I was recently commissioned to write a feature about Karl Lagerfeld, pegged to the Met’s exhibition honouring his life and work. It gave me an opportunity to interview some of the women who had known him best, whose personal memories really enriched the story. Like everyone who has been in his orbit, they’d found Karl to be unfailingly kind and generous.
But he was also very outspoken, in a way that made strong headlines then, but have now got many calling for him to be posthumously cancelled. Monday night’s Met Ball, whose theme honoured Karl, saw some take to social media criticising the decision to honour a man who’d said so many controversial things. Should over 50 years of design genius be dismissed? Should the art cease to have meaning or value because the artist is problematic? For PRs and journalists alike, it presents a dilemma. Do we judge everyone by today’s rules, even if they were born in a different era? Karl Lagerfeld said some regrettable things. His words could be cruel and careless. But his deeds, by all accounts, were unfailingly kind. That’s what the guests at the Met Ball chose to honour. And that’s their choice, just as it’s your choice to file him in the book of baddies. Personally, I think we have far bigger, badder fish to fry.
What Laura thinks…
“It’s always nice to hear of new names being supported, and hopefully going on to do great things. I confess I hadn’t been aware of all of them, so a very useful release.”