Merkel gets the 'okay' for her fashion sense from Lagerfeld


PUTDOWNS ARE as much a trademark of Karl Lagerfeld as his frocks and fingerless gloves, from his views on German model Heidi Klum – “she was never in Paris . . . we don’t know her” – to overweight women who “sit before the television with a bag of crisps and complain about thin models being ugly”.

Earlier this month he was forced into a rare climbdown when he said his remarks that singer Adele was “fat” had been taken out of context.

The Chanel designer – himself overweight until a crash diet a decade ago – appears to be mellowing at the age of 78, telling Germany’s Focus magazine that he thinks German chancellor Angela Merkel’s fashion sense is “okay”.

“But the cut should be more precise,” he said. “And she should wear her jackets open over a blouse with better-cut trousers. That would allow her to move more easily.”

Since taking office in 2005, Dr Merkel has relied largely on Hamburg designer Bettina Schoenbach for her outfits.

Lagerfeld, like Dr Merkel born in Hamburg, was complimentary of the rest of the German leader’s appearance. “The hair colour and cut are just right for her pretty blue eyes and her ingenious pointy nose,” he said.

Dr Merkel would be advised not to take compliments from a man who changes his views with the seasons too seriously. Last July Lagerfeld complained that the chancellor was “a little corpulent and always wears badly cut trousers that are always a little too short”.

Dr Merkel breaks with her tame fashion sense only for opera visits, occasions German fashionistas await with anticipation and dread.

In 2008 she attracted world attention for an evening dress with a swooping neckline. Last year at the Wagner festival in Bayreuth Die Welt praised her choice of fuchsia blazer – “this time without sweat rings under the arms”.