Thursday, April 2

Karl Lagerfeld

Photograph by François-Marie Banier

For as long as I can remember I have felt a connection to people who relentlessly embrace their dreams and strive for the best. As a young girl my affinity was fostered through books. I grew up in a suburban neighborhood with two local libraries. During the long lazy days of summer my mother would drop me off at the library for regular rendezvous with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote.

Then, as now, I loved nothing more than the thrill of being surrounded by endless stories of intrigue, fashion, parties and travel. But most of all I loved the encounters with captivating subjects. Along with my childhood home, these were the inspired worlds that profoundly shaped my young thoughts, ideas and views.

Photograph by François-Marie Banier

I am most fascinated by the complexing genius that is Karl Lagerfeld. My interest was fuelled several years ago after reading Where Karl Lagerfeld Lives by John Colapinto and Alicia Drakes' brilliant book The Beautiful Fall.

The uniquely confident and iconic Lagerfeld (born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt) is widely recognized as one of the most influential fashion designers of the late 20th century. Over decades he has collaborated with many fashion houses including Chloé and Fendi. However, it was his appointment to the House of Chanel in 1982 that elevated his reining status in the world of fashion.

Photograph by Karl Lagerfeld

Since moving to the UK I have become smitten with the shelter magazine Elle Decoration. Just when I think I’ve seen their best issue ever I am proven wrong the next month. Yesterday I picked up my April copy for the plane, but had to take a peek at the exclusive photos of Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment. As Diana Vreeland once said, “Few things are more fascinating than the opportunity to see how people live during their private hours.”

Photograph by Karl Lagerfeld

The entire issue, including the 12 page Lagerfeld spread, is jaw dropping. My advice, get yourself a copy and find a cozy spot to read and devourer each photo. The last page features a fantasctic 1970 photo of style icon Gloria Vanderbilt - sheer perfection. Enjoy!


Kwana said...

I'm such a Karl fan. What and inspires genius.

the paris apartment said...

I love that they're all shot in black and white. What a gorgeous life he must have!

Karena said...

Ronda, Send a copy or link to get one, I cannot find it here in KC. I love to read and it started as a young girl when my cousin Sharon gave me her books.My favorites, are biographies and autobiographies!

J. Cochran said...

Lagerfeld is a genius. Name one other person who could pull off fingerless gloves on a regular basis! ; ) I'm facinated by the outwardly creative.

Heather said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll have to look out for the Mag! Nice post!

Suzy said...

Thanks for the tip - will pick up my copy tonight!

The Antiques Diva™ said...


When I lived in Paris I lived above Karl Lagerfeld’s haute couture atelier. I would see him frequently coming and going, talking to the models in my courtyard (who inevitably changed clothes in full view of the residents with nary a care in the world). For 5 years my goal was to get Karl Lagerfeld to recognize me – to simply nod an acknowledgement in my direction. After 4 ½ years of playing it oh-so-cool, smiling politely then walking past him, he finally gave me the “nod” of recognition. It made my year.

Recently, Habitually Chic blogged about meeting Albert Hadley (and posted a wonderfully candid and a little bit stalker-esque photo of him outside his office smoking a cigarette). I could relate with the joy Heather must have felt capturing Hadley on film. Sadly, I never captured Lagerfeld on film, but my mom’s claim to fame is that when she visited me, she borrowed a napkin off his table when he was sitting having espresso in the sunshine at a table next to ours on the Rue de Buci.

Of course, my dear old mom almost “blew my cool cover” by asking loudly with her Oklahoma accent – “What? You mean he’s FAMOUS??!” when I told her who he was. She, then, in a mortifying moment, turned to him and apologized, “I had no idea. I’m so sorry to bother you!” He merely nodded and raised his glass.

Then again, perhaps I should thank my mom – it’s probably because of her that he finally remembered me - the Ranchers daughter - and nodded on the street.

I’ll be certain to pick up this month’s Elle Décor. Thanks for the tip.


ALL THE BEST said...

Toma I LOVE your story!!! Thank you so much for sharing. My mother grew up in Oklahoma. I sure she would do and say the exact same as yours! God love her!! :-)

qerat said...

Beautiful photos indeed of a one of the greatest designer of the century.
Beautiful blog browsed many of the posts and loved them all

Anonymous said...

stories of intrigue, fashion, parties and travel?????? Please give us more from your book list.. these are my favorite types of books too!

Sanity Fair said...

Wonderful - I'm off to buy it! Thanks for the tip!

Meade Design Group said...

Amazing Pictures! Thanks for the tip.