This silly little piece was inspired by a fashion blog I read, which declared that “leather shorts are ubiquitous for fall”. I started to wonder how these decisions actually get made, and well, this happened. I hope you enjoy!
THE FASHION CABAL
(The basement at Neiman Marcus, in a dark room. NINA GARCIA and MICHAEL KORS sit together, while MARC JACOBS and CATHY HORYN sit nearby. KARL LAGERFELD, in black sunglasses, sits propped up against a side wall. ANDRE LEON TALLEY walks in, barely fitting through the door, and followed by yards and yards of fabric trailing from his man cape.)
CATHY HORYN: Finally. Can we get started now?
NINA GARCIA: Not yet. She’s not here yet.
MARC JACOBS: We have to begin. I have to run back to the office and decide whether unicorns or kittens will be my ironic/chic pattern for the year. These decisions do not make themselves.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: Besides, darlings, she’s not going to be here until later anyway. She allowed us to begin without her.
MICHAEL KORS: Great! I thereby call to order the annual meeting of Les Chics Impitoyables. We have important business today, folks – fall is almost upon us, and so we must decide which item of truly ridiculous clothing we shall foist upon the public as ‘stylish’ for our own amusement. Karl, you did yeoman’s work last year with your high heeled platform clogs, which were both silly-looking and almost impossible for human beings to walk in, causing both hilarious teetering and actual injury. Well done.
(all clap, very blase.)
KARL LAGERFELD: I hate fat people.
MICHAEL KORS: And Marc, you should be commended for your fur handbags, both riotously expensive and unable to be put down or carried outside in rough weather, and therefore useless for their actual purpose of holding belongings. But at least your wallet stays warm!! BA HA HAHAHAHA!!!!!
(MICHAEL KORS brays. All watch, silently.)
MICHAEL KORS: …Right. Anyway, this is the year, kiddos, we have to go big. I want to see everybody in what we’re selling. I want to see knock-offs in Walmart in a week, guys. And when I do, I want to laugh and laugh and laugh. So who’s got ideas?
NINA GARCIA: What about jumpsuits –
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: -oh please, really?
NINA GARCIA: I’m not finished, Andre. Jumpsuits in a red and white stripe, like a circus tent.
MICHAEL KORS: Too specific. It might not catch on. We need general trend.
MARC JACOBS: Sombreros?
NINA GARCIA: That’s too general. And Seinfeld got there first.
MICHAEL KORS: What about aprons for men! Or Muumuus! Those are ridiculous!
(Silence. ANDRE LEON TALLEY throws him a look. He is wearing a colorful muumuu.)
MICHAEL KORS: …Never mind.
KARL LAGERFELD: I shall design a ruff for the neck of the ladies. It shall be starched like my grandmother’s tablecloth.
NINA GARCIA: I LOVE it!
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: Karl, that’s genius. I cannot wait to see middle American tweens dressed like Queen Elizabeth!!
KARL LAGERFELD: Middle American tweens will not wear my beautiful ruff. They shall not despoil my beautiful creation with their greasy donut hands. Only those delicate as butterfly wings and the bones of birds may wear my couture designs.
NINA GARCIA: O…. kay.
MICHAEL KORS: I think we’re off track. We need contrast. We don’t need a ridiculous item, we need a simple item we can make ridiculous. Okay, guys, what’s a simple item?
MARC JACOBS: Underwear.
MICHAEL KORS: That’s good, but we need outerwear.
MARC JACOBS: To me, underwear is outerwear.
MICHAEL KORS: Whatever. Something simpler.
NINA GARCIA: Shorts!
MICHAEL KORS: SHORTS!! That’s brilliant. Beachy, summery, sweet. So what can we make them out of that will render their purpose utterly useless?
NINA GARCIA: Hair!
MICHAEL KORS: Too itchy, nobody will go for it.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: A fabulous quilted organza!
MICHAEL KORS: Too fancy.
MARC JACOBS: Muppet fur!
MICHAEL KORS: Too quirky.
KARL LAGERFELD: The skin of Christian virgins!
MICHAEL KORS: … are you actually a human being anymore?
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: I’ve GOT it! Ladies and gentlemen, the trend will we support will be…. Leather shorts.
MICHAEL KORS: Yes… brilliant!
NINA GARCIA: Summer beach wear, in the hottest material out there, in fall.
MICHAEL KORS: The country will be filled with goth Gidgets!!
MARC JACOBS: Legs will freeze, groins will sweat.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: And oh, how we will laugh.
MICHAEL KORS: Can you believe people go for this? They’ll buy something absurd just because we tell them!!!
(A voice comes from offstage, imposing and ice cold)
ANNA WINTOUR: Not because YOU tell them, Michael.
NINA GARCIA: It’s her!!!
(All throw themselves to the floor, prostrate with foreheads on the floor. KARL LAGERFELD more falls, because it’s possible his body is only being held together by his tight suit and collar. ANNA WINTOUR enters, hair perfectly in its round helmet, dark glasses on. She snaps her fingers. ANDRE LEON TALLEY crawls over. ANNA WINTOUR sits on his back.)
ANNA WINTOUR: So what have we decided?
MARC JACOBS: Leather shorts, great one.
(There is silence while she considers this.)
ANNA WINTOUR: Leather shorts. Unflattering, uncomfortable. Think of the chafing alone. I love it.
(There is an audible gasp of relief. ANNA WINTOUR stands, and everyone starts getting up, except for KARL LAGERFELD)
MICHAEL KORS: I’ll start a line immediately, in Americana taupe.
MARC JACOBS: Mine will have unicorns on them. Or kittens.
ANNA WINTOUR: Why not unicorn kittens, Marc?
MARC JACOBS: Genius!
NINA GARCIA: I’ll convince Heidi to base the next Project Runway challenge on the new coolest look of the fall.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: What’s wrong with Karl?
(KARL LAGERFELD is still prostrate on the ground. MARC JACOBS nudges him with his foot. Nothing.)
MARC JACOBS: Looks like he died again. I’ll call his assistant and tell her he needs another full body transfusion of stem cells and Crème de la Mer.
(He gets out his cell phone. It is covered with fur.)
ANNA WINTOUR: Andre, call over to Vogue and tell them to get Karlie Kloss and Natalia Vodianova ready – we’re having a photo shoot. I want leather shorts on every page.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY: Yes!
ANNA WINTOUR: And Andre… tell them they can style them however they want, but all the models must have one other thing on…
MICHAEL KORS: What?
ANNA WINTOUR (With an evil smile): Orange clown wigs.