Yesterday evening the first documentary in a series of three about the life of famous designers took place at the French language instution ‘Maison Descartes’. The honour was to Karl Lagerfeld, a man who, despites he hates funerals, always appears in a black suit with dark (sun)glasses and his white hair worn in a tail, who doesn’t need an introduction.
I really hoped to see him without glasses during the documentary, but unfortunately, his youth pictures were shot in black and white. The film started in his library, where he storages 50.000 books about fashion. After that you saw him taking pictures at Versaille, his great source of inspiration and the reason why he moved from his birthplace Hamburg to France/Paris.
I was a little bit nervous, because there was no subtiteling, and instead of speaking slower for all the foreign viewers, Karl explained why he always speaks so fast: in his youth his mother didn’t have time to listen to his stories, and therefore he had only a few seconds in the morning, to say everything he wanted to tell her. So he practiced a lot with fast, fast, superfast speaking and he told a lot in only 50 minutes.
He said he never wanted to be ‘comme les autres’, even when he was just a small child and a teenager he found everything regular boring and tried to do it his very own way. And he is very successful sticking to that.
There were shots about his first show, in Hamburg in 1948, only for a very few selected customers. Although, he never want to go back to Germany because he will never understand the nazi regime. In another part of the film, he told about how he admires artist like Andy Warhol and excentric artists like Amy Winehouse, who performed in his show in 2008. He will never be like that, because his target is to be reserved (no alcohol, no cigarettes) and mysterious.
The word was also a few minutes to Coco Chanel, which I liked a lot. On the pictures a snapshot from the film, one of Coco Chanel and one of Karl Lagerfeld in his library.
Tonight at there’s a documentary about Sonyia Rykiel at 20.00h and tomorrow about Agnès B at 19.30h @ Maison Descartes, Vijzelgracht 2A, free entrance.
Text and pictures: Valerie Boersma