Garagehttps://garage.vice.com/en_usRSS feed for https://garage.vice.comenThu, 13 Dec 2018 01:22:59 +0000<![CDATA[This Legendary Designer's Chair Is As Soft As Jell-O, As Hard As Ice]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3kzp/gaetano-pesche-chairThu, 13 Dec 2018 01:22:59 +0000Italian designer Gaetano Pesce is like a high design Goldilocks. For his Pratt Chair, he made nine chairs out of a resin formula poured into a mold, which became increasingly more usable in each iteration. The first folded like Jell-O; the ninth is too hard to sit in. The eighth, however, is just right.

Minnie Muse's Colby Jordan—whose eagle eye for design and architecture we've long admired—tells us about the chair in the Instagram post below. Read the full story behind this beauty at Jordan's site.

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ev3kzpGARAGE MagazineArtinterior designGaetano Pesceminnie muse colby jordan
<![CDATA[This Ludicrous, Puffy Dream of a Moncler Coat Is Sold Out Online]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/4395vb/moncler-pierpaolo-piccioli-coatWed, 12 Dec 2018 18:40:31 +0000Imagine, for a moment, a cloud.

Now imagine that cloud was designed by Valentino’s creative director.

Now weatherproof it.

There you have it: the space-age Pierpaolo Piccioli x Moncler puffer that my colleague Rachel Tashjian dreamed of swaddling Tracee Ellis Ross in. It’s the same puffer that fashion legend-in-the-making Ezra Miller wore to the Paris premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in early November. And, lo and behold, just a month later, the floor-sweeping style is sold out on Moncler’s e-store (although you can still snag it at Barneys).

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Photograph courtesy of Moncler.

It might be difficult to understand how a $4,135 coat that makes its wearer appear to be cosplaying as a very fashion-forward Michelin Man could have sold out (or, for that matter, sold at all). After all, the puffer looks more like a fashion bucket list fantasy item—along the lines of the Louis Vuitton umbrella backpack or Blake Lively’s fashion cane—than a realistic purchase.

If we dig into the annals fashion history, though, the popularity of the larger-than-life puffer coat starts to make some sense. After all, Norma Kamali’s sleeping bag coat, which she invented after a freezing post-divorce camping trip with her new boyfriend, has endured for decades. In a fashion industry teeming with spike heels and string bikinis, doesn’t it sort of make sense to shell out the big bucks for maximum comfort? (See also: Balenciaga platform crocs.)

The New Republic’s Jo Livingstone mounted an argument against the “caterpillar coat” on Tuesday, asking, “Why do so many women choose to wear the equivalent of a tailored sleeping bag?” My answer is embarrassingly simple: because they’re warm. A coat like the Moncler x Pierpaolo Piccioli’s sold-out puffer is like a regal, slightly inflated second skin you can slip on to arm yourself against the cold weather and colder judgments of the outside world. If, as Amanda Mull noted at Vox, your winter coat is all anyone’s going to see “for, like, six months,” why not go big?

Luckily for real warmth/fashion heads, the dress version of the Moncler x Pierpaolo Piccioli puffer coat is still available online; perfect for your next gala in the drafty, under-heated mansion of a minor English aristocrat.

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4395vbEmma SpecterFashionValentinocoatsMonclerEzra Millerpierpaolo piccioli
<![CDATA[Drip For Me, Part IV: The Devil Wears Nada]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/nep9g7/fashion-erotica-fourWed, 12 Dec 2018 16:45:00 +0000Read parts one, two, and three here.

“Welcome to Prada! Champagne?” a young woman in a starched black-collared uniform adorned with a Saffiano leather Prada name tag greeted them, thrusting forth a tray of bubbling crystal flutes. They each took one, and Camrin offered both Fay and Tessa the crooks of his two arms as they descended the SoHo flagship’s iconic Rem Koolhaas-designed wood and steel stairs to the lower level party like some weirdly proportioned Wizard of Oz revival.

