If The Beautiful Fall didn’t offer you enough insight into the world of Karl Lagerfeld, you will want to get your hands on another fashion book about the fashion designer nicknamed the Kaiser.
Written by his assistant of 15 years, Arunaud Maillard’s book Karl Lagerfeld and Me (Karl Lagerfeld Und Ich) has hit German bookstores this week and looks beyond the snow white hair and the tailored black suits at the man who Maillard (still) holds greats admiration for.
“He was and remains a genius and I have great respect still for him,” Maillard says. “But after everything that happened to me I wanted to describe the other side of Karl.”
According to Maillard, Lagerfeld:
- Is an unbelievable Narcissus who needs an eternity to pull himself into shape in the mornings.
- Every photo session is preceded by him pinning up self-portraits everywhere.
- He surrounds himself with courtiers, none of whom may contradict him. It is as if he is in the 18th century.
- Wherever he goes he has to have Pepsi Cola in a Baccarat crystal glass and it has to be replaced every 30 minutes.
- Rubs La Prairie cream all overhimself, twice a day.
- Employees must be on hand 24/7
If you want to learn more about Kaiser Karl by someone who probably knows his every folly and fancy like the back of his hand, Maillard’s book is one to pick up after all 15 years with Lagerfeld is nothing to be sneezed at.
With stories about how Lagerfeld once informed a member of his team that she had lost her job by presenting her with a caricature depicting a hand holding her decapitated head Marie Antoinette style – in the presence of his entire company. This is one novel you must read on a relaxing summer holiday – if it ever gets released in English.
If you can read German, you can buy the novel now on Amazon.de.
Finally, according to newspaper reports, if Lagerfeld decided he didn’t want anything to do with a person ” he simply doesn’t speak to them, as if they did not exist.”
I wonder if Maillard exists in Lagerfeld’s world.