The German creative director and fashion designer passed away in February this year.
Plenty of words get overused, especially in the hyperbolic world of fashion, filled with hot air and air-kissing in equal measure. “Genius” and “iconic” are my main bugbears – the former should be used sparingly, about folk such as Azzedine Alaïa (a genius craftsman) or maybe Tom Ford (a genius at marketing, let's not beat about the bush). The latter should only be used if you have, say, an unfolding triptych of a medieval saint pasted onto the front of a coat: Jean Paul Gaultier, incidentally, did that in 1997. And it was, indeed, iconic.“Outstanding” is an odd word though. What does it really mean? I mean it obviously means to stand out, but in the realm of fashion, when so many designers are jostling, constantly, to make themselves heard above the bubbling masses, how does a designer achieve that? I guess it means doing something over and above the ordinary – the ordinary being to cobble together some good clothes and send them down a catwalk a few times a year.