Lumea dupa Karl

Sunt putine momentele in care pur si simplu mi se intampla sa raman fara cuvinte, eu fiind prin definitie un storyteller si traind practic intre doua file de poveste. Unul dintre ele a fost in urma cu opt ani, cand la finalul unui show Chanel absolut spectaculos, am avut onoarea sa il intalnesc pe Karl Lagerfeld. O intalnire de maxim 5 minute si un schimb rapid de replici, incheiat cu o promisiune: voi reveni pentru un interviu. Un interviu pe care din pacate nu am mai apucat sa il realizez, astazi Karl luandu-si la revedere de la toti cei care i-au admirat munca de peste o jumatate de secol. Mi-as fi dorit sa scriu acest articol omagial cat mai tarziu cu putinta, insa pana in ultima clipa Karl a ramas imprevizibil.

Cum va arata lumea dupa Karl? In ultimii ani m-am intrebat din ce in ce mai des acest lucru, tinand cont atat de strategiile marilor case de moda, cat si de directiile oarecum nesigure ale retail-ului. Intotdeauna vor exista haine frumoase de admirat, cusute si croite excelent, insa creativitatea in moda este o “rara avis”. Dincolo de talentul sau unic, Karl Lagerfeld a fost un geniu creativ cu o exceptionala intuitie si un fler iesit din comun. Un profesionist remarcabil, care a stiut mereu sa spuna o poveste noua si dezirabila pe un fond deja existent. Iar Chanel este cel bun exemplu in acest sens. Despre aceasta abilitate as fi vrut sa il descos in interviu, mai ales ca exemplul sau poate lesne deveni subiect de studiu in universitati. Karl insusi era o “institutie” ale carei resurse pareau sa fie inepuizabile. Respira asa cum lucra, concepea 10-12 colectii pe an si cocheta in paralel cu proiecte de design interior, fotografie sau media.

In ziua de azi, oamenii vor sa isi cheltuiasca banii pe obiecte cu adevarat dezirabile, pe lucruri care ii fac sa viseze, care ii bucura in mod real, indiferent ca este vorba despre un breloc, o geanta, o pereche de ochelari de soare sau o pereche de pantofi. Karl a stiut cum sa faca generatii la rand sa isi doreasca lucruri de care nici nu stiau ca au nevoie pana sa fie inventate. Prin metoda clasica sau cu viteza internetului, Karl a identificat maniera prin care cel mai clasic taior Chanel se poate transforma in obiectul dorintei unei tinere de 19 ani, asa cum aceleiasi domnisoare a stiut sa ii sugereze si o pereche de ochelari de soare cu alura futurista. Intr-un interviu acordat New York Times, Karl marturisea in stilul sau franc si plin de umor: “We created a product nobody needs, but people want. If you need an ugly old car, it can wait, but if you want a new fashion item, it cannot wait.”

Povestea lui Karl Lagerfeld din anii copilariei sale, va ramane mereu invaluita in mister si incertitudini. Ani la rand presa a incercat sa elucideze misterul anului in care s-a nascut (1933, 1935 sau 1938), insa fara succes. Pana acum. Karl s-a inventat si reinventat ori de cate ori si-a dorit, fiind cel mai prolific, longeviv si “enciclopedic” designer al secolului XXI. Dorinta sa de a cunoaste cat mai mult, de a acumula necontenit informatie de calitate, de a duce design-ul fashion, de produs sau de interior pe noi culmi, s-a tradus intr-un numar impresionant de carti de istorie a artei si albume, adapostite in locuintele sale din Paris, Biarritz sau Saint-Tropez. Putine persoane il puteau egala in ceea ce priveste pregatirea. Si mai putine puteau tine pasul cu el. “I’m very curious. I read every magazine, I have spies all over the place, I know everything. Very few people are as informed as I am.”

In urma cu cativa ani, spunea despre mintea sa ca este asemenea unui motor de cautare Google, colaboratorii sai fiind mereu impresionati de rapiditatea cu care lucra si de corespondentele pe care reusea sa le traseze intr-o fractiune de secunda. Ce-i drept, Karl a detestat intotdeuna sa piarda timpul si a jurat solemn ca nu se va retrage niciodata. “There is no secret to life. The only secret is work. Get your act together, and also, perhaps, have a decent life. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t take drugs. All that helps.”

Karl Lagerfeld s-a facut remarcat in universul artistic din Paris in anul 1954, cand a castigat International Woolmark Prize, un concurs de design care l-a apropiat intr-o prima etapa de Yves Saint Laurent, laureat si el al aceleiasi competitii. In timp ce Saint Laurent s-a inrolat la Christian Dior, Lagerfeld a inceput sa lucreze pentru Balmain, unde si-a petrecut primii trei ani de ucenicie. Inceputul anilor ’60 l-a gasit Karl Lagerfeld implicat in proiecte creative pentru Charles Jourdan,  si ulterior pentru Patou sau Chloe, pentru ca din 1965 sa inceapa o colaborare cu Fendi care avea sa dureze nici mai mult nici mai putin de jumatate de secol. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld este numit director artistic Chanel, una dintre dorintele sale inca de la sosirea in Paris fiind aceea de a lucra pentru o casa couture. Show-urile sale nu doar ca erau asteptate cu sufletul la gura, ci si percepute asemenea unor spectacole magistral puse in