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2009-07-01

A Stalker Tale


– by Emily Segal „Sandra D“ is my all-time favorite celebrity stalker.
Over the course of five years she repeatedly threatened to kill Jil Sander (and Sander’s wife, Dickie Mommsen), in writing and over the phone, convinced as she was that they were destined to be together. In 2006, Sandra D was sentenced to 6 months in prison, despite the fact that no German anti-stalking laws existed at the time. It’s simple to understand. First comes the crass, easy part: Jil Sander is a babe. She’s hot and gay and industrial-strength. Then there‘s my sympathy for any chemical imbalance masterly enough to generate headlines like the Times UK’s May 2006 „Gay Stalker Threatened to Kill Queen of Fashion.“
But Sandra D is stationed firmly in my pantheon in part because of the subtlety of choosing Sander as a stalkee, and in part because of a connection I’ve installed myself: between the act of stalking, of seeing without being seen, and Jil Sander’s own menacing aesthetic. Though it might not seem menacing at first, there’s something scary in Sander‘s revolt against ornament: the extreme modesty of all those cashmere zwiebel-layers, nipped close to the wrist and neck. It’s the figure of a business woman with the core of a bondage-y nun; look, but you won’t really see. Sander’s austerity is the kind that goes a hair too far. The moment where extreme modesty, in a dialectic flick, becomes an uncanny kind of sexy, motors Sander‘s (feminine) power – the same power she imparted famously to Angela Merkel and which lives on in the current Sander franchise.
I guess Sandra D must be back on the streets, standing near the counter at a Jil Sander store, fingering the fringe of Raf Simons’s new leather bags. As for Sander, she chills in Wilmersdorf or Hamburg, somewhere on the recluse spectrum between Pynchon and Lauryn Hill. I hear she really loves to garden.   

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