Thursday, March 11, 2010


Boy toys and girl dolls now seem to dominate the pictorial scenes today.  The boys look better nourished than the girls. Their male or female lovers must like something they can sink their fingers and teeth into. I have never seen a Homosexual friend, say Sir Harold Acton  (whom I owe much to) show off the Cadaver of the month. Harold never flaunted his bevy of beautiful boys. He had too much panache  for that. He didn't tolerate campy pansies. The boys had to act like males. Which may explain why Men's fashions never reached the Zenith of Ridiculousness and Ugliness that Women's fashions did.

I used to think that women had an inborn sense of dignity and flaire. Ever see a lovely looking feminist? The woman who advocated Abortion on demand for minors and for women in Italy was so hideous, she could have  been described as an abortion. I often wondered if the many supporters of women's  rights the world over possessed this atavistic urge not to bring children into the world as a form of punishment foisted upon unsuspecting girls and women.

Some of the world's raging Feminists are so ugly that I often wonder if their picture ever appeared on the Internet, an Apple Macintosh would immediately put up an anti-virus. 

"I hate myself. I'm ugly and unwanted. Why should there be others like me?"

"Tear away the foetuses. They are not even human, Dump them in garbage cans."

"Be free, away with men and husbands."

"Offspring? No way. They will inevitably ruin your career. If you get knocked up run to the Abortion clinic. It's all right. The Law says so."

Designers smelled the rot from the wind sweeping over them. Who needs clothes to bedazzle a man? Being naked was better.The majority of the younger women disdained their mother's dresses, gowns, lace bras and lacy  underwear. Jeans and braless t-shirts became the rage.

"I'm always hot to be f..k.d. Who has time for clothes?"

Not for them to wash their hair, bath, shower, shave their legs and armpits and perhaps, most importantly, wash their intimate parts.  Pay attention please, I did not say the word douche, I said and I shall repeat it -  wash. What the Italian children so delightfully call willie for a penis and a butterfly for a vulva.  No way Ray! 

Designers and stylists , especially the younger ones perished like soldiers during the Great influenza epidemic of 1917. I remember attending a perfectly appointed table at a dinner hosted by 30 something stylist Enrico Coveri. He had recently acquired a castle in Tuscany from the proceeds of his accessories and his designer jeans. It was wall to wall jeans. He was heavily made up and seriously cachectic. A week later, his funeral was held in a private ceremony. At that time cremation of an Aids victim was a given.

Giorgio Armani lost his lover, best friend and business partner to Aids as well. The list is endless. Many models perished of it. A famous interior decorator Maurice Yates, who was more David Niven debonair than David Niven himself, died of Aids at the age of 93. Maurice died at my Villa of the Saracen in Bellosguardo, Florence. He had rented a part of the Villa. I was then living in Palazzo Drago in Rome. Gore Vidal found his death of Aids at that ripe old age amusing.  I did not.

How many young men did he infect?

Let's make love was out. Shut up and fuck me was in.

The Volkswagen beetles, Harley Davidson, trees, bushes, cliffs, table top counters, walls, beaches, forests, camping tents and communes - Gawd! I almost forgot those let's all have love ins with acid and never  mind whose kid is whose. We're women, we are earth goddesses. The rest is unimportant. 
The kinkiest dress and sex won the day. What incentive did a young designer bursting with fresh creative ideas for dresses, gown, accessories , shoes and bags have? 

Unlike Horace Greeley, I told anyone who would listen" Go East young people, Go East."  

"Forget the West. It's all over but the gnashing."

To Drugs, Pedophilia, Pornography and Abortion, we must now add Fast foods. I still remember fondly a splendid luncheon with the late Charlotte Curtis, editor of the New York Times OP-ED page and also the late Judy Klemsrud at La Cote Basque. I 'm not sure it is still "alive." There was not a woman there who did not wear a dress, a tailleur, cashmere skirt and jacket.  The Duchess of Windsor was there as a guest of Mrs. "Granvile' to use Capote's name for her. This was THE Mrs. Granville, full of hauteur and disdain for anyone in the room not caparisoned in Mainbocher and Norell. She was the hard and bitter mother of the heir who was shot by his wife in the family's estate late at night.

"O my God, I though he was a burglar," cried the wife.

In those days, people with serious money avoided scandals like tuberculosis or the bubonic plague.

"Of course it was an accident,' testified the Mother -in Law who hated her son's wife deeply.

