Who is the creative mastermind that revived and reinvented the world’s most eponymous fashion label? He who hides behind a pair of dark shades and is considered a true fashion genius by his contemporaries...
Well, that would be Karl Lagerfeld. And the documentary “Lagerfeld Confidential” gives us an up-close and personal view of he who is somewhat of a mystery to those outside the supreme echelons of fashion high society.
Born in Germany, Lagerfeld moved to Paris, France, in his early teens to pursue a career in fashion. He first worked as junior assistant to popular French designer, Pierre Balmain.
Lagerfeld has since enjoyed immense success designing collections for Tommy Hilfiger, Fendi, Chloe and his own label bearing his name. Yet his best known role is as creative director of the house of Chanel.
The first detail to be observed from watching the documentary about Lagerfeld is his propensity to live in a state of complete chaos. He is a hoarder of books, magazines, jewellery and, strangely, iPods.
He also has an obsession with photography and shares the fact if he wasn't in fashion, he would be working in advertising.
The documentary shows Lagerfeld at work – both in his roles as fashion designer and photographer. In relation to fashion, he reveals the “the best things I've ever done have come from my dreams”.
For Lagerfeld, fashion is “ephemeral, dangerous and unfair…to do this job, you must be able to accept injustice.” He describes modelling as “cinema”’ and admits although he loves the job of being a designer, “it’s no more important to me than photography, books, etc.”
Appreciating the cyclical nature of fashion, and adopting the attitude of his predecessor (the late Coco Chanel), Lagerfeld remarks, “because I love change, I’m attached to nothing”. He will only don pieces from his current collections – with the rest banished to the archives of the Paris home of he who describes himself as being “transportable” and having “no roots”.
Lagerfeld Confidential – a film by Rodolphe Marconi – is available to purchase from Amazon.com.