As Tessa’s long legs extended and her pointed white Miu Miu leather lace-up ankle boots hit each step, the light of photographers’ ceaseless flashbulbs increasingly blinded Fay. When they neared the bottom, she glanced over and realized both Camrin and Tessa had put on matching pairs of tiny, rimless, gradient-tinted Cartier sunglasses. This surprise nearly brought them all down with Fay as she tripped and caught herself on an unbothered mannequin’s neon forearm. “Tessa! Tessa, over here!” the photographers chanted. “Tessa, bring your friend Camrin over here! Camrin Abbas! Camrin, can we get a quick picture?”

Fay wanted to crawl into a hole. Surely there was a storage area beneath the giant stairwell? She let go of Camrin’s arm and regained her composure. “Go ahead. I’ll just chill by the shoes,” she assured him. Tessa had already started posing solo, and Fay wished the elevator wasn’t encased in clear glass so that she could just slink up out of there without anyone noticing.

“Hey,” Camrin protested with a grin. “Come on. You’re with me.” He reached his free hand around her side and gave her toned obliques a comforting, gentle squeeze.

They turned to face the photographers, and Fay gave her best “I’m neutral, if bemused, about being here” face. Then another socialite hit the stairs, and they were manumitted.

“More champagne?” another Prada FW18 name tag behind a tray of flutes intoned as the white flash burns faded from her bleary sight. Tessa, to Fay’s great relief, had run into friends and moved on.

They sipped and flirted as they wandered into the mint-colored labyrinth of clothing display rooms. Camrin ran his hand across a perfectly sheer, neon pink sleeveless organza top with a pussy bow.

“I think it’s my turn,” he said, pulling it off the rack and holding it up to Fay’s collarbone, which was gleaming with Fenty Beauty Body Lava, “to style you now.” He grabbed a café-colored Panno Doppio logo’d wool bustier and white cropped leather trousers with a matching belt.

“You think those black gloves would work with this?” His eyes sparkled with earnestness, and Fay wanted so badly to kiss him. She wanted his hands on her again. She stood still as he moved down the racks toward her, pretending to examine the ostrich feather detailing of a silk blouse, and as he passed her body he brushed, ever so slowly, against her backside, grazing the nape of her neck with his jaw and kissing her as he breathed in her scent (Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle). She could feel him getting hard through his oppressive vinyl trousers as her body shivered with desire.

“Let’s go,” he growled. She picked up a pair of pointed-toe black, white, and baby pink spazzolato slingback pumps to complete the look and followed him towards the mauve-carpeted dressing rooms, away from the noise of the party.

Camrin opened the clear glass door to one of the Prada dressing chambers walled with mirrored glass that fades into a frameless TV, in a way that made you feel like maybe the technological obsolescence of human labor was a sexy idea. Like if the singularity was personified by a young Sharon Stone. Fay let the door shut and turned to question him. “Translucent dressing rooms? What kind of—”

Camrin reached behind her to press a button that activated the room’s Priva-Lite technology, rendering the glass opaque.

“Magic,” he quipped. He leaned forward and ran his fingers along her cheekbones and around her jaw, kissing gently as she tried to keep her pleasure silent.

“I think…if we fuck in the clothes,” she teased, “we probably have to buy them.”

Camrin tugged loose the tiny string that held the Saudade dress together and exhaled deeply as it fell to the floor, his lips on her neck as his hands cupped her breasts.

“My pleasure,” he whispered.

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nep9g7Jordan BarseRachel TashjianSexFashioneroticaStreetwearsupremepradaJacquemusfashion fan fiction
<![CDATA[Why Is Bella Hadid Wearing Elon Musk’s Merch?]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/4395yb/bella-hadid-elon-musk-merchWed, 12 Dec 2018 16:33:11 +0000Bella Hadid made her way through Charles de Gaulle on Wednesday wearing the unofficial off-duty-model-at-airport uniform; monochromatic sweats, expensive headphones curled around her neck, statement bag in full view (in this case, a $12,000 Louis Vuitton cherry holdall). One detail was off, though—in the space where her sweatshirt should read “SUPREME,” a small logo spelled out "SpaceX” instead.

