We don't always get around to reading Hong Kong's Prestige Magazine — uh, okay, we didn't know it existed until we learned that a friend of ours was working there — but the recent Karl Lagerfeld cover interview, conducted by said friend, Stephen Short, is nothing less than magnificent. Stephen, who apparently received a Karl Lagerfeld action figure for his efforts, talked to Karl for about three hours late one evening, and Karl had a lot to say, generally all negative, on subjects from books to children to love to Diane Von Furstenberg to food to the nineties. We excerpted some of his most effusively misanthropic utterances for your enjoyment.
I hate the smell of cooking. Some people love it, but I don't care for it. I don't eat sweet things. I don't eat greasy things. And I like fish better than meat. In fact, I hate meat. My doctor calls me to eat meat twice a week, as apparently we are cannibals. There used to be a Nobu here in Paris but it was very bad; it was horrible. The one one in London is great. It's my favorite restaurant in London.
Yes, new Russian girls are like this. But this is a subject I won't discuss. You know why? In France there are a large percentage of young girls who are overweight and less than one percent are skinny. So let's talk about the 25 percent who have a weight problem, or are overweight. We don't need to discuss the less than one percent. Anorexia is nothing to do with fashion. These Russian girls are so young. Chinese ones are skinny, too, and bony. I don't think it's a subject to discuss. And in today's world, many people take drugs, not only models, hmm? It's an unnecessary subject. Let's talk about the fat ones.
Do you ever wish you had a son to pass on your wisdom to, to continue the Chanel heritage?
That's the last thing I want. I hate all children. For other people, it's fine, but not for me. I was born not to be a family person.
Going to other places that involve people.
I live in certain isolation. I never take appointments in the morning. I leave my house only after lunch. I don't want to have a social life. I've had enough of that in my life. It's demode. It's another era. Perhaps people are still excited by that era, but not me. It's uninteresting today. It says nothing. It's boring, pretentious and vulgar...Even for charity, people get paid. I try to avoid charity. It doesn't happen for me. I'm rich enough not to have to do that. Thank God I don't have to do that. I do a lot of unnecessary things for free, but I'm very much against that. Money itself isn't interesting, the use of it is.
Going to other places, period.
Sometimes, to be inspired by things or places, it's better not to go there. You have to imagine. I imagine the world from my window. I am not a traveler. I hate it. I never look at my watch. The good thing about private jets is that you go whenever you're ready. That's the real luxury of today. In all my contracts it says, if you want me, send a private jet.
People who try to touch him.
Also I cannot go on airlines because people stare at me, you have to be touched by people. I hate that...I hate bespoke because I hate to be touched by strangers. It bores me to death.
People who try to analyze him.
Diane von Furstenberg told me she thinks you may not be the best designer aesthetically, but that you're by far the smartest.
And look at her prints, hmm? Maybe I've known her for too many years. Maybe she's right, I don't know. If she were an expert, perhaps her designs may be more impressive...I'm not a frustrated writer or architect, I'm frustrated by nothing at all, and frustration is the mother of all crimes. Ambition? I have no ambition. I just want things in a certain way...I don't want to be a teacher. I don't want to inform others through myself. In that way, it's all for myself. I'm the most selfish person in the world. Being selfish, I take care of others. My mother always used to say, "Don't sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there's nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.
I think that Claudia Schiffer is better than ever. There are few very, very, very great girls. But it's not like in the '90s, the days of Linda Evangelista. That's demode now, that's another era. Very tacky, hmmm? On the one hand there was something intellectual going on during that time. On the other, it was just tacky. But you know, decades have a look, a mood, but that was that. We know what the '90s looked like now, but during the '90s we thought it was great perhaps...I put on weight in the early '90s because clothes were so large, then they got tighter, so I slimmed down. Never go one size ahead. Go down but not up.
Technology, the internet, etc.
I'm a computer by myself. I have a memory also for unnecessary things. Telephone numbers are a problem, but historical details are not.
Love is a subject I don't analyze publicly. Love is only an interesting subject when it's beyond. When it's down to earth it ceases to become interesting. It's a very dangerous subject. I've had so many tragedies in life, it's hard to discuss the subject.