Monday, August 22, 2016

Make Purple Great Again

 The Color Purple

Purple is the color of fairy tales, of magicians. At this point in time, these are the only things we can still hope for.

The color purple — or the one known to specialists as 2715 Pantone — was not that favored by the late, great Prince. No, the purple soon to make a real comeback is not that of hyacinths or royalty, but rather the pinkish purple hue usually relegated to old ladies. I don’t know why you find so many old-lady sweaters in that hue. You just do. But imagine it paired with beige, nude, pale blue, or burgundy (like Alexis, below, on Dynasty, in a pencil skirt unseen here but intuited, for sure) — and then “let’s go crazy” and put that purple with a “little red corvette” red. Owa. I think I love you.

Now that he is dead —the Prince, not the King, but I think the King favored a purple cape at some point in his career — it’s forced me to rethink the reasons why I love this color so. Not because it’s just the odd-man-out of purples, but maybe because it represents many of the things that Prince was: ambivalent, oversexed, coy, the female male. Prince is so today (and yesterday). So Caitlin Jenner, so unlike Caitlin Jenner. He was a man who totally felt well within his skin of being a man dressed much like a woman. He loved ruffles, satin, shiny things, tight things, and he loved to show off that tiny taught physique of his. (According to Madonna, who had a brief fling with him, according to People mag, in 1985, he was so concerned about his figure that he refused to eat.)

Breaking dress codes used to come with harsh penalties. If you were a merchant in Henry VIII’s reign, you could be fined and sent to prison for wearing purple. Would it were so easy to put Bush and Blair into flashy satin purple suits and put them in prison, for just a spell, even, and then the world might begin to heal, just a bit. Maybe we need some more flying Purple People Eaters out there. First course, Bush and Blair, second course: Edogan!

The coming season, this Fall 2016 I mean, the shows we watched back in February, it seemed that many designers had their token purple garment. It jarred me when I first took note at  Michael Kors in New York. (

 As for perfect purple-combo cues, found at Mitte’s much-favored SCHWARZHOGERZEIL, Carven has combined it here with (owa) orange or a red-corvette purse (especially good with those royal blue shoes and patterned socks):

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by purple in a field and you don’t notice it.”

 and now for some (slightly jigged) purple prose from Jenny Joseph:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on Stauffenberg gin or brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals, 
and say we've no money for butter.

Daniel Josefsohn

When I was hired in 2009 to be Vanity Fair Germany’s weekly art columnist, the ed-in-chief brought Daniel Josefsohn on board to be the photographer. Daniel and I were meant to travel the world together as the column I was writing (called Schneeball/Snowball) required that I follow the whims of the artists I would visit, a chain gang of friends, so to speak, suggesting friends.

The Snowball column would have been exhausting and exciting, especially as I’d have Daniel always by my side with his wicked sense of humor. To get the ball rolling, we were booked to visit Josephine Meckseper in Zurich. One day before our trip, the snowball would become a quickly melting snowflake: Si Newhouse unexpectedly waltzed into the Berlin offices of Vanity Fair and shut the entire operation down.

Eight years later, after having completed my first stylist job for Escada, I’d only just begun to dream of the chance of working with great photographers like Daniel again. And being a stylist is a lot like being a writer, only better: out from behind her desk and interacting with the real world. Stories happen ad lib based on the characters (models and photographers) you are working with on that day. Creating a story with Daniel would have been absolutely Dada, in the best sense of the word.

I knew him primarily as a neighbor. Bumping into him at the grocery store, often with his dog Jesus and with the lady with a pug named Bonbon, he always had a story to tell. He was a superhero, a galactic star fighter, too, and I will miss him.