Town & Country (USA)
Q: Given the state of society these days, have you been getting déjà vu?
A: Things are quite different now. I’m afraid we have gone from dancing on the lip of the volcano to leaping right into the boiling pit.
Q: What has changed?
A: All the joy my Whirlers took in their excesses is gone. In the Christian Lacroix era, his clothes were puffy and exuberant, fluffy and frantic. Then the pouf went out and now clothes are no clothes.
The women I called the Whirlers are also gone— divorced, widowed, dead, in retreat, or otherwise engaged. They have been replaced by a new breed of show-offs “spinning and grinning” in front of the cameras, whose every action is documented on unreality TV, TikTok, Instagram—none of which existed then.
Q: So the mood has darkened…
A: People are deeply worried now. They have lost any sense of control. A whole new sheaf of perils is upon us. In 1987, no one was quite yet pulling back. You had people downstairs whooping it up at a fashion launch and traders upstairs holding printouts of disaster.
Q: Are we doomed?
A: The fiery ash from the volcano is sliding down the mountainside, and we are in its path. Yet it’s good to remember that after things get bad—as in 1929, 1937, 1987, 2008—they get better. Some suffer more; some suffer less. As Napoleon supposedly said, “Always carry champagne. In victory you deserve it; in defeat you need it.”