The younger "Mrs. Granvile"  sauntered in late, presumably for coffee and dessert, showing off a Pauline Trigere dress. She ben downt to kiss Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, and then her detested Mother - in law.  The Chinese would have understood. I did. Justice is a meaningless word for the rich. Only the poor get to hear it ad nauseam.  The older woman put the interests of her young grandsons and that of her family's name as well as her son's reputation, or what was left of it. He was a heavy hitter on spousal abuse.

I have a bone to pick with Mainbocher. One of my aunties in Manila wore nothing but.

"Dahlia, never forget that a woman can never be too rich or too thin." 

What kind of a shlemiel statement is that? Stick to your scissors and patterns.  Just because you create the superficial stuff women place on their outer shells ( we all have them ) does not mean you have an inkling of her inner core. Grant you some of those Best Dressed List  delusionals had no inner core. What you saw was all there was , except for notable exceptions. These homosexuals did not understand women at all. Merde. How many of us understand ourselves? 

But I digress. The Duchess of Windsor fascinated me. Perfectly attired and bejeweled. Aware of her elegance.  Yet to me, she looked so unwomanly. Squat body, no breasts, wide shoulders, long neck, with a slightly horsey face and thin prissy lips. A woman does not have to be beautiful to drive a man or even a Prince crazy in bed. The Empress Messalina was ugly yet she out whored the most famous whores in Rome.  She knew what men wanted and did  them just the way they liked it. 

Back to La Cote Basque. It took you at least 90 minutes to consume your meal.  Fine meals, delightful wines and fine apparel go together like silver and crystal.  As a consequence, conversation sparkled. Ideas, like tossed rucola could inflame you, the brainstorming was never ending. No one at the La Cote Basque was anorexic or obese. It was an opulent place for fascinating people.

MacDonald's had opened its vulgar and garish portals a few years before. Women could go barefoot in the summer, teats hanging out, jeans so tight you could see the outlines of the labias. Men displayed the dirty Marlon Brando  shirts he strutted around with in Streetcar Named Desire; encased like cocoons into their jeans. If a man got an erection, his penis would ether tear the fabric or he would find himself with a poor bent penis. 

Fast food was cheap and saved time. Elvis Presley whose milieu was poor and they would thank the Lord if they had meat on their table once a month, popularized fast food. His outlandish clothes, and here was a man who was a naturally handsome man aided yet another nail in the shabby coffin. The Beatles looked cutesy with their cat suits and their cheesy bangs. The Stones, whom I consider to be more talented, brought tastelessness in dress to new heights.On the Waterfront style, torn dirty shirts, sometimes stained with grease, or vomit. Jim Morrisson of the Doors whose family was upper middle class should have known better. He was so spaced out on heroin, opium, uppers, downers, he didn't care how he looked. It was all about feeling the rush, man. What was Life for?  For drugs. sex, porn watching, fooling around, working at making the nauseating tung tu tung tung rock, rap, gangsta,fascist and Luciferian songs -  whatever was ugly, hideous and abominable was"In"

One might be born rich but it did not follow that you had flaire, eclat, elan and elegance in your genes. Look at Cary Grant. He was born i the slums of London. He never quite lost his cockney accent either. The most elegant actor ever. A Legend even while he was alive. I watched his early movies, before he became a Star and a Fashion Icon.  He had something which no amount of money can buy - CLASS. 

The Guru of this Obscenity in dress, manners, morals,  mores, demeanor, food and the killing of the unborn was none other than "Hef" Hugh Hefner. A nice Jewish boy from I'm not sure where who, like a duelist had caught a whiff of the sights. sounds and smells of something rotten in the state of the Western World. Nice Jewish boys peddling smut always change their names. He begged to differ. Hef was a Liberator, he was going to free the middle classes; frustrated and frightened. He was going to teach them the how to's of SEX. The  Kama Sutra and Ananga Ranga of the Hindus, the Chinese erotic texts and drawings, the Japanese ones by the thousands, the Arabian One Thousand Nights and One, The Perfumed Gardens: nothing was good enough. Only his "Philosophy" mattered. The public needed photographs in color of sweet looking girls, with big boobs to stare at. This would be their introduction into all the rest. The hard pornography, the pedophilia, the violent sex and the snuff films. After watching soft porn for a certain time, the dopamine and the serotonin in the brain is desensitized.  Brain researchers and scientists have proven this. 

"More, more, Give me more and different porn. I want fire, meth, ice, coke, horse; smoking grass is almost a child's game."

