets of New Orleans are patrolled by a vigilante called The Gray Ghost, a man who’s been systematically oliterating every piece of graffiti across the city with the same shade of gray paint since 1997!” – Banksy

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