Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Karl Lagerfeld & Me ...

as I was reading the latest Harper's Bazaar interview with
Kaiser Karl
documenting 24 hours in his regular daily life, it struck me how much of a marketing genius
he really is.

For example,  this...

Karl Lagerfeld

8:00 A.M. I sleep seven hours. If I go to bed at two, I wake up at nine. If I go to bed at midnight, I wake up at seven. I don't wake up before—the house can fall apart, but I sleep for seven hours. I wear a long, full-length white shirt, in a material called poplin imperial, made for me by Hilditch & Key in Paris after a design of a 17th-century men's nightshirt I saw at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The first thing I do when I get up, I have breakfast. I have two protein shakes made for me by my doctor--they have a chocolate taste and no sugar, of course—and steamed apples. That's all. I don't like anything else in the morning. I never drink anything hot; I don't like hot drinks, very strange. I drink Diet Coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed. I can even drink it in the middle of the night, and I can sleep. I don't drink coffee, I don't drink tea, I drink nothing else.
I do most of my reading in the morning. I have a special canopy for that, near the window, where I can see the Louvre and the Seine. I only read, look at books, and sketch. And daydream—daydreaming's important too. At night there are the dreams too, but I don't have too many. I read the French, English, and some American papers, some German papers, Women's Wear—quite a lot. I read on paper; I prefer that.
until now, I didn't realize he & I have so much in common...
I, also, don't eat breakfast but it's mostly because I have  no one to prepare it for me.
I drink 2 cups, big cups, of my own special coffee, which consists of coffee,
2 Sweet & Lows out of their little pink plastic spoon, lots of Coffee Mate, the original
no fat one, and then tons of extra creamy whipped cream from a can.  See?
Then I sit down to my computer with coffee in hand and read my emails, my comments,
and my reading list.  I do not read the newspapers early in the morning.

I, too, believe that ONLY white sheets are wonderful.  I would NEVER use
patterned or colored sheets.  I sleep in silk pj's bought at Stein-Mart, I think they
were originally Dior from Sak's 5th Avenue, but I don't buy them there.

11:00 A.M. I have my hair done because I hate to have hair in my face when I sketch. My hair is not really white; it's kind of grayish, and I don't like the color. So I make it totally white with Klorane dry shampoo. That is the best thing to do because my hair is always clean.

exactly.  I don't like my hair color either & haven't since I was 18 when I
discovered highlights and salons.  dry shampoo?  I thought that went out
40-50 years ago.  but to make a point, I wash my hair every other day with
Pantene, blow it dry with  my head upside down, then use a curling iron brush to  lift
and softly curl.  this is the best thing to do because my hair only stays for 2 days.

12:00 P.M. I don't get dressed and take a bath until lunchtime because I am doing a dirty job, painting with colors. So I wear my long nightshirt; it becomes kind of like a painter's smock, then it goes to the laundry. I have everything—sheets and nightshirt and robes—changed every day. I like everything to be washable, myself included. I like antique lace, antique sheets, beautiful quilted covers, but everything is white. In white you can hide nothing. Most people don't use this kind of sheets and things because it's very difficult and very expensive for the upkeep. But it's such a pleasure to go to bed in the evening in a beautiful bed with beautiful sheets and beautiful pillows, everything flawless, in a freshly pressed, long white smock. It's perfect.

once again, my routine is quite similar to his.
i work in my pj's until I must get dressed, and I always get dressed even if I'm going nowhere.
you know?
we've already discussed white linens and I completely agree that it's such a pleasure to go to bed in the evening in a beautiful bed with beautiful sheets.  As he said "it's perfect."


balance THAT perfection with this.
I cannot.
his sink?  his reading area?
my sink & dressing table really are perfection, with beautiful perfume bottles & antique
cut glass containers sparkling away.  my products are completely hidden away and when used
they go right back under the counter, this includes my makeup and brushes.
but, I do know in order to create one must be messy. when I creating jewelry I drag out
impossible amounts of stones, precious metal findings and arrays of photos for inspiration. it is a mess, but I need it all in that moment.   & it's so very hard to replace it all in it's proper place, so
I really can relate to the reading area.

When I'm ready, I soak in the bathtub, if you really want to know. I used to have a product I loved, by Shu Uemura, but they don't make it anymore, so I found a French product that softens the water; it's a hundred years old. I put half a bottle in the bathtub. I exercise very little because my doctor said it's not necessary. I did a lot when I was very young, and all you do when you're young stays. So it's not the problem as with people who started later. I'm very flexible; I have no problems.

I usually take a quick shower with Dove soap, which I've used all my life, if I bathe I use
Vita-Bath, also a product which has been around for decades.  
exercise?  are you kidding me?
I walk up/down my stairs and go out & play with my doggies.
my doctor thinks I'm crazy.

My latest uniform is actually two looks—a special jacket with tails made by Dior, but not what you wear for weddings. I have them made in tweed and things like this. Then I have another jacket I love from the new Dior men's collection that I bought five of, so people think I wear the same thing every day, but in fact it's never the same thing. And then I wear jeans; at the moment they are from my new collection. They are dark gray with my face, my profile, printed in black on them, but you really have to look at it to see it. My dressing room is so full that I can only wear what I see on top of all the racks. I still have all my clothes from 10 years ago from Dior, but I think I will give them back to Dior for the museum. I have pieces that are unique pieces that I will never wear again, because life is different now, you know. I used to fax a lot, but people don't have faxes anymore.

wonder if any museum would like my clothes? I have the same problem,

life is different now, you know?

