Over the years it has become my little tradition to make the first column of each New Year a collation of the best quotes I’ve come across over the previous 12 months, from fashion people and fashionable people (two quite distinct groups…).
So to celebrate the first New Year column of this blog, I’ve put together my favourites from years past.
Reading through them all again, I was struck that I could have done the whole thing pretty much just from the words of Karl Lagerfeld, Joan Collins, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham.
How I’d love to sit round a dinner table with those four. That really would be my dream combo. And to even out the numbers I’ll also ask along Tom Ford, David Beckham and Bill Nighy, OK?
But wait – who shall I sit next to?
‘I’m a fashion nympho. I continue because I have no orgasm.’
‘I liked being fat for a change. I had the best time.’
Kate Moss on pregnancy.
‘Sex is one of the best and cheapest beauty treatments for women.’
‘I’m sad for the other designers.’
Karl Lagerfeld, commenting on the news that Chanel’s sales are now said to be worth $2.2 billion a year worldwide.
‘I get so pissed off when people call me [a control freak]. If you’re a designer, it’s your job to control. You don’t find novelists saying, Sure I’ll write a novel, somebody else can be responsible for the words…?’
‘I love Brazilian waxes. They ought to be made compulsory at 15, don’t you think?’
‘We’re being trained up as a bunch of consumers rather than thinkers.’
Vivienne Westwood on education.
‘Nowadays you don’t have to be rich to have beautiful things. If people have ugly things, it’s because they’ve got no taste.’
Karl Lagerfeld, when he launched his cheap as chips range for chain store H&M.
‘I believe in good old-fashioned Botox, collagen and a little bit of a face-lift when you need it. You should take care of your skin, but when your neck is hanging down to your shirt collar, nothing is going to help that other than having that trimmed away.
Tom Ford (hmmm, might have to bring this subject up with Tom during the main course).
‘The word fashion, I don’t like it. I like to buy a jacket and know that it suits me, that it’s mine.’
‘I hate the idea of a ‘young designer’. For me, a good designer is a good designer. After 22, nobody is young. They are grown-up. It’s bad to use ‘young’, it’s like an excuse. Alexander McQueen is a good designer – he doesn’t need ‘young’.’
‘I don’t want to look young. I want to look good. Cosmetic surgeons just want to make you look young. I think Botox is poison. And injecting fat into your face makes you look like a chipmunk.’
Joan Collins (I can’t wait to hear what she has to say to Tom on this subject at my dinner).
‘It’s like planning a dinner party. You need to have the pretty girl, the controversy, and something reassuring.’
Anna Wintour reveals the magic formula for editing US Vogue. (Do you think I should invite her too? But would it make it too hard for Tom and Karl to relax? Make it into business for them? She can come another time.)
‘[Naomi Campbell] looks like you could snap her in two but she’s a tough-ass, kick-ass woman. I would actually like to fight her. I think for all the people that she’s beaten up she needs a big 200 pound lesbian to kick her ass.’
‘I was at a party the other day when Tom Hanks came bounding over. He said: “I’m so thrilled you and David are coming over. I’m going to get a season ticket to watch LA Galaxy now.” All the time he was talking I was just thinking, “It’s Forrest Gump! And he knows who I am.”’
Victoria Beckham. (Obviously this is how we will all be feeling about everyone else at my dinner…)
‘If I want a black shirt, I’ll find out my size and go and get one. Sharon has to look through every shirt in the shop. I end up losing it.’ Ozzy Osbourne. (Would quite like to have him, but I can’t stand her, so I won’t complicate things.)
‘I must be the only person in LA that doesn’t want to be in films. Have you seen Spice World?’ Victoria Beckham.
‘Paris is thick and sometimes looks like a transvestite. Also, she’s a socialite and I’m not.’
Peaches Geldof, on why she is nothing like Ms Hilton.
‘David (Beckham) is a better footballer than me, but my fragrance smells better than his.’
P Diddy. (Obviously not on the list, ever.)
‘I used to think that prizes were damaging and divisive, until I got one. And now they seem sort of meaningful and real.’
‘I don’t answer those humiliating questions. But whichever one it is, I look good in ’em!’