What designer or stylist in his right mind could stay afloat in his business? So many of the young would - be clients didn't care. They opted for tarty looking dresses, explicitly dressed "TO F...K and BE  F..K..

With the proliferation of serial killers ad rapists these FLIMSY clothes would attract those looking for girls and women dressed "TO KILL."

China saw the manifestations of a society slowly putrefying and realized they could take over Fashion and ruin what was already in shreds. By manufacturing jeans, t - shirts, Easy Rider and Marlon Brando leather jackets for a pittance in their own country.  You know why? First of all, they dominated leather resources in the world, Calfskin, goat skin( Doe skin), pigskin.  Cotton? they controlled over 70% of it. Silk? Mamma mia, at least 80% of the world's production came from China.  I have visited farms in Jiangsu Province where whole villages had mulberry trees to raise silk worms.   Every farm or commune in Gansu Province and  Heilonjiang  had flocks of cashmere goats. Many families raised long haired rabbits. Where do you think Angora wool comes from?  Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and I advised them on matters of Fashion. But my advice was more precious. Simple. I owned no clothing or textile factories in the West. My family had vested interests in Shanghai since the early 1877.  My loyalties rested with China. I may be fair, green -eyed, ad blonde but we always  honored the memory of our great Chinese Ancestress, Dona Duday Hong a.k.a as Dona Apolonia Suarez Martinez. The color of one's skin means zilch. Genes, honor, Pride of Ancestry,Wisdom, Hard work, Filial Piety and Love of Family always come first.

The MFA - Multi Fiber Agreement had written what they thought was an iron clad agreement to keep China boxed in with her textile and clothing exports. As with all agreements, there are loopholes. Fifty lawyers and technocrats in the West could not possibly have know what was going on in China. Ignorance and Pride became their Hubris. Big Chem ( chemical factories) feared a bast fiber, much like linen called Ramie. Why? Because they wanted the sheeple to buy synthetic fibers - the odious rayon,nylon, polyester, and other horrors. The MFA prohibited China from exporting ramie, truly a wondrous fabric. Ah! but the rest of the world did not know that ramie, through a secret decortication process invented by a great biochemist who deserves the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, could be mixed with cotton, wool, silk, jute, and cashmere. The MFA did not contain a single word against the export or ramie mixed with all kinds of fabrics.  I met this extraordinary Bio-chemist, a woman I called Auntie. She lived in Shanghai, spoke English and German fluently. In the 30's she had studied at the MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.  Auntie then did her Masters and her Ph.D at the UNIVERSITY OF DRESDEN.

The result of this overlooked loophole was that China in the late 80's and well into the mid 90"s flooded the world with her goods. Textile factories in Taiwan went out of business. Well known names in the Carolinas closed their doors never more to be seen or heard from again. By the time the MFA met to put a proverbial noose around China ,which had by now joined the MFA; the Chinese told them bluntly.

"Stop, Look and Reason. We control the world's production of cotton, wool, silk, cashmere, angora,  ramie. We have calfskin, goatskin, pigskin industries solidly in our hands. Our Chemical factories can also enter into play with synthetic fibers mixed with ramie, thus making our synthetics more breathable and healthier to wear."

The Chinese remained firm and deaf to the insults and the histrionics. It was all over but the shouting. China had won the textile and clothing war.

Saint Laurent had walked out on the Chinese after Tienanmen Square. Worse, he gave out statements to the Press. He hardly ever talked to the Press even about his Collections. This came as a surprise to me. Most probably the SDECE - French Secret Services put it out. France was miffed.

"How dare the Chinese prefer German technology?"

Get real Kiddo.

Hollywood played an important role in killing Fashion. The clothes, as I have mentioned above looked tarty and slutty when they didn't appear dowdy and boring. The one exception was Milena Canonero, who designed the most stunning ensemble for Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa."   I adore everything about Streep but as usual Hollywood got the story SNAFUA. Situation Normal all Fucked Up Again. Streep portrayed Baroness Karen Blixen, whom few agents and editors have ever read. She won the Nobel for Literature. She was fascinating no doubt. She survived syphilis passed on to her by her rampantly promiscuous husband Baron Blor Blixen. But even more fascinating and glamorous than Blixen was a gorgeous English woman who grew up in Kenya and became a white hunter and bush pilot. She was Beryl Markham. Aside from her exploits in Africa, she showed off all her clothes to perfection. She also did something no one else had ever done. She flew her airplane towards the West, as opposed to Charles Lindbergh who flew towards the East.

To be continued.



With the slogan"A Woman's body  belongs only to her,"  

1 comment:

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