"Rented Wombs," "I Love Hitler" And Other Wacky Things Fashion Designers Say

L. R. Laverde-HansenStarred Page By L. R. Laverde-Hansen, 18th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2iu7qery/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Humor

Famous fashion designers, apart from creating the most beautiful things that people wear, sometimes say things still more outrageous than their clothes.

"What the...?"

Maybe it's because they are not politicians. Or maybe it's because they are not actors, who to have to watch their comments. Whatever the reasons, fashion designers, who usually have their clothes do the talking, have an unbelievable knack for sticking their elegant designer shoes right in their proverbial mouths.

Last week the famous Italian design house of Dolce and Gabbana got into a little brewstorm over comments made regarding in-vitro fertilization and the couples who have such children. Speaking in the magazine Panorama, the duo (who had once been a couple), said, "You are born to a mother and a father."

They went on saying, "No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed." Dolce took this further by independently commenting: “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog.”

The reaction was swift. Pop singer Elton John, who has two children by this method, began a boycott using the moniker #BoycottDolceGabbana. Celebrities such as weatherman Al Roker, rocker Courtney Love and tennis legend Martina Navratilova are among those who have come out supporting the campaign.

A week from last Sunday, Dolce and Gabbana released a formal statement to the Associated Press. “It was never our intention to judge other people’s choices,” Gabbana said. “We do believe in freedom and love.”

The designers tried to explain that they were only expressing personal views on what they felt made up a family. “I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known,” Dolce added in the statement.”

It seems the firestorm may be subsiding. It may also be true that the "rented wombs" was a bad translation from the original Italian. In any case, it makes for good and wacky press copy.

Karl Lagerfeld

The Hamburg-born, Paris-based head of the elite house of Chanel is known as much for his personal style as his incomparable influence on fashion. Usually seen with his flowing white hair, flamboyant dark gloves, high starch collars and a big dark glasses, Lagerfeld is a creative force, who does not hesitate to: design several fashion lines simultaneously; direct the promotional campaign of his new fragrance line; or to give hours of commentary for journalists. All of this creativity is more remarkable given that he has been doing this well into his 70s and 80s.

Whatever the reasons, Karl Lagerfeld has often said things which many find extreme if not obscene. In 2010, at the height of the gay-marriage controversy, the openly-gay designer made comments against gay marriage. Speaking to the youth-oriented magazine Vice, Lagerfeld described gay marriage as a part of "bourgeois life." Going further, the designer said this:

“For me it’s difficult to imagine—one of the papas at work and the other at home with the baby. How would that be for the baby? I don’t know... And I also believe more in the relationship between mother and child than in that between father and child.”

The irony is that Lagerfeld on one hand was denouncing "bourgeois" conformity, yet on the other, was praising the tradition of a mother raising the child, as opposed to two dads.

Later on, he backed off (slightly) by showcasing two female models in wedding outfits at his spring fashion show in 2013. He still, however, preferred two mothers to two fathers, saying, "A child without a mother, that's a bit sad."

To be sure, this debate is a continuing social question which has surprised many people, gay and straight. Tradition, especially that of a family unit, does have a strong connection for so many; it should not be so shocking that even well-regarded figures are trying to wrap their heads around it all.

And, "I love Hitler."

Probably the worst comments made in recent years were by innovative British designer, John Galliano, who was once the chief designer for the vaunted French house of Christian Dior. In 2011 video surfaced showing an inebriated Galliano making ugly, anti-semitic remarks at a couple in a Paris bar. His comments, published around the world, were shockingly explicit:

"I love Hitler. People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would be f****g gassed and dead."

He had made other offensive comments on at least two other occasions.

Galliano was promptly fired by Dior and John Galliano SA, the house he created but did not own. The Oscar winning actress, Natalie Portman, herself the daughter of Israeli Jews, ended her association with him. He sued his former employers, but lost and was ordered to pay 1 "symbolic" Euro, since who would call the firing of someone who made those remarks a wrongful termination?

By Galliano's own testimony in a French court, he did not recall the his remarks. He admitted to suffering from stress, alcoholism and addiction. His father had died and the financial crisis of 2008 had put extra pressures on him. Nonetheless, he had to assume responsibility the words the whole world could hear. By March of that year, he entered a rehabilitation facility in Arizona. He has continued on his road to recovery by apologizing and making amends in an interview with Charlie Rose.

With John Galliano, there is at least a hopeful ending to this story. Granted his remarks can't be seen as funny, but it does add to the list of what fashion designers sometimes say that's so out-of bounds.

Composed and Revised in New York
March 20-23, 2015


Dolce And Gabbano, Fashion Designers, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld

Meet the author

author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
Poet, playwright, commentator. I write wherever I can. Currently I reside in the City of New York.

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author avatar Dawn143
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

Wow it's amazing what some people will say. Still every human being is given to saying things without thinking, that is not to say that freedom of opinion should not be allowed, what point is freedom if we are not allowed to speak out under its large umbrella? Then we get into the murky beginnings of oppression

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author avatar Carol Roach
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

I still do not understand how people can be so hateful

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

Thank you, Dawn. It is a fascinating question. People should be allowed to speak freely, but they also should have to accept the consequences of their words.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

Good question, Carol. In some cases, alcoholism or stress brings out that unfortunate condition. I also think that we are living in a society undergoing rapid changes, which are hard to process.

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author avatar Retired
21st Apr 2015 (#)

Designers are the liberal airheads of the fashion world, just as celebrities are the hollow dunces of Hollywood or politicians are the vacuous lawmakers of D.C.

If we buy anything but clothes, shoes, or bags from designers, we have spent our hard-earned money on hot air.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
21st Apr 2015 (#)

Thanks again, LeRain. All I can say is I try a lot to separate the views of the creator from the creations. I didn't always agree with John Wayne's political views, but I love his movies.

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