Karl and I are the most opposite human beings one could imagine. But I often find myself closer to him than what I’d thought, and it’s not only megalomania. Besides that, I have an history with Karl. Back in the 90’s, I was once assigned by the underground magazine «The Clamped Oyster» (it had disappeared since, outpowered by glossies like among others, Purple) to report from Karl’s studio at the house of Chanel. I assisted to the last fitting before the show, in the very heart of the sanctuary, where Karl was reviewing and giving the last touch to his models, surrounded by collaborators, muses and advisers, such as Victoire de Castellane, Amanda Harlech who had left her horses for the day, and some of the world most prestigious magazines editors in chief. Everybody was so serious, the only fellow with who I could share a momentory friendship was Michel Gaubert, the soon to be World famous DJ, who modestly show me a cassette tape on which, the night before, he had laid down musics for the show: « a little of Mozart, a little of something else ». I should have been thrilled to be where no one’s never allowed, and in a sense I was –although I would have prefered to witness Allen Ginsberg reading « Howl » for the first time, or being 2nd camera assistant on Jean-Luc Godard’s « One + One », not to mention being an intern at the Factory in its glorious days – but somehow, I couldn’t concentrate on the action, distracted by Camille Miceli, the PR of the time, who in high boots, mini skirt and tight tee-shirt was asking me if I needed anything. I was hynotised, unaware that one day she would pose in her nude for Paradis, Thomas Lenthal’s magazine, who on his side was to become Victoire de Castellane’s husband. Back at the rehearsal, Philip Treacy, the great hat designer was graciously slouching in his casual clothes, while I had stupidly trade my worn out jeans and thrift store plaid shirts for what I believed to be more adapted to Couture, and had pulled off a boxy navy power suit, paired with a red tie. The red tie was the mistake, and when I was finally introduced to Karl, it was to hear « Oh, I thought you were the security man, looking after the jewelry ! ». One would have been vexated to death (and well, I can’t say I wasn’t) ! But I survived to understand I had been gifted with the most exclusive style advice ever (it’s okay, I’m glad to share it with you now).
So whenever I come accross a Karl’s interview, I read it, meticulously ! There’s always a lot to learn from. The most rescent one I read was in the May issue of Interview Magazine, where asked by model Sigrid Agren what would be his advice on how to become a supermodel, he replys :
Lagerfeld :(…) You want to know what the real secret is ?
Agren : Tell me.
Lagerfeld : It’s not being perfect.
On my last day, I couldn’t find Linlee, but spotted Scott and Garance on the pier and walked by them several times, trying to capture their attention, hoping they will stop me for my genuine style. In my whereabouts the previous day, I had found a great charity shop, really inexpensive, from which I had bought some interesting items: an almost never worn pair of pea green shoes, a 3 buttons plaid jacket, and shades (I’m a night owl, and the Australian daylight is too bright for me ) reminescent of those popularized by Olivier Zahm. I was wearing all my buys at once, and feeling strongly appealing to the occasional Street-Fashion blogger ! But somehow, this great look failed to catch their eyes. Maybe they had seen to much over the week? or just wanted to relax? or reflect on the true meaning of Life, versus the seductions of Appearance ? I took it as a lesson in humbleness, or as we French hispters put it: une vraie leçon d’humilité. In despair, I handed over my camera to a random tourist, asking him to photograph me. The result was outstanding. Of course, he worked under my directions, but one have to admit, this man should be a photographer!
You were picturing me in NY, strolling up and down the Bowery, masterminding some new blowing-out posts, or simply lounging in my pad, listening to my favorite old tapes ( Uneven Dusk:” The rehearsals”)… But, guess what? I’m in Australia for the Fashion Week! Storming Sydney in the company of most famous bloggers Scott and Garance! To be honnest, I was reluctant to go, for fair of the long-haul flight, but the P.R. people insisted so much, I had to submit. I mean, they were desesperate to see me hanging around in their very special city.
My asking for up-grade to First was declined, and I ended up in coach with basket-ball players celebrating upon their return.In top of beers, one of the dudes seated behind me might have been taking an acid instead of sleeping pills, as he kept pushing my seat all the way, enabling me to concentrate on Art Forum.
Here, girls are mostly like everywhere else, with the same oversized hand-bags that can be seen worldwide in major cities. But this one had amazing long blond hair. I thought it could make an interesting picture, and asked if I could document her hair. And here is the thing about Sydney: people are really nice and unpretentious. She said yes with a big smile.
I was much intrigued by this man, thinking he was an aborigen shaman, while in fact, he is a tatoo artist. He owns a wonderful little shop in the outskirt of town. For those interested, anyone coming on behalfe of The Unknown Hipster will get a complimentary 4,5 X 6 inches “mad skull with wings” anywhere on his back.
I couldn’t enter the big shows, since it was too crowded and I have no patience. I sometimes stayed outside to hear the soundtrack. Not always worth it, they have top quality tents here, so thick and strong, most are sound proof. Scouting the less established, I discovered some really interesting designers, like this one above.
I met this person at sunset by the Opera house. I was astonished by her elegance – look how fabulously tailored is the hat! and the oh-so well choosen orange of the soft plastic bag!.. – and politly asked this woman what was her position in the Fashion world, assuming she was famous. She started screaming at me and throwing things. I had to run back to my hotel in an emergency. The next morning, I met Scott by the breakfast-buffet and asked him if he had ever spotted the strange woman, but he didn’t know anything about her, and replied in his wit that she was probably invisible to anybody else than me.