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Since you're visiting us here at Racked.com, you're no doubt familiar with the internet. What a weird, wonderful, horrifying stew it is! Much like the contents of a garbage bag left on the side of the highway on the hottest day in August. While scientists previously believed it impossible to determine which piece of online writing is the most batshit insane at any given moment, the Observer won on Wednesday thanks to the publication of a story titled "Elle on Earth." Reading it is like gazing directly into the depths of that roadside trash bag.
You have to read it in full — that's actually your only homework assignment for the day, and then you get to go home early — but the gist of it is: writer pitches interview with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons to Elle magazine, writer gets frustrated with the editing process, writer crafts a searing and narcissistic takedown piece about Elle for the Observer. You don't need to be a writer to be confused by his use of the English language.
The whole thing hinges on how Kawakubo is "very hard to get," which is just false. Writer Jacques Hyzagi shops the interview around town as if he's scored an intimate portrait of Martin Margiela — who really is an impossible get — while Kawakubo's spoken with publications as varied as Purple, WWD, and Interview.
If you feel like brushing up on your verbal smackdown skills, Hyzagi's florid, fiery, and possibly career-ending storm of complaints against pretty much all of media are a great place to start. "My impression of Anne was that she was loud and tacky," he writes of Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey. "I realized Anna Wintour had never invited Rei, the goddess of fashion, worshipped by every single designer from Karl Lagerfeld to Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang, to her insufferable annual ball at the Met," he says later. Hyzagi, who used to work at Charlie Hebdo and professes to hate fashion but regularly date models, managed to burn the New Yorker, Atlantic, and Politico in just a few paragraphs.
Hyzagi did indeed publish a piece on Kawakubo in Elle's March issue, and yet his personal account for the Observer has to be an elaborate piece of performance art. The show continues on Twitter, where editors and writers nationwide are ripping into it like children attacking a pile of presents on Christmas morning.
Racked has reached out to the Observer and Elle for comment, and we'll update when we hear back. But... this can't be for real. Right?
Update: Elle's spokesperson provided us with the following comment: "We always edit for clarity and concision." Presumably, this is a response to Hyzagi's complaint that his story published in Elle was stripped of its interest during the editing process, making it "bland, milquetoast, uninformative, safe above all, boring."