Why shouldn’t Calvin Klein have a gorgeous boyfriend nearly fifty years younger than him?
Were the legendary reinventor of gentlemen’s undergarments still adopting the heterosexual lifestyle he has enjoyed at various times in his life (he’s married two women, although not at the same time), no one would bat an eye at him stepping out with a gorgeous young lady model.
Especially as the fascinating perve that is Celebritynetworth.com, which does exactly what it says, estimates Klein’s fortune as around US$700 million, putting him well up in the Normal Rules Don’t Apply category of wealth.
See also: Trump, Donald (US$2.4 billion), hair. Ecclestone, Bernie (US$4 billion), relative height of (former) partner. Berlusconi, Silvio (US$11 billion), general behaviour.
But while money makes anything possible, including having a date younger than your jeans size, nature has its own rules and one of them is that if you stand next to someone of the same sex, but much younger and more beautiful, in a similar outfit, you’re not going to come off too well.
Take this from someone who once went shopping with Kate Moss and tried on the same trousers in a small communal changing room. (True story.)
It’s terribly unfair, because Calvin Klein is in terrific shape for a man of 68. It’s just unfortunate in this instance that his current partner is a 21 year old underwear model with a physique in the 0.000001 upper percentile.
Were Nick Gruber, a Nicola, her physical beauty would serve only to enhance her partner’s prestige. As they are both chaps, it doesn’t come out well for Calvin. And the very uncharacteristic style mistake he is making here, is wearing not only a similar outfit, but an identical hairstyle as his younger squeeze.
Viewed side by side, the tight t shirt stretched so attractively across Nick’s pert chest, serves only to display the downward trajectory of parts of Calvin’s.
Likewise the buzz cut that sets off the youthful openness of Gruber’s face, draws attention to the slightly strained upholstery of Mr Klein’s.
Life’s a bitch, isn’t it?
But while this is all very unfair for Calvin there is some good to be found in it. It does even things out a bit for women in the mutton stakes.
For while there is at last now greater equality with regard to older women dating younger men, ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ remains one of the cruellest fashion judgements that can be made against us.
It’s hard to define exactly what makes something ‘too young’ for a particular age group – although too short, too tight, too wacky, too bright, too shiny, or just too fiercely on trend, all figure.
Yet more than any other style crime, breaking this hard-to-define rule seems to open the female transgressor up to mean vilification, from her own sex, on a level with ‘Celebrity beach cellulite! New pics!’.
It appears to call forth a collective fury, as though the muttoneer’s lack of clothing judgement somehow brings womankind into disrepute. She looks stupid and somehow we all feel vulnerable.
So rather than sneer at Mr Klein for his ram dressed as lamb fashion faux pas – and it’s been pretty ferocious in parts of the US media – we should thank him.
By making it so clear that the age appropriate mutton dress code applies just as strongly to men, it lessens the shame of it for women.