The Other Oscar Scandal (aka Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly Moment)
By now everybody knows about the whole La La Land/Moonlight mixed-up envelope snafu that capped the 89th annual Academy Awards. That's not even close to my favorite talk-about-it moment; the brouhaha between Meryl Streep and Karl Lagerfeld is.
You can Google/Bing it or ask around the water cooler, but in short, Karl told the press that Meryl requested a dress and then canceled because she found someone else who would pay her to wear their design. His exact quote about her to WWD called her cheap: "A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?"
Meryl's team quickly responded to say this was a lie. She was not being paid to wear a dress and remuneration goes against what she stands for.
Karl replied in a statement:
"Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep's stylist, on her request, to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards. After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep's team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination."
"Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication. That publication printed this defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally, and continues globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of my record-breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience. Mr. Lagerfeld's generic 'statement' of regret for this 'controversy' was not an apology."
(It is important to note that the gorgeous dress that she did wear was by Elie Saab, who deserves some recognition.)
If you do take to Google/Bing to read the recaps, you might discover the one that refers to Karl as a "couture supervillain." (This is even better when you picture him stroking his cat, Choupette.) That's pretty good right there, but it's not my favorite part of the whole thing.
Having worked in retail where we had phone calls up to the morning of the Academy Awards from people who needed a gown for that night (which makes me feel slightly better about my own procrastinatorial nature) (yes, I made up that word; don't use it unless you want people to point and laugh), I know it's not a simple task to choose a dress for the Oscars. Add in if you're going to walk the red carpet. Add in if you're nominated. Add in if you're nominated a record-breaking number of times. Add in if you've played one of the most enduring fashion characters in modern film. Add in if you've been criticized harshly for red carpet choices in the past. And then add in a verbal slap from the head designer for arguably the most famous fashion house in the world.
No wonder Meryl Streep is still waiting for a proper apology!