But those antics can be par for the course. Like the French designer who wrote to me to complain that one of my colleagues had the taste of a concierge (to be fair, at least the designer didn’t say it in public). Or Pierre Cardin, who, when he saw a writer who had given him a bad review, would cross the street to avoid him. Or the designer who sent dead flowers to a journalist who wrote an unflattering review of his collection.
Let’s be truthful: Fashion designers hate the press. Of course, some of the press deserve it. They can be oafs, basing their opinions on whims and whether they’re invited to the best parties. Diana Vreeland and Carmel Snow were ladies of a certain charm that doesn’t exist today, except perhaps in Suzy Menkes and a few others.
In the end, though, do manners really matter in today’s cutthroat, multibillion-dollar, celebrity-driven fashion world? Can a designer get to the top of the heap without having a go-for-the-jugular instinct? Maybe it’s me who’s out of fashion. To which my dear niece would say, shrugging, “Whatever.”