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Model Bella Hadid is seen at Charles-de-Gaulle airport on December 12, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

The question of whether SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to become a merch king was raised this spring, when his goth girlfriend, musician Grimes, appeared at the Met Gala in a Tesla statement choker that matched Musk’s Tesla logo pin. Since then, though, Elon’s stock has plummeted, with the SEC suing Musk in September over his unfounded claims that he’d secured funding to take Tesla private, at...$420 a share. (Just typing out the number floods me with the kind of secondhand embarrassment you’d get in seventh grade when your bio teacher would try to use “teen slang.") Musk's financial stock has since risen, but his social stock remains subterranean; is there anything less cool than smoking weed for clout? As for Grimes, once the darling of the electronic music scene, she’s come under fire for, among other things, defending Musk’s union-busting—perhaps not coincidentally, her latest song is titled “We Appreciate Power.”

Considering all this, it seems like a bizarre time for Hadid to debut a piece of SpaceX merch; the Musk-and-Grimes power couple (emphasis on “power” ) don’t necessarily seem like her most likely bedfellows. Maybe Bella sporting SpaceX merch is the futuristic evolution of civicore, the “the fashion trend turning local government into hypebeast-approved streetwear gear” ; NASA merch has never been hotter, as evidenced by Heron Preston’s capsule collection for SSENSE, and SpaceX is, after all, NASA’s hotter, meaner sister.

The SpaceX shop is currently selling Bella’s sweatshirt along with a plethora of other merch, from the practical (T-shirts, water bottles) to the (a $150 motorcycle jacket, perfect for your tech bro boyfriend’s next midlife crisis.) What’s next, The Weeknd in a Falcon 1 vest?

Editor's note: An earlier draft of this story mistakenly speculated that Bella's SpaceX sweatshirt was custom, when it's actually available on the SpaceX website.

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4395ybEmma SpectertechLouis VuittonMerchBella Hadidelon muskright nowSpaceX
<![CDATA[The Ultimate Health and Wellness Gift Guide]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/8xpkqb/wellness-gift-guideWed, 12 Dec 2018 15:54:52 +00002019 is going to be your year. I can feel it. So, for Christmas, you should ask for gifts that will only help you achieve your health and wellness goals. No more unnecessary clothing under the tree or candy in your stocking. This year, demand gifts that will open your third eye, detox your temple, or encourage gains. Trust me: nothing else matters.

Hyperice Hypervolt, $349

This thing is genuinely incredible. It looks and sounds like a power tool from Home Depot. It pulverizes your sore muscles back to health. It doesn’t require any lotion and Enya isn’t playing in the background. It’s just a good pain gun to ease all your tension. Your workouts will improve. No human interaction required!

Jawzrsize, $79.95

My friend Jake told me that I “found my cheekbones” this year. This is a goal I didn’t know I was trying to achieve, but I guess starvation and Equinox really work. Next, I want to develop a leading man-size jaw, and maybe you do too. Strong and protruding, this will be a jaw that makes people notice or even fear me. This human chew toy claims to do just that.

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SereneLife Portable Infrared Home Spa, $189.99

Sweating is my shit. Sit inside this odd contraption and rid your body of all its disgusting toxins. This thing is fucking portable! Sit in your living room flipping through the new issue of GARAGE while LOSING WEIGHT. Maybe God does exist?

Waleda Salt Toothpaste, $8.78

You exfoliate your face, right? Time to exfoliate your teeth. This is some next level shit. It tastes a little funny the first few times, but your dirty chompers will thank you. Crest is for basics.