Barack Obama shows true style, answering the tacky boxers/briefs question. (Would have loved to have them over, but it’s such a bore with all the secret agents. Next time.)
‘I’m a few martinis in and I have no idea what I’m wearing; so let’s just say it’s vintage.’ Uma Thurman’s creative answer when she couldn’t remember who her outfit was by when asked at a film screening. (A possible for a future guest list, don’t you think? I can mix a good dirty martini, she’d like that.)
‘You’re easy on the eyes. You really are. If you want to take off anything, you can.’
Ellen Degeneres chats frankly to David Beckham on her talk show. Love Ellen, but not going to invite as she would be too much competition when I’m talking to Dave, as I like to call him. Davy boy.)
‘Recently I was in Rio on the beach and I was struck by how beautiful young, very fat women are. I mean really obese. So I did a lot of pictures of young, fat girls, with loads of love handles and big bottoms… What’s really, really ugly is skinny women naked. I’ve photographed a lot of thin women.’
Fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier has an extraordinary flash of insight.
‘I am extremely happy to have quit from fashion … all of the designers are doing the eighties. I hate the eighties. I did it, and I hate it. When I go to see my dresses of the eighties, I vomit.’ (He is definitely coming to the next dinner. Did you see the film? So much love for those two.)
‘I remember once being sent to India for a weeklong assignment with nothing more than £20. When I asked my editor, How am I supposed to pay for everything? he said, “Oh, just find a maharajah with a palace.” And I think I did.’
Anna Wintour, 2009.
‘David and I are always in the school. We go and serve up hot lunches. It’s the same food we used to get at school – turkey twizzlers… I’d rather go to the school than have dinner at The Ivy.’
Victoria Beckham. (That makes the menu easy. I’ll get some twizzlers in for her. Karl can have a plain steak. David can have anything he wants.)
‘Dark glasses are like portable eye shadow and the world looks more beautiful through tinted glasses. Everybody looks 10 years younger. That is why I wear dark glasses anyway.’
‘I like wearing skirts and high heels and stuff like that. I don’t see it in a way that it’s like women suffering. I see it in a way it’s like women get to have all the fun.’
Marc Jacobs (who is not invited to the dinner).
‘I found out when the whole world found out. I said: “It looks white. It looks like mine…” I had a box of pizza and I nearly fell over. I was sitting there with my friends, and they were screaming.’
Designer Jason Wu about the moment he realised Michelle Obama had chosen to wear his gown for the Inauguration Ball.
‘You gotta mean it, mean the stance. You’ve got to have presence, no matter what happens. I’ve lost my skirt, my top’s fallen off, I’ve fallen down. When I fell down, I thought, what do I do? I remember this silence everywhere while I was on the floor. But you keep going. You pick yourself up. Keep walking and smiling, never run off.’
Naomi Campbell (who I would have asked, because we got very well when I interviewed her, but I know other people are a bit funny about her – See Rosie O’Donnell above – and I don’t to risk wrecking the perfect balance).
‘Being a singer and living my life like this is the only thing I know how to do. I don’t have any form of CV. I’m not trained to do anything else useful. I did typing in year 11 at school and I was pretty good at it – and maybe I’d look good in a secretarial outfit.’
Kylie Minogue (who I will invite when I have Uma over. I’ve interviewed Kylie twice and she’s a great girl).
‘There wasn’t a star in Hollywood back in Marlene Dietrich’s era that was as thin as today’s actresses.’
Maria Riva, Marlene Dietrich’s daughter.
‘She comes in at bedtime and says, “Mummy, do you think this is a good look?” and then she has a fashion crisis. Now we lay the clothes out before she goes to bed but then she goes, “Mum, I need options”.
Kate Moss on her daughter, Lila Grace (obviously Kate and I would have a lot to discuss in this area, having daughters the same age…)
‘I believe in lashings and lashings of make-up. The women I know who have worn it since they were teenagers look better than those who haven’t because it protects your skin.’ Joan Collins
‘They’re my burka.’
Karl Lagerfeld on his ubiquitous sunglasses (which he is entirely allowed to wear at my dinner table).