A few years ago, I was having lunch at Moro in Clerkenwell Market with the then women’s page editor of the Guardian. Sitting at the next table were a group of adoring acolytes hanging on the every word of a flat bloke with a blonde bristly head like a pig, dressed in combats encasing thighs which oozed like over-ripe Camembert sluggishly running off the edge of his chair.
That, said my lunch companion, is Alexander McQueen.
And a spasm of pure rage passed through me. Who was this fat bastard to tell women that they were obese if they couldn’t fit into a size 10? To make clothes that half the population couldn’t wear? I am tired of fat men telling non-skeletal women that they don’t exist. Granted, McQueen, like Lagerfeld, with the assistance of the finest trainers money can buy and no obligation to prepare family meals three times a day, have slimmed down, or in the case of Lagerfeld, turned himself into his own corpse, but fashion is full of fat men (sorry Alber, I really love you in every other way) giving normal-sized women an inferiority complex.
This made the Manolo laugh out loud.
Although, at the same time, the Manolo is sympathetic to the fashion designers, for as he has noted in the past, many fashion designers are quite unattractive, and thus they are obsessed with the most conventional notions of beauty and proportion, even as they are filled with self-loathing for their own appearance.
It is difficult to desire physical beauty so intensely and yet have it denied to you, as the Manolo, from his own personal circumstances, can tell you.