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8xpkqbChris BlackRachel TashjianHealthchristmaswellnessgift guidesspiritual wellbeing
<![CDATA[Heron Preston Puts Art Handlers In Carhartt (Which They Were Already Wearing)]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3kgw/heron-preston-carharttWed, 12 Dec 2018 14:09:53 +0000Of all the heritage brands that have secured a place in the high fashion pantheon—from Patagonia to Levi’s to Dickies—perhaps none has done so with more finesse than Carhartt. Through a series of savvy collaborations and Carhartt Work In Progress (WIP), the brand’s European-based licensee that leans more into the world of fashion, it’s sought less to reposition itself than to extend its O.G. credentials into new spaces, with countless menswear fanatics and Vogue acolytes coming along for the ride.

Today, Heron Preston announces his second collaboration with Carhartt WIP, with a campaign focused on art handlers, who have a well-noted affection for the brand’s canvas pants and jackets. Preston began his career designing on Carhartt blanks, and “the whole narrative [of the Heron Preston brand] has been centered around workwear, and the industrial future,” he said. “I think Carhartt [WIP] has been noticing these kinds of projects, and the conversation just magically happened from there.” There will be an accompanying pop-up, with workshops on sustainability, in Tokyo.

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Photograph by Cian Moore.

Editor’s note: this story has been updated with a clearer description of Carhartt WIP, and to clarify that Preston is working with Carhartt WIP specifically.

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ev3kgwRachel TashjianMark GuiducciArtFashionright nowcarharttworkwearArt Handlerscarhartt wip
<![CDATA[Luka Sabbat on Capitalism and Trolling as an Artistic Medium]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/bjepam/luka-sabbat-capitalismTue, 11 Dec 2018 19:07:57 +0000 Hot Mess: it’s more than the laurel we bestowed upon paparazzi queens of the mid-aughts. It’s also the creative entity helmed by Luka Sabbat and photographer Noah Dillon, which makes merch, art, and lookbooks for the likes of Off-White, and throws really good parties. For Art Basel Miami Beach this year, the duo staged FREE MONEY, which they described as an “in-depth look at how capitalistic values are woven into the American cultural fabric.” In other words, they framed 300 $100 bills and put them up for sale, with prices ranging from $1-$30,000. Yowza!

Of course, they also threw a party on Thursday night, and to mark that occasion…we emailed them some questions about capitalism and the complexity of trolling an artistic medium. They were totally game to answer them all—answers from both of the boys, who speak collectively, like all cult co-leaders, below.

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Whole squad. Photograph by Michaël Huard/Say Who.
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bjepamGARAGE MagazineRachel TashjianArtFashionArt BaselinfluencersLuka SabbatThe Luka Files
<![CDATA[Are the Best Music Videos Actually Movies?]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3qk7/music-videos-moviesTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:48:14 +0000Music videos, for whatever reason, have a long history of attempting to not be music videos. Whether it’s homages to classic early 2000s comedies, like Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” or sprawling “visual albums” like Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, video directors love to imbue their works with “cinematic” elements almost as much as viewers love to watch them. As a genre, the movie-in-a-music video (or music-video-as-movie) has remained a staple of the format for decades.

A popular subgenre of this format occurs when music videos try to make their artists into movie stars, employing the trademarks of certain genre films or mimicking the environment of a film set. This latter trope especially was everywhere in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, and while I partially blame movies like Mulholland Drive for making this seem like a Meta and Cool thing to do, what it really boiled down to was the very specific celebrity culture of the time—the need for rock stars to be movie stars and vice versa. (It seems nobody was happy with their lot in that moment; remember those “What I Really Want To Do is Direct” T-shirts?).

It’s hard to pinpoint the first example of music videos imitating the movies. The early videos of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s had more in common from the scrappy, DIY glamour of live theater; as pre-MTV promotional videos were usually created just to fill space on televised variety shows, they were often designed, costumed, and shot to resemble filmed performances on a soundstage. Add to that the low picture quality of analog television, low video budgets, and an affinity for silly visual effects, and you’ve got a medium that hardly resembled Hollywood at all.

