Singer Adele is stunning, there's no doubt about it—beautiful in voice and fair of face. She also has both high heels firmly planted in the plus-sized world.
Loose lips sink ships
Okay, so it was just one phrase in a dishy, slightly catty piece that ran when Lagerfeld recently served as guest editor for an edition of "Metro Paris." And it was sandwiched between a couple of genuine compliments.
Let's hear Lagerfeld's comments in context. When asked if he admired singersongwriter Lana del Rey, he had this to say: "I prefer Adele and Florence Welch...The thing at the moment is Adele. She's a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice."
This remark has caused a furor among the singer's many fans and among body image activists such as PR guru Kelly Cutrone and the creators of CurvesAndChaos.com, a blog aimed at full-figured women, both of whom have called for a Chanel boycott.
Adele has answered Lagerfeld's backhanded "compliment" with some equally forthright words: "I don't want to be some Skinny Minnie with my t*@s out. I really don't want to do it and I don't want people confusing what I'm about."
I'm not joining the crowd calling for a Chanel boycott. I've never even worn Chanel, due to my perennially light pocketbook and my own plus-sized tendencies.
I would, however, like to point out that Adele is a singer/songwriter, not a fashion model. The world has embraced her as such, buying her two albums in droves and catapulting her to status as Billboard's 2011 artist of the year.
A word to the wise
Rather than pounce on her pounds, Lagerfeld—who has had his own public struggle with weight—would do well to keep his mouth shut. And he would do even better to court Adele as a client, aiming to dress her as she accepts one of her many inevitable future awards.
After all, a musician as soulful and popular as Adele is 100 times more visible than the average model. That's just good PR.
Challenge yourself, Mr. Lagerfeld. It's easy to make clothes look good on a waif-like figure—and believe me, I don't resent thin people, though I've been known to feel wistful when eyeing clothes I can't fit or a magazine spread on celebrity beach bodies." But it takes real talent, and maybe a couple more inches of fabric, to make a curvy woman feel beautiful in a "too-fat climate."
Lagerfeld has apologized for criticizing the songstress' weight, saying he can't wait for her next CD. Neither can countless other fans of music with substance. That means more earnings for Adele, earnings she can—if she so chooses—use to buy a whole closet of designer frocks.
Just don't expect any of these to be made by Chanel.