Harald Glööckler, camper than Campy McCamp…

Well I watched Harald Glööckler “Prince of Fashion” on Living tonight and I’ll 
have to say, I ended the episode feeling slightly bemused. Harald is a German designer who in his words has: “…so much gifts from God and so much ideas and so much talent. I want to show people that.” To that end, he designs, well, everything it would seem: clothes; furniture; jewellery; handbags; shoes, sunglasses, you name it, his Pompöös label does it. All extremely outlandish and over the top (think “Empora Catareena ze great” and double that, you won’t even come close), yet he seems to have a dedicated following. Including several fading celebs such as Brigit Neilson – who looks fab by the way and Bonnie Tyler – not so fab… (I don’t know whether that’s a good thing?)

He is ever so slightly obsessed with himself and I guess his ‘brand’. Cut to him at the hairdressers (in a bit of a strop because the camera crew filming the documentary were late to come and watch him mill about basiically), where he goes EVERY DAY.  I repeat EVERY DAY for a wash and blow dry, or a colour, or to colour his beard because: “I am like a piece of art, that is my success. I am glamorous”.  He mentioned without seeming particularly distressed that he is often compared to the “child of Liza Minnelli and David Guest..You are Bruno.’ As and aside the narrator indicated that, Harald is the ‘inspiration’ for the Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Bruno. What he should have said is that, in fact, he IS Bruno. He is so Bruno’esq’ that, had today been April 1st, I would have written him off as an elaborate ruse.  Sacha Baron Cohen has basically ripped his personality off. If I was Harald, (but with my bank account…) I would be demanding a share of the royalties. There was one comedy moment where we saw him exercising in a green glittery tank top!! (Camper than Campy, Mcamp)  Exercise being required because, “people expect me to have a nice body. People tell me, “we like your ‘beeceps’ and your chest”. Apparently the exercise is working as his ‘tits are getting beeeeg’.
Harald??                              Sacha??
So the point of the show was that Harald wants to break into London and was attending London fashion week to show his collection. Whilst he continued to mince mercilessly, he did reveal why he is as successful as he is. Acute attention to detail; ‘Iron fiist in a velvet glove’ approach to organisation and staff management and; seemingly boundless energy.  The show, “Regency bitch meets punk dahling”  (or something along those lines), seemed to be successful – (despite one audience member commenting on them being ill fitting and poor quality). Harald and his crew seemed happy enough in any event. Turns out the documentary was a one-off, so (a) we won’t find out whether he does make a go of it over here (b) it can’t serve as our X Factor replacement.

To be honest, I’m not unhappy that it’s a one off, as I couldn’t shake the slightly uncomfortable feeling I had throughout the show. Despite all the bravura, I got the distinct feeling that he is actually desperate for approval. The evidence?  Surrounding himself with the requisite group of sycophants who ‘adore him to the point of tears and hang on his every word; His appearance surgically altered almost to Bride of Wildenstein proportions; Going to the hairdressers EVERY DAY (come on now, that’s not normal??); His thinly veiled need for attention, “If you are Harald Glööckler you cannot walk the streets like a Mr Müller”, said whilst practically throwing himself in the path of random passers by. 

We did get a brief glimpse as to the root cause of this, when he mentioned that he had a terrible childhood and as a result had to give back to children and animals, (but mainly children). Cut to film of him in a children’s home and, inexplicably, Battersea dogs home. Despite his earlier protestations, he seemed a lot happier in the latter venue…..(In fairness apparently he does do a lot for children’s charities). Apparently his Father’s violence resulted in the death of his Mother and at his Mother behest, he didn’t speak up. I suspect that the little boy inside of Harald Glööckler “Prince of Fashion” is trying to atone for his perceived crime.  Watching that unfold, wouldn’t be pleasant viewing…

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