T, the New York Times’s style magazine, interviewed Karl Lagerfeld for a feature set in Paris, the only city in which Karl Lagerfeld truly exists. Given the setting and opportunity, the ever-quotable Karl Lagerfeld spouted the most Karl Lagerfeldian quote that ever did see the light of day, and it might have been his bougiest comment of all time.

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Of course, it was about Proust:

“I like the language in Proust, but not the context. I could say something mean. It’s all — you know — the son of the concierge looking at society people. There was this woman who survived from that group. The wife of a banker, Madame Porgès. They had a huge hôtel particulier in front of the Plaza Athénée hotel, where LVMH is now. She died a hundred years after everyone else. She was not very chic, and people said, ‘She was the last person who could remember a world she was never part of.’ Some couture designer — to be kind I will not say his name — once said to me he liked Proust because Françoise Sagan coached him in the best passages.’’

I believe he is talking about Yves Saint Laurent. He paused. ‘‘There was a moment when designers draped in ermine would be reading Proust, or pretending to.’’

What does it even mean? Is there a quote that is more elegantly snobby and bananas than this? Oh wait, of course there is, later in the profile:

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I remember when I was at school I saw the ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.’ I could not sleep for three weeks because I thought the strange marionette played by Conrad Veidt would come onto my balcony and then kill me the same way.

Everyone’s going bonkers over the Rihanna profile written by Miranda July, which of course you should read as well, but the interview with Lagerfeld is its own must-imbibe gem, in which he discusses feminism, the War (WW2), poetry, fame, and how therapy kills creativity. Do not sleep on the Karl.


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.