In 1980, a year before the premiere of MTV, the video for David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” achieved a more ambitious visual style, largely due to….well, money, mostly. With a budget of around $500,000, it was the most expensive video ever made at the time, and it shows. “Ashes to Ashes” takes place across multiple, albeit abstract, interior and exterior settings; the costuming and makeup are more elaborate, especially for the background characters; the set pieces include pyrotechnics and a moving, full-scale bulldozer; and the expressionist lighting and effects carry more weight beyond, “Let’s spice this video up a bit.” Okay, it’s not a narrative work of art by any means, but “Ashes to Ashes” marked a turning point in how complex and deliberate a music video could be, inching it closer as a medium to film.

The real king of narrative/cinematic music videos, of course, was Michael Jackson. There’s far too much to discuss without devoting an entire essay to his videography, so here’s the obvious choice: Thriller. Jackson called up director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) for a reason! The only parts of the 13-minute Thriller short film that feel explicitly like a music video are 1) the song itself and 2) the central dance number, which would’ve made a fine video on its own but likely would’ve been labeled another “campy oddity” in Jackson’s career.

The real grandmommy of these videos, and one that explicitly tried to replicate a scene from the movies, is Madonna’s “Material Girl” (1985, directed by Mary Lambert). “Material Girl” recreates Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance from 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, with narrative ellipses that imply that Madonna-Monroe is dating the film director (yikes?!?!?!). While it’s an impressive recreation of the Monroe dance sequence, it’s also a bit Much in the way that theater kids tend to be; it never feels like more than an imitation. Madonna’s cinephile interests ended up suiting her better in videos like “Vogue,” which pillaged the aesthetic of 1940s film noir (and, shamelessly, contemporary queer ball culture) and grafted it onto a music video framework.

Shifts in culture from the ‘80s to ‘90s meant the look and feel of music videos changed dramatically—out with new wave, in with grunge. But certain genres, such as movie imitations, were guaranteed crowd-pleasers when done right. The Spike Jonze-directed video for the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” (1994) is like simultaneously watching an SNL parody of a 1970s cop show and a film student's dead serious attempt at recreating the same thing. Later in the decade, the Foo Fighters took a stab (pun intended) at The Evil Dead with “Everlong” (1997, directed by Michel Gondry) and paid homage to Airplane! with “Learn to Fly” (1999, directed by Jesse Peretz).

Elsewhere, especially in pop videos, the narratives started to get more meta in their cinematic references. Meaning….they got goofier about them. Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” video, from 1999, is a classic example. Doofy physical comedy, a gratuitous catfight scene with *eyeroll* sound effects, a love interest played by Jerry O’Connell of the Kangaroo Jack fame—all make an appearance in the clip, directed by the now-disgraced Brett Ratner. Would you believe that the “Heartbreaker” video cost $2.5 million to make and is still one of the most expensive ever produced? Either Mariah demanded twice the salary for playing two parts (plausible) or each popcorn kernel at the movie theater cost five dollars (also plausible).

“Heartbreaker” does feature an animated film within the video, which is the reason why everyone is congregated at a movie theater. (Mariah watching Mariah, of course.) But the real filmic aspects of this video are the dual parts that Mariah is playing: the sweet, shy, pink and blue girl next door, and the sultry, brunette, man-eating Bianca. Two years before Mulholland Drive, baby. She Really Did That.

Arguably the best video to come out of the genre is Britney Spears’s “Lucky” (2000, directed by Dave Meyers), as bittersweet a meditation on fame and celebrity as it is a glitter-saturated pop fantasy. The 2000s idea of “glamour” is embodied in a fur-tufted pale pink gown that looks like a distant cousin to Bjork’s swan dress (and check out the the royal blue Cheesecake Factory interior design of that mansion set).

