Tag Archive for 'Karl Lagerfeld'

Quotables from Kooky Uncle Karl


“I was born determined.”

Uncle Karl’s coming over for dinner tonight, kids. So remember, no pulling on his pony tail and leave him alone about the sunglasses. He likes to wear them, all the time, whether he’s inside or out,even at night, in his own bed, whatever, just leave it alone. And if he mentions something again about how his red gloves look like dog hard ons, just smile and nod. Just try to be nice and listen. He may come off as a little “eccentric,” but I’m gonna tell you right now. Uncle Karl knows a few things.

Snatched the quotes below from “Lagerfeld Confidential.” Could watch this whacky brilliant old man spit wisdom all day. Just did actually. And now I pass those nuggets on to you.

When asked if he’s tired/done it all (in fashion): “On the contrary. There is no definitive answer. It isn’t an issue you can ever cover. The question keeps changing. That’s why I do the job. There is no answer.”

On his creations: “The best things I’ve ever done have come from dreams. I don’t know who did them… Sometimes it’s a whole show, including sets… unfortunately you can’t rely on it. It seldom happens. It’s rather surprising because I don’t fall asleep thinking of dresses, my head teeming with ideas. I’m not that obsessive. I love the job, but it’s no more important to me than photography, books, etc. It’s part of my life. Two hundred percent apparently, since my subconscious is overloaded. But it isn’t something I ponder.”

“There’s a German proverb that says “You can’t borrow your past. Each collection is the first and, luckily for me not the last so I can make up for my mistakes the next time. I love the futurism aspect of the job.”

On working in the worlds of fashion and film: They aren’t jobs that fit any criterion of social justice. It’s like cinema. Lots of boys and girls want to do but very few make it. Sadly, Nicole Kidmans are thin on the ground. To do this job, you must accept injustice. Same goes for fashion. There are other careers. You can work for social security. Get promoted, work behind a counter… it’s a safe bet. If you want social justice, be a civil servant. Fashion is ephemeral, dangerous and unfair.”

On friendship: “Friendship is like love. You can’ take things for granted. You need a sword of Damocles hanging over a relationship. That shows how good it is. Both parties have to make an effort… Friendship is often used to describe something you’re indifferent about. You mustn’t trivialize these things. With people you really care about, you need a certain tension in the day-to-day relationship otherwise it becomes trivial and I don’t want that.”

On his career: “If anyone has been lucky, it’s me. I never studied or got any qualifications. I’m a complete improvisation. I’m not even reliable, Although I work hard. But I hate hard workers. Things must appear to be casual. You have to be serious, but don’t flaunt it. Like being politically correct: be so, but don’t go on about it.”

On being loyal, yet able to leave people he’s “worked with for 30 years in the blink of an eye: “It has to be that way. The sword of Damocles has to be hanging over people. As soon as evolution stops, as soon there’s an unforgivable act… forgiveness isn’t something I’m preoccupied with. I didn’t have a Catholic education, so turning the other cheek isn’t my thing. The curtain falls. An iron curtain.”

On domestic partnerships/marriage: “I hated the idea of a bourgeois marriage… I’m against it. What was needed was something new, a new way of living. Marriage as we know it was created by the church for reproduction. So let’s invent something else, not ape the despised bourgeoisie.”

On possessions: “Right now I have no desire to own. It’s all in my head. It’s better that way. You can carry it everywhere. Possessions are burdensome. You mustn’t get attached to things.”

On sex: “A physical relationship is fine but it is condemned to be something fleeting. The daily grind burns up such things, so idealization is rather good. I’m not interested in the reality of people. People who aren’t accountable to me. I only see what I want to see.”

On prostitution: “I’m rather pro-prostitution. It avoids frustration and I admire people who do it. It can’t be much fun. Thank goodness for it. We can’t all afford a mistress or an expensive friend. People need their relief or they become murders.”

On his New York Home: “As my mother always said, “I live wherever I am.” I don’t like the notion of living somewhere. I have no roots. I’m transportable, transformable, whatever. I don’t have roots, that’s all bullshit. I just want to stand on my own two feet, which means not having roots.”

When asked if there’s anybody who really knows him: “It’s difficult for me to answer. I’ve molded people’s ideas about me so much that I think it’s almost impossible. I want it to be impossible even for the people I love deeply. I don’t want to be real in other people’s lives. I want to be a ghost. I appear then disappear. I don’t want to have reality in anyone’s life, because I don’t want it in mine. That’s the secret of it all… For people like me, solitude is a victory… Using someone else as a crutch is dangerous for people like me. I’m constantly skating on thin ice and I have to cross it before it breaks.”

On life and death: When asked if he feels “time is short.” I don’t think that way. But you could fall down the stairs, bust yourself up, you might get murdered. Who know? I’m not self-important enough to shout about it. So it doesn’t bother me. There are people I’d hate to lose. For myself, since it means cancelling out all emotionalism and since I don’t believe in rebirth, resurrection, etc., it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know what existed before I was born. Then it’s over. Maybe passing away is awakening from the dream of life. Don’t dramatize your body. Billions of people live on earth. You can’t shout about every single one. Billions of people died before us, who didn’t know our religions, who are condemned to hell because they didn’t know the word…. That’s just bad literature. We’re here, then we’re gone. You’re admired by people, then they forget you.”