To be or not to be.


Every time I see a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers, I think of Patricia Highsmith. She was the one who introduced me to them when I was about 14. I was binge-reading her Tom Ripley novels at the time, needless to say that I was in love with him, but truth be told, I cannot remember one single item of his clothing, just his suave character, his elegant way of dealing with life, life and death actually, as he has taken so many, I can, however, remember so very well the Gucci horsebit loafers of the boy who followed Ripley, the one from the fourth part, a millionaire’s son who needed some advice on how to not only get away with murder but how to live with it. These Gucci shoes, only a little detail, not even a surprising one, as a 1980 millionaire’s son was definitely in that brand’s target group, they were just giving his background away when Tom Ripley spotted them on his feet, with me, however, this little detail became an obsession. I wanted to have them, the very same, I needed them, I hoped to be mistaken for a mysterious, utterly elegant millionaire’s son, and while I was sipping my chewing gum flavoured tea from a gigantic mug, I saw no contradiction here, I was wondering where and how to get them, meaning how to convince my mother to get me some.
Today, I still don’t own a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers, never have, I’ve owned Gucci shoes, even quite smart ones, thanks to Mr Tom Ford, but never ever a pair of these iconic loafers. Why is that, I’m asking myself? I think it’s because deep down I know I never could pull them off. I’m just not fit to be a murderer, a suave one, I mean, however much I’d love to.

Soul mate.

img_1855I’m not very good at driving. In fact, I don’t have a driver’s license at all. If I had, I’d be in trouble. I really don’t get how you can drive a car that’s not a vintage Rolls-Royce. There really is no other car. That one made me jump out of the tram in Zurich on Bürkliplatz, a station I had never got off at before, I can’t remember where I wanted to go on that day, I forgot about time and place, I was drawn to irresistible beauty, to my soul mate, my other half with a motor, suddenly in front of me, out of the blue, there it was, to quote Ezra Pound, that car in the crowd, like a petal on a wet black bough. But I had seen this face before, a long time ago, I must have been twenty at the time, in Paris, at night, I was visiting friends, we were walking through the streets to get home after dancing at Les Bains-Douches, and there it was, at a street corner, parked as if its driver had no sense of geometry at all, like a baguette cut diamond jumping out of its setting, I was mesmerized, standing still in contemplation, getting left behind, not minding it, my mind was making itself at home in this car, I still am, although I still don’t have a driver’s license, nor a Rolls-Royce of my own, only an appropriate vintage coat to throw on its back seat.


Lake Zurich.


It’s all over now. Autumn’s here. No more swimming in Lake Zurich, that lake right in the middle of the town, with the softest water, silky, clean as hell, invigorating, soothing, breathtaking, arousing, sensations that let yourself come to all kind of senses, after a long day, during lunch break, first thing on a Saturday morning, before going shopping for groceries, after a cup of coffee on the balcony though, all it takes is to go the Badi nearby, on Utoquai, and to take a jump, and then, while I’m floating in the crystal clear water, Lake Zurich pulls some magic effects, I’m being enthralled, mesmerized, bewitched, I am about to forget about any groceries to shop for or about those meetings in the afternoon, at some office far away, and the moment I lie on the wooden deck of Badi Utoquai in my very favourite trunks, the ones by Gucci, designed by Tom Ford, that I refuse to stop wearing, I’ve been refusing it for some many years and I won’t ever stop doing so, I even consider being buried in them, but lying on that deck, I miss the water already, I just take some time to let my skin dry, to soak up the gorgeous summer heat, before taking another jump into the lake. But as I said, summer’s gone. And my trunks are taking a break from all that fun now. Just like me.

Mykonos revisited.


When you travel, you have to have the right shoes with you. Shoes you can walk in. I don’t know what Tom Ford had in mind when he designed these thongs for Gucci in 2002, but surely the ability to walk wasn’t on the list. Why I kept them at all, I cannot tell you. Some kind of memento mori perhaps. I only wore them once in Mykonos, for, let’s be generous here, twenty minutes. Then I had to return to my hotel because of the pain they were causing. These ever so carefully designed straps were cutting into my flesh. And the tortured expression on my face obviously was giving them away. “Is everything all right?”, I was asked by the concierge when I entered the lobby. “Tom Ford hates feet.”, I replied. My loyalty, of which I am so very proud, I had to leave to the others.

Later that day, I looked less dressed up with my comfy Nike sneakers, but I could walk again. Comfortably. Even smile. Something quite important when cruising.

The year of Gucci.


On April 1st, 1997, I finally quit being forever a student at university, without any degree, of course, and started to work in Hamburg as a junior copywriter in advertising. Later that day, not working long hours yet, I went shopping for the perfect shirt. I was thinking of a white one, I love white shirts, one cannot manage to look bad in a white shirt, but on this day I ended up with a black one. I blame the shirt’s buttons. Black mother-of-pearl, on which the engraved letters of its manufacturer were only barely noticeable, with a perfect shine, luxurious, suave, and somewhat sensual, stitched on matte, splendidly structured cotton with the softest touch, tailored with a slim fit, that made me look like some sort of movie star with a stylist who knew what he was doing, at least that’s what I was telling myself, and, in other words of course, the lady at the shop, a breathtaking creature, whose perfectly elegant facial features looked like a blend of the ones of Anouk Aimée and Jacqueline de Ribes. “Todedel”, she kept saying, “todedel”, which translates into “deathly noble”, as if any convincing was necessary, but I loved listening to this stunning woman’s matchingly stunning voice. I bought the black pants she brought, too, as she said I needed them, and a belt, with a buckle that had you wriggle the suede through it in a very complicated manner, no ordinary belt at all, so when I wore it, I would be asked if I had made it myself, and I would answer, no, thanks for the compliment, but actually it was Tom Ford who made it himself. The belt got lost sometime, somewhere, the trousers died at the dry cleaners some day, but the shirt has been with me to this day, it doesn’t seem to have aged at all, it’s still in shape, the colour is still vivid, which is quite amazing, considering it’s 100% black cotton, and I still look “todedel” in it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself since April 1st, 1997.