The eeriest part of “Lucky” is that, while we see Hollywood Britney clearly acting annoyed and exacerbated on set, we never see her crying or visibly depressed, as the song’s lyrics suggest. We only see Narrator Britney—invisible to the other characters—looking on forlornly, as though she’s the only one who can (or is allowed to) view that raw part of herself. It’s a masterclass in how to “get serious” in a video while still staying entirely on brand.

Nowadays, with a few exceptions like “thank u, next” and the occasional Fall Out Boy video (yep, they still make those!), the self-referential film video doesn’t appear quite as often as it did—perhaps because that classic version of pop stardom has grown less and less common in pop’s current gloomy moment. You’re more likely to find hip-hop videos that, in referencing and poking fun at the production of the music video itself, downplay the format’s very significance. (Young Thug not showing up for his own music video shoot? Lol, sure.) Unless you’ve got the resources of Beyoncé or Ariana Grande, what’s popular now is taking a tone of ironic detachment towards the music video rather than earnestly blowing it up to cinematic heights. You’ll see the Migos don ridiculous genre costumes like the ones in “Sabotage,” but you won’t see them sincerely acting out a car chase like the next action heroes.

But we can still enjoy these videos from when pop was (or appeared) more innocent, when a visual could have all the glitz and pizzazz of a Busby Berkeley number without seeming totally hokey at the time. And now we can appreciate videos that rise to the level of movies without appearing superficially “cinematic.” With or without Hollywood, music videos can exist as their own art form.

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ev3qk7Claire ShafferArtmusic videosYoung ThugBritney SpearsMadonnaAriana Grande
<![CDATA[Is Kylie Jenner The Most Influential Mannerist of Her Generation?]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/nep9k7/kylie-jenner-madonnaTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:28:37 +0000The love of a mother for her child is one of the most ancient and pervasive themes in art history, one that reached its natural apotheosis on Sunday when reality TV star and “youngest self-made U.S. billionaire” Kylie Jenner posted an Instagram of herself swaddling her baby daughter Stormi.

It’s a striking portrait of a besotted new mother: the matching crisp white kicks (Iro Paris Curverunners for mother, Air Force Ones for baby), the passionate scarlet of Kylie's watch cap juxtaposed against Stormi’s innocent baby-pink one, the comingling of their gray sweats reminding you that, until very recently, the two separate entities shared one body.

Kylie and Stormi’s maternal bond has inspired art before (Kylie’s birth video for Stormi, entitled “To Our Daughter,” was the top-trending YouTube video of 2018), but this intimate tarmac portrait brings to mind another, somewhat older work of art—specifically, Parmigianino’s c. 1535-1540 oil painting “Madonna with the Long Neck.”

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Currently housed in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Parmigianino’s defining Italian Mannerist portrait depicts the blue-robed Virgin Mary clutching an eerily elongated Christ child, surrounded by a clutch of adoring angels. The Madonna herself is also larger than life, looming over the angels (it is believed by some historians that the model Parmigianino used for the Madonna was actually afflicted with a genetic disorder known as Marfan syndrome, which affects the body’s connective tissues and creates exaggerated physical proportions.)

In “Madonna with the Long Neck," Parmigianino employs the Mannerist artistic convention of “figura serpentinata,” which translates literally as “serpentine figure" and, per the National Gallery, describes “a human figure which spirals around a central axis, so that the lower limbs face in one direction and the torso almost in the opposite direction, in a graceful if sometimes contorted pose.” Just as the Madonna’s physical form spirals around the Christ child, Kylie's contorted physicality seems to emanate from the locus of Stormi's small body, bringing an undeniably Mannerist spirit to a typically Kardashian-esque backdrop of private plane and black car.

While the Christ child’s face is peaceful as he lies limp in his mother’s arms, Stormi’s face is wrinkled in apparent protest as Kylie covers her progeny with kisses, necessitating the caption, “she loves my kisses i promise 💗❤️.” The enduring, sometimes taxing physical and psychic bond between a mother and her child is readily apparent in both images, calling to mind the recent spate of books about childbirth and complex maternal love that inspired Sarah Blackwood’s Los Angeles Review of Books essay, “Is Motherhood a Genre?” If it is, the Madonna and Kylie are two of its necessary heroines, a pair of wildly disparate figures brought to the same twisted, sprawling corporeal place by love for their children.

We reached out to Tabloid Art History, the indisputable O.G. of pop culture/art historical comparisons, to see if they might weigh in on the Mannerist tensions of Kylie's images, and will update if we hear back.

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nep9k7Emma SpecterArtInstagramKylie JennerSneakersParmigianinostormi webster
<![CDATA[Karl Lagerfeld Says He Texts With His Cat]]>https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/xwj7gq/karl-lagerfeld-says-he-texts-with-his-catMon, 10 Dec 2018 22:20:41 +0000Karl Lagerfeld got real with The Cut this week, discussing everything from his views on poultry (“I don’t eat chicken birds”) to his competitors (“...And the people who ask themselves if they could do better than me, they all failed. I don’t give you names because they are forgotten.”) The true star of the profile was none other than Lagerfeld's seven-year-old Birman cat, Choupette, with whom the designer appears to share a texting relationship that transcends her lack of opposable thumbs:

With the beard, he is appealingly human, in fact. At times, adorably so: The one moment in the interview where he took off his sunglasses was when he picked up his phone, which has the initials KL embossed on the case, to show me texted photo updates of — he says “from” — Choupette.

Insane as it may sound, it's not impossible that Choupette—who maintains an active Twitter and Instagram, and has even mused about starting a podcast—might have gotten her paws on an iPhone, complete with a CL-embossed case to match Lagerfeld's. (I'd call her an influencer, but she sternly condemned the use of the term in August, writing on Instagram, “I started my social media career before #influencers were a thing. Please refrain from using this term with moi.”) Or maybe she's more of an iMessage-from-laptop girl?

Lagerfeld spends much of the Cut profile extolling Choupette's virtues, perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the designer has previously stated he'd marry his cat if it were legal. He tells writer Carl Swanson the story of how he came to acquire Choupette (what started out as a pet-sitting stint turned into Lagerfeld bonding with “this kind of genius creature”), detailing her preferences (“She is always on the knees of the pilots. She loves private jets") and outlining her place on his personal hierarchy of needs (“I don’t do internet, I don’t do Facebook. I have to sketch, I have to play with Choupette, I have to sleep. The day is too short for that.”)

A perusal of Choupette's social media presence makes it clear that the cat is as much a brand unto herself as she is an extension of her owner's unique persona—digital media consultant Ashley Tschudin is prominently credited with maintaining Choupette's voice. That voice is alternately arch and hyper-pampered, adopting mommy blogger-meets-BDSM expressions (Choupette refers to Lagerfeld solely as “Daddy”) and appearing in expertly Photoshopped paparazzi shots with the likes of Anna Wintour.

Choupette isn't just a brand, though; she's an objet d'art, or some unnerving combo of the two. Lagerfeld is wearing a Choupette pin when he sits down with Swanson, and a cursory Google search provides endless feline bounty in the form of Choupette dolls, Choupette jewelry, Karl-and-Choupette phone cases, and sweatshirts bearing the cat's countenance. (Sadly, a search for “bootleg Choupette merch" yields no results, although perhaps the cat joins Peppa Pig in gracing Chinese "street couture.”)

Lagerfeld isn't the only fashion editor who's seen a bona fide merch economy spring up around his four-legged companion; legendary Vogue editor Grace Coddington recently released a Louis Vuitton capsule collection inspired by her cat, Pumpkin. The life of Pumpkin Coddington surely can't hold a candle to Choupette's, though; after all, how many cats can say they inspire envy in Anna Wintour? Being Karl Lagerfeld's pet Birman is, to paraphrase The Devil Wears Prada, the physical incarnation a million girls would kill for.

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xwj7gqEmma SpecterChanelKarl LagerfeldCatright nowchoupette lagerfeld