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Fashion Statement

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To the editors:

It might have startled Mr. Rezek [Our Town, October 2] to learn as he was celebrating "one of the only designers who's worth thinking about" at the recent Chanel opening here, that the House of Chanel is no longer controlled by Coco Chanel, and that the couture and ready-to-wear designs that so titillated his masculinity are the brilliant handiwork of Karl Lagerfeld, a credit he ignored. As for his fashion acumen that brought "strong evidence that an enthusiastically heterosexual woman can do a better job of draping women than a homosexual man," it's hardly worth responding to other than saying this kind of naive and boorish commentary is the kind of fashion sensibility in journalism that sadly persuades many of Chicago's highly talented and gravely undersung young designers to turn their eyes towards the East.

Brent Isgrig

N. Dearborn

John Rezek replies:

I am fully aware that Karl Lagerfeld is now the principal designer for Chanel, but was startled that the hosts of the party I was covering ignored it. Personally, I think his handiwork is as good as any designer who sports a ponytail. Careful readers of my piece understood my point, though: classic Chanel hasn't changed since Coco introduced it.

As to your other objections, you're right: it is hardly worth responding to my fashion acumen. Hardly anyone does. However, there are several designers who seem to make quite a nice living in Chicago--Becky Bisoulis, Sharon Hart, and that tall guy with gray hair, Mark Whatshisname. Also, I can accept the accusation of boorishness and naivete, but I will not stand accused of fashion journalism--whatever that is. I do hope none of my commentary has encouraged "gravely undersung designers to turn their eyes towards the East"--there are already plenty of designers in Gary.

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