On April 1st, 1997, I finally quit being forever a student at university, without any degree, of course, and started to work in Hamburg as a junior copywriter in advertising. Later that day, not working long hours yet, I went shopping for the perfect shirt. I was thinking of a white one, I love white shirts, one cannot manage to look bad in a white shirt, but on this day I ended up with a black one. I blame the shirt’s buttons. Black mother-of-pearl, on which the engraved letters of its manufacturer were only barely noticeable, with a perfect shine, luxurious, suave, and somewhat sensual, stitched on matte, splendidly structured cotton with the softest touch, tailored with a slim fit, that made me look like some sort of movie star with a stylist who knew what he was doing, at least that’s what I was telling myself, and, in other words of course, the lady at the shop, a breathtaking creature, whose perfectly elegant facial features looked like a blend of the ones of Anouk Aimée and Jacqueline de Ribes. “Todedel”, she kept saying, “todedel”, which translates into “deathly noble”, as if any convincing was necessary, but I loved listening to this stunning woman’s matchingly stunning voice. I bought the black pants she brought, too, as she said I needed them, and a belt, with a buckle that had you wriggle the suede through it in a very complicated manner, no ordinary belt at all, so when I wore it, I would be asked if I had made it myself, and I would answer, no, thanks for the compliment, but actually it was Tom Ford who made it himself. The belt got lost sometime, somewhere, the trousers died at the dry cleaners some day, but the shirt has been with me to this day, it doesn’t seem to have aged at all, it’s still in shape, the colour is still vivid, which is quite amazing, considering it’s 100% black cotton, and I still look “todedel” in it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself since April 1st, 1997.