I never have lunch, but when I do, I ask them to bring it to me in the house. I actually have two houses. This house here, it's only for sleeping and sketching, and I have another house two-and-a-half meters away for lunch and dinner and to see people, and where the cook is and all that. I don't want that here. Even if the place is huge, I want to be alone. If I want something, I call them, and they're next door, they come. The studio is next door, the office is next door. If I have guests and butlers, I don't want them in my house. Everything is next door.
I never have lunch, except when I have chicken enchiladas which come frozen from 
the grocery store, with the green Herdez sauce on top, where I go every other day.  or I have lunch out with my girlfriends
and I must wear a different outfit each time.  when I create I don't want anyone around either,
I must be alone.

4:00 P.M. I have two drivers and several cars. I have a driver who in the morning does the shopping for me and brings the newspapers, and another one, Sébastien, who is also my secretary, who is free in the morning and works in the afternoon and late in the evening. On my way to the Chanel studio, I like to look around, I like to look at Paris. I never get tired of Paris. A lot of people are on the phone all the time; they don't see anything anymore. It's true. I like to watch. I go from here to Galignani, my favorite bookshop, and then to Chanel, and then to Colette, and sometimes to the Dior men's shop. I don't go to too many shops.

for me, around 4pm I usually make plans for the evening...I will have already been out to do
marketing and maybe a bit of shopping.  I love going to gem shows, looking at all the new
iterations of semi-precious stones and their colors & cuts, but this doesn't happen every day.
on normal days, I watch Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC, my favorite TV show & the only one I will
watch in the daytime.  In the evening I stay home if there is something on TV, like American Idol, 
which I simply cannot miss, you know?

5:00 P.M. I arrive at the studio very late in the afternoon because I want the première to stay in the workroom with the workers during the day. If they are in the studio with me, they don't supervise the work. I go there from five to eight, half-past eight. I'm very quick and organized. The way I sketch, the way I work, I prefer to do all my work in the evening or in the morning and during the weekend, and I send everything on the iPhone. I'm not there in the studio draping—I don't do those things. My work is very conceptual.
completely, totally understand his way of thinking on this, I usually get to work when everyone else leaves.  I am not quick, but organized. sometimes I work on the creation of something several times before it finally is correct.

9:00 P.M. Dinner depends on the day. I don't go out that much because I'm always late, and I'm so busy and so pleased with what I'm doing that I'm not really ready for a social evening. That's over—the people I was going out with are dead or don't exist anymore. Sometimes I go to La Maison du Caviar, but most of the time I have dinner in the Rue des Saints-Pères house and come home after that. I hate the word routine. What I hate most is when you have to look at your watch and get in a hurry to change for dinner, if you have an important dinner. Every dinner is important; you should never be without a dinner, but this I'm a little tired of. I did a lot of it in my life.

I usually go out to dinner two times a week, always with friends, and always on time.
this is my re-charge time.  the time I catch up on what's happening now because, alas,
I'm no longer "happening" myself.  Karl has me beat in this area.
but, I do understand some of his thoughts, just recently I attended a big gala, & thought
"been there, done that" & seriously wished I hadn't attended.  the conversations
were so forced, so meaningless I just felt my time was too valuable to waste in this way.
but, I'm not pretentious & I'm always nice...just bored.

To unwind, it depends on how tired I am. Sometimes I read a little bit. Lately, I play with my cat, Choupette. The cat always stays home, and when I leave, the maid takes care of her. The cat is like a very refined object; she doesn't go into the street, and she doesn't go to other places. She is a spoiled princess.

well, how could we not like our animals?

Bono & FiFi, my 2 doggies are my constant companions unless I'm travelling, so in this, Karl & I agree completely.
& about his being a marketing genius...who else on Earth could possibly pull this interview off?

we "believe" this about Karl. so it adds to his mystique doesn't it?
we wouldn't believe this about anyone else.

sending love....



Nuit Hernandez said...

this is unreal, so much inspiration, thank you for sharing a lttle bit of the icon that is Karl, LOVE HIM. and you ;)

Design is... All in the Detail said...

It's like you were separated at birth! (but of course you are so much young... that's impossible.) Love the day in a life - Love me some Karl! Thanks for sharing - enjoy your evening - Jalon

Melissa Spada said...

This may be one of my favorite posts ever! I love Karl and I love Chanel. And it scared how much alike we are. What you wrote about working in your PJ's all day and the coffee and well, all of it. Now I have to go to my Bazaar issue I have not read yet and read it all over again.

Statements in Fashion said...

Karl is definitely one of my fav people ever......what a great post Marsha, loved it!!!!

June 1989 Jewelry Grand Opening!

Chris said...

I loved learning more about Marsha! I believed everything you wrote about her! I do love Chanel and he IS a genius of a character!
I can just imagine him... white hair, white nightshirt, white linens...quite wonderful!
xoxo, Chris

bee bon said...

Marsha, you are one very clever lady, you knock spots off karl!!!

Renée Finberg said...

this was the coolest post!!!

i am a little excited that i am a tiny bit like him.
the sink & reading areas


sharon said...

Oh Marsha , how I wish I had done this post - so great!! And you are right, not many people could pull off an interview like that without appearing foolish. The man has worked hard all his life and he has talent and flair - good for him .... and for you too!