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Sun, Jan 23, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Flamboyant `Mosi' laid to rest

The eccentric designer, whose style was once dismissed as `Alpine Pimp,' was killed after a tryst with an Iraqi toyboy

DPA , HAMBURG

In the days since Daisy was found whining beside the prone body of her dead master, lurid details of the 64-year-old designer's sex-for-hire habits have filled the tabloids. Even close friends had been unaware of his penchant for young Persian and Arab men.

But Germans have also read of his fairy-tale, rags-to-riches story. His alcoholic father had succumbed to cirrhosis, leaving Mosi and his mother Else penniless in a wretched cold-water flat.

That trauma created a strong bond between mother and son, and Moshammer not only lived with her the rest of her life, he made her his inseparable companion at Munich social events until her death in 1993.

He subsequently wrote a book about their life together, unabashedly titled: Mama und Ich (Mama and I). He penned a number of books and they were nearly always bestsellers in Germany, among them the "intimate diary" of his dog Daisy three years ago.

Desperate to extricate themselves from poverty, Mosi and Mama ingratiated themselves with a young millionaire, Walter Kaessmeyer.

"The Moshammers had an ambitious dream," Kaessmeyer recalls. "They wanted to open an exclusive boutique and become rich and famous. I thought they had the chutzpah to pull it off, so I gave them the start-up money they required with no strings attached."

Kaessmeyer bankrolled the Moshammers' boutique on the fashionable Maximilian Strasse, never asking for a return on his investment because, as he puts it, "I figured the fashion world is so volatile that I'd never see any of that money again anyway."

It was in the late 1960s that Mosi began creating the outrageous image that would make him a celebrity. Though unable to sew a stitch himself, he began designing gentlemen's evening apparel aimed at Munich's nouveau riche film and TV personalities.

His style, derided by some fashion critics as "Alpine Pimp" consisted of expensive fabrics and furs in often garish color combinations. The most outrageous designs were donned by Moshammer himself, making him a walking advertisement at soirees and cocktail parties among the Munich glitterati.

He would strut to work in some over-the-top outfit with a pet cheetah on a rhinestone-studded leash and -- presto -- he was on the front page of every newspaper in Germany the next morning.

His Carnaval de Venise boutique quickly established itself as an outfitter to well-heeled Europeans and celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, tenor Jose Carreras, illusionists Siegfried and Roy and actor Richard Chamberlain.

As long as he lived, Mosh-ammer would never be absent from the tabloid front pages again. And he would never forget his origins.

Under the terms of his will, which were made public on Friday, Moshammer leaves the bulk of his estate to his one-time benefactor Kaessmeyer, now 76.

Moshammer's will stipulates that proceeds from the sale of his boutique, his limousines and other possessions go toward charities for the homeless -- so that no one ever need die on the streets as his father had.

And it stipulates that his beloved Daisy be cared for the rest of her natural life by his faithful butler and chauffeur, who also receives a large condominium apartment and a pension for life.

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