Karl Lagerfeld's globalization-themed Fall 2013 show for Chanel was dominated by the presence of a 25-meter-high globe, and the designer says the idea for it shook him out of his slumber.
"This idea comes when I sleep," Lagerfeld said during a video interview with Harper's Bazaar's Laura Brown. "I always have a paper next to my bed because I have very good ideas in the early morning just before waking up. I have very clear visions of things I could do, should do, and want to do."
But Brown doesn't just talk business with him — she also gets him to joke and laugh. When Brown says Lagerfeld resembles Angelina Jolie, the designer deadpans and says, "I don't think so. We have big mouths, that's all."
More from the interview, below.
Chanel's Spring 2013 Couture collection was beautiful, but watching the pieces come to life in the hands of Chanel's artisans is almost as beautiful as the garments themselves.
The house offers a closer look at how its one-of-a-kind creations are made in a new video called "Le Savoire Faire." In it, workers in Chanel's Couture ateliers are seen creating gowns with components from the embroidery studio Maison Lesage and from the feather and floral applique masters at Maison Lemarié. It's as mesmerizing to watch countless thousands of beads, silk flowers, crystals, and other embellishments come together as it is to watch the show itself. A look at the process in the video below.
In case anyone had forgotten about Karl Lagerfeld's legion of side projects — remember the helicopters? — there's now a behind-the-scenes video featuring The Kaiser hard at work on his latest one: a photo series for Italian furniture company Cassina.
The company announced that Lagerfeld would photograph some of its iconic designs in November, and the images he created will be on display at Cassina's Paris showroom from Jan. 31 to March 10.
In the video, Lagerfeld says his goal was to make the furniture appear "both mysterious and unusual while remaining a piece of furniture." A look at him doing just that in the video below.
Karl Lagerfeld must have gardens on the brain. After re-creating a full-scale pine forest for his Spring 2013 Couture show on Tuesday, he also released a video of models frolicking in the gardens of Paris's Rodin Museum.
In the three-act story, entitled Public Garden, Lindsey Wixson and a fellow blond beauty alight on a bench in the gardens to examine recent purchases from Chanel's Spring 2013 ready-to-wear collection. After they watch model Aymeline Valade stroll by, Brad Kroening and his 4-year-old son Hudson — who's also Lagerfeld's godson — come and sit on the adjacent bench.
Wixson and her friend encounter Valade and both of the Kroenig men in each of the subsequent acts, finally learning how the three are connected at the end of the film. A look at the story — and the all the clothing — in the video below.
He may be the most quoted man in fashion, but that doesn't mean Karl Lagerfeld feels inclined to write a book any time soon. "No memoirs," the Kaiser stated at Tuesday's WWD CEO Summit at New York's Plaza Hotel. "I have nothing to say."
While that may be true, at least as far as the written word goes anyway, the legendary designer certainly had plenty to say on stage. From revealing the surprising locale of his next show (Dallas) to explaining how it feels to be marking his 30th anniversary at Chanel ("Some people say I'm a hired gun. Well, I'm very happy to be one."), Lagerfeld kept the bon mots coming and the assembled crowd — which included Anna Wintour, Carine Roitfeld, and Sarah Jessica Parker — hanging on his every word. Below, a few gems:
On career longevity: "Fashion is for people to wear and that has not changed."
On inspiration: "When I like something, I don't ask myself why. I just like it."
On couture today: "There are so many new worlds, and so much new money. We have more couture clients now than we did 20 years ago. Many of the rich people of the past are poor compared to the rich people of today, I'm sorry."
On his childhood ambitions: "I didn't even know one could make a business out of fashion. Back then it was called clothes."
On designers who complain about the workload: "You accept a job, you know the conditions. Don't play the victim."
On what irritates him most: "People who create complications in order to appear more professional."
On Paris in the '80s: "The '80s were very difficult. I prefer to forget about them."
On career setbacks: "Sometimes you go two steps back but that's a healthy thing. No one has a one-line career."
On his look: "You may think it's very distinct but to me it is normal."
On the potential of a retrospective: "I would never make a retrospective. I look forward, ahead, ahead. I don't keep any kind of archive even."
On his three steps to success: "What? Steps? Oh, there's a whole staircase."
"I think I'm very lucky that I have all those projects, the possibility to do things in such great condition," Lagerfeld told the BBC. "Why should I slow down? What a bore! That is commonplace to think that people have to slow down and [not] burn out. You know, I have a very healthy life. I don't smoke, I don't eat too much, I don't drink, I never take drugs. So, my head is like a crystal ball and I have no need of slowing down."
He added that the reason the luxury business can't slow down, either, is because it responds to desires consumers can't control.
"We create a product nobody needs, but people want," he argues. "If you need an ugly old car, it can wait, but if you want a new fashion item, it cannot wait."
If you'd been waiting with bated breath to hear what Karl Lagerfeld thinks about Alexander Wang taking over Balenciaga, you may now exhale.
"Considering how hard it is to replace a man such as Nicolas Ghesquière, the best solution is to choose someone completely different," the Chanel designer wrote in an email to Modmods, the fashion arm of the global daily newspaper Metro. "As the impression we have had so far is that Mr. Pinault very much wants to 'expand' this area of the business, I believe that Alexander Wang is the best man for the job. His fashion is easier, his personality is more open to the world and he has very good contacts. People 'adore' Alexander, I too like him very much and I think he is a good choice in light of the fashion house's future projects. Furthermore, his origins will prove to be very helpful in parts of the world where fashion is most important as well as the luxury industry."
As Fashionista noted in its post about the subject, Lagerfeld guest edited Metro earlier this year. His voice joins a chorus of congratulations for Wang that came from all corners of the fashion industry. Wang himself hasn't said much about his new job but is already hard at work on his debut women's Fall 2013 collection.
Karl Lagerfeld has dubbed President Barack Obama "The Biggest Chef in the World" in a political cartoon he drew for last Thursday's edition of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "The subject was inspiring," Lagerfeld said of Obama's reelection.
The cartoon, which Lagerfeld colored with Shu Uemura makeup, per his custom, depicts the president wearing chef's whites and holding a cake shaped like the White House. The caption reads, "The Biggest Chef in the World: 10 x 5 Stars."
Lagerfeld told WWD that he woke up early the morning after the election to see the results and draw the cartoon. "I couldn't do it before; I'm superstitious," he said.
The polymath designer has said that he "will never vote," but he hasn't been shy about commenting on politics in the past. In March, he drew a series of cartoons for Elle France in the month leading up to the French presidential elections.
Photo via Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Speculation abounds about what Nicolas Ghesquière will do after he leaves Balenciaga, but Karl Lagerfeld already has an idea for the designer's next move.
"Perhaps Nicolas wants to have his own label, which is not a bad idea," Lagerfeld said at the Paris launch of the Little Black Jacket exhibit. "And it would not be a bad idea if somebody such as Bernard Arnault would invest in a new label because there are so many old labels (within the LVMH group)."
If Arnault backed Ghesquière's line, it would put him and Lagerfeld — who designs LVMH's label Fendi — on the same payroll. Some in the Paris fashion world believe that's exactly what's going to happen. Earlier this week, a source told Suzy Menkes that Arnault has already offered Ghesquière his own house, and another source called the situation "delicate." But while the business team at Balenciaga says it already has a short list of potential replacements, so far there's been no definitive word on what Ghesquière will do next.