Lauren Clark | Contributing Writer | Friday, 30 January 2015

Anna Wintour Vs. Karl Lagerfeld: It's A Fashion Showdown

The Debrief: War was declared when Chanel revealed their next cruise collection will be held the same day as the New York Met Ball

Karl Lagerfeld has declared war against Anna Wintour. Well, Chanel revealed that their next cruise collection will be held in Seoul on the same day this year as Anna’s dear New York Met Ball. In fashion-speak this amounts to combat. As Karl, via Chanel, claimed it was “the only possible date” out of 364, Anna’s likely response was to tear up the ‘Bag Boy Karlito’ on her Fendi.

Full on catfights didn’t quite happen with Chanel’s Métiers d’Arts show in Salzburg and the London-based Victoria’s Secret show last December. However, this time fashion’s favourite ice queen will throw on a camouflage shirt dress, brandishing a pointy stiletto at Karl who’ll be working trench-style tailoring, and return a snarling Choupette. Military suddenly got on-trend. Come May 4th it will be Anna versus Karl.

The Hair: Anna’s bob vs. Karl’s pony

The trim of Anna’s red bob is so severe it’ll be aiming to slice off Karl’s silver pony. Are you really saying your head sprouts naturally chrome strands she’ll scream? At least there’s no risk of someone in Harrogate accidentally copying me, he’ll shout back. Alongside life’s other comforting continuities, like tea and the Queen, Anna and Karl’s signature locks are frozen in time by extra-strength hairspray. Are we in 2009 or 2015? On the night the Vogue editor’s crop will best frame her I-won-the-war smile in snaps at the Met. Karl’s motorcycle fanatic/ legal drama will go frizzy in that South Korean heat.

The Crowd: Anna’s party animals vs. Karl’s catwalk clingers

Some very lucky humans are now double-booked. But now it’s less a case of personal preference for party over catwalk, and more a sitch of who will join Anna’s army against Karl’s. Soldiers on both sides will, let’s face it, be stylish. Yet Cara and co. are likely to opt for some celeb fun at the Gala over yet another runway opp. The crowd at Anna’s will be Hollywood to on this year’s hotlist. Karl’s will be more a kale-crunching affair. Last time, Karlie season was contractually obliged to be a VS Angel – will she leave Karl in the lurch once again? More crucially, will Kendall throw away her high-fashion dreams for an evening of selfies in a questionable gown with Kim? 

The TV star: Anna’s September Issue vs. Karl’s Lagerfeld Confidential

Fashion’s most entertaining pair have starred in their own separate documentaries. In the war of fashion kudos, this behind-the-scenes screen time might prove their undoing. The September Issue catapulted Anna to legendary status. Lines like “Virginia, where’s the colour?” and clashes with the lovely Grace Coddington over the cameraman’s beer belly revealed her as pretty darn unreasonable, but great to watch. Karl’s Lagerfeld Confidential was in French for starters and even a fly-on-the-wall of a Chanel designer doesn’t quite have the bite of a magazine office.  If it’s down to great TV, we predict September Issue 2: The Victory.  

Read More: Here's Some Ways Anna Wintour Taught Us How To Get Dressed This Morning

The Pet: Anna’s errr, and Karl’s cat

Karl wins hands down on the adorable sidekick front. His white cat, Choupette, has 45k Twitter followers of her own, ladies-in-waiting and diet of caviar. Who is Anna’s equivalent? Unless you count Roger Federer or David and Harper Beckham she’s sorely lacking cute companions. Karl’s furry friend makes him more loveable than his stony exterior lets on. He speaks about the love of his life in romantic tones: “She has a strong personality. She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food.” Anna just looks like a cold-hearted fashion-obsessive. Point to Karl.

The drobe: Anna’s floral vs. Karl’s neutral

A war between two leaders of chic cannot fail to include some clothes. Anna’s personal style could not be further from Karl’s. It’s florals against pattern-free. Colour against…black. Anna famously detests all forms of noir, which will only make her more determined to win the battle. When she has channeled Chanel in the past it’s been with Coco in mind – the jacket, the pearls – much to Karl’s irritation. “What I’ve done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it.” Awkward.  At the end of the day, Karl wins because, if you side with a designer, it’s raining handbags and dresses.

The boss status: Anna’s diva vs. Karl’s, um, diva

Anna and Karl’s inner-divas are probably as hefty a weight to lug around as their job titles. However, apart from a joint dedication for wearing sunglasses indoors these are two very different drama queens. According to a former employee, Karl surrounds himself with ‘Yes’ people in the style of a royal court. And drinks his Pepsi in a Baccarat crystal glass, which gets replaced every 30 minutes, apparently. Anna’s style seems to be more reign of terror. Having marched in stilettos through two pregnancies, she once fell flat on her face in a Vogue corridor. The passing intern was too scared to help, and was later reassured by other Vogue-sters she’d done the right thing.  

And the winner is...

Guys, it's got to be Anna. The perma bob, the fashion sneer. No contest, right? 

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Tags: Getting Ready, Fashion Questions