Fashionlines Online Magazine
Fashion & Trends People & Places Art & Design Beauty & Health Shopping About Us Editor's Note
Must See Events
News & Events >

Featured Designers
The Fashionista's Cannes 2004 >
Gossip is Good for You: Ann Seymour >
LA's A-List Lifestyles >
Bimbo Consoles Stepmoney >
Giving Thanks for Julia >
LA's A-List Parties >
Bimbo Visits The Godfather >
Memoirs of a Graphic Designer >

Honoring the Godfather

By Bimbo de Burgoyne y los Lobos Contreras in  Paris

All on a silvery November evening, some weeks after my return from Pennsylvania, a courier knocked at the palace gates. The parchment that he delivered was addressed in blood-red calligraphy, and at first glance, I was sure that it was a death warrant from the White House. But oh no. On closer inspection, the handwriting was European.

What could this be? A letter from Stepmoney from her spa in Vichy? A postcard from Giant John in grief counseling at Genève? The possibilities were perplexing.

I opened it carefully, my hands trembling in anticipation.

Horror of horrors -  it was a summons from THE GODFATHER.

A date, an address, a subpoena to appear at Casa Armani on Lake Como. But most sinister of all - a crooked index finger, stamped by the seal:

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Well, what was I to do? Normally I'm not one to respond to a man's finger, but in this case, not wanting to find a dead horse in my Louis XVI canapé bed, I called up Alitalia and made a reservation.

Now, I do like Italians - and Catherine de Medici did, after all, introduce the fork to the French (previously the aristocracy followed the custom of the English court - grabbing meat by the bone and then throwing the remains on the straw floor). But from a fashion point of view, it's all so Guido down there that one is never sure how many rhinestones is too much. And they all talk so loud, it gives me a headache. Nonetheless, this was an offer I could not refuse.

I was met at the airport by the Godfather's manservant, Signore Giacamo Faggiolini, and driven to the lakefront compound. Evening had fallen, and a banquet was soon held in a long, rectangular room lined by black torches, flames leaping towards the ceiling.

The Godfather sat at the end of a long, granite table, Signore Faggiolini to his right, and his goddaughter, Francesca, to his left. Tiers of candles dripped silently in black holders.

Godfather clapped his hands, and a team of finely sculpted 20-something waiters brought silver trays laden with parmesan, proscuitto, antipasta, pasta and tutti fruiti, accompanied by bowls of water, floated with pink rose petals. I was thinking how the late Frugal Gourmet would have so enjoyed the evening, not to mention the four young servers: Giovanni, Giorgio, Giambattista and Gianni, who looked to have already been put through their paces in the pantry.

Godfather chatted about the weather, about the falling dollar, about home improvement, and about the local trout, but none of this could possibly explain why I was so abruptly brought from Paris. As soon as the last plum had been dipped into cool rose water, Godfather clapped his hands - the boys scurried away like fireflies on a summer night, and goddaughter Francesca disappeared into an anti-chamber.

And then it was time for business.

Godfather beckoned me to come sit beside Signore Faggiolini. After he wiped his mouth with a white linen cloth, he began to mumble.

"They say I'm old. I'm passed it," he whispered. "I've read it all in the magazines."

His voice then took on a threatening tone. "They're gonna pay for that insult! I'm the KING of Italian fashion! I don't give a xxxx what all those SOBs write. I've got the money. I've got the power. And I've got the name!"

He sipped his Valpolicella. "It's time to teach them all a lesson. You've got Vino prancing around with more hairspray in his bouffe than That Girl. And he's still showing the same red toga he sold to Jackie back in 68. Then, you've got Vace running through her brother's money faster than W. can bankrupt the US Treasury.  And look what she's done, not only to his name - but the ozone layer, for christsakes. All that peroxide on her hair must have given off enough fumes to have brought global warming up 10 degrees."

He coughed here, choosing his words carefully. "Then, you've got Viano, that cockney queen pretending to be descended from Italian aristocracy. He can't keep coke out of his nose, or xxxx out of his xxxx. And just look at those pieces he calls couture - I saw transvestites in Key West wearing the same slop. So guess what - I'm going to beat all those Sonny boys at their own game. I'm going to Paris and show couture in January."

He paused long enough to observe my reaction, then forged ahead. "What does it take anyway? You pick one of my 80s loan shark suits off a Hollywood pretty boy, cut the size, and put it on a skinny coke-head model and call it the reinvention of Saint Laurent's tuxedo. You take pink silk, throw on some crystal embroidery and tell 'em it's the reincarnation of Dior's new look. Throw a bolero over the top of a Gap cocktail dress and say it's the soul of Balenciaga. I wasn't born yesterday, I know these things."

He coughed again. Then he picked up his crystal wineglass, draining the last ruby-red drop.

"I've always had problems with that crew up in Paris, and so I've decided to show my line off-calendar. Can't you imagine it - old Diddle Humbug will choke on his morning bagel when he find outs. He's been dancing around for years saying couture isn't dying, while each season they're all buggering off faster than a xxxx. He's had his fingers in more holes than the little Dutch boy, but the dyke is still about to bust. So now he's going out on the street trying to get it wherever he can."

The candles had burnt down to stubs, as Godfather reached for a cigar. "I'll put my show on at the Ritz, invite only 300 of the most snooty editors I can find - you know the type - the ones with the their nose up their xxxx and not a penny in their pocket. They'll think they're something special that way. I'm gonna ask the IHT queen, and then ah, Weenie, now that his wire's been cut. Of course, your name will be on the list too. The hell with the ladies to buy any of it - this is only for show, anyway."

His smoke rose up into the darkness.

"Now - I want a good review, do you hear what I'm telling to you? I want Vino, Vace, and Viano smeared from one end of the planet to the other - and I know you're just the mouthpiece to do it."

He nestled back in his leather chair, cured from whale testicles, and began to scrutinize my reaction. Thinking me in the palm of his hand, he went right for the Achilles heel.  

"So," he said. "I'm going to offer you something for your pleasure. You can have one of the boys to take back to Paris. Whichever one you want, ah, except Giorgio - he's going to Anna. In return, I want my story told to the world. I'm the KING OF FASHION. And nobody better say otherwise!" He snuffed out his cigar.

"So, can we do business here?"

He stretched out his right hand, which came down like a vice. As he had me in a cul-de-sac, I quietly nodded my acquiescence, then fled his casa for my return flight home.


It's now the Yuletide season in Paris, and Giambattista is happily curled up on a chaise longue beside the tree, his new Louis Vuitton midnight-blue smoking jacket subtly shimmering in the light.

And since Godfather kept his promise to me, and I've now kept mine to him, it's time to open the nice bottle of Roderer Cristal that is on ice.

Fa, la, la, la, la - la, la, la, la

Contact Us | Subscribe | Visit the fashionlines-lookonline-zoozoom forum | Fashionlines Archives | “Jewels By Christine”

© 1998-2005 All rights reserved.