Home Sweet Home

The obligatory bio

Charites & Organizations

My Calgary Sun Column & More

Law Stuff

Gary Lautens

E-mail me!


Dressed to Kill

by Stephen Lautens

August 22, 1997

A news item a few days ago reported that European fashion designer Hugo Boss has admitted that they "very likely" made uniforms for the Nazis in World War II.

During the Gulf War, it was reported that Saddam Hussein's troops wore uniforms designed by Pierre Cardin.

I'm starting to see a trend here. There is obviously an underground fashion economy that keeps despots and megalomaniacs looking their best.

The question is, if you are an insane head of state, how do you do your fashion shopping? It won't be mail order. I doubt Pol Pot anxiously waited by the mailbox each month for his new "Fredericks of Cambodia" catalogue.

There must be a place where these dictators can get together with top designers and supermodels to make sure they're not embarrassed by wearing last year's uniform in public.

We now whisk you to the Martin Bormann Fashion Institute, deep in the jungles of Paraguay:


Welcome tyrants and international war criminals to a preview of our Fall collection.

Now first we have Rolf coming down the runway. He's dressed in basic black for that special night of rounding up enemies of the state. Note the matching black leather accessories and sporty billy club.

Next we have Miguel. Doesn't he look fresh from the jungle? Whether your dictatorship is on the Left or on the Right, I have only one thing to say to you - Camo, camo, camo.

The tropical look is back. Nothing says banana republic like Banana Republic. And if you're President for Life or just a government in exile, white linen is a must. Our new synthetic blend means it travels from the south of France to Central America and back again without a wrinkle.

For making deposits to Swiss accounts, the favourite is still a silk suit and matching oversize duffel bag.

It doesn't matter if you're a James Bond villain or an aging Chinese Party Boss, Nehru jackets still show you mean business when crushing democracy at home or abroad.

And for putting down political dissent at public rallies, this easy-care jumpsuit and matching helmet will not let you down.

For those palace coups that go wrong, this reversible suit always puts you on the winning side. It just screams: "I was with you all the time!"

On this uniform you'll see something we learned from the Iraqi army in the Gulf War. Notice the attention to detail on the back, so you'll look good, even in retreat.

Nothing inspires confidence more than our next item. If you're not only Head of State, but also Supreme Commander of the Army - and who isn't? - have a look at our ready to wear Field Marshal's uniform. It looks good on a balcony or when making announcements on TV. It is accessorized with a brave chest full of medals from the Idi Amin collection.

For greeting delegations investigating your country for human rights violations, this simple charcoal gray suit makes you look suitably concerned and cooperative for Western TV interviews. When Barbara Walters comes a-knockin', don't get caught looking like a developing country nutbar, or you can kiss your humanitarian aid good-bye.

Thanks for coming, and don't forget, crimes against humanity are one thing, but fashion crimes are quite another.

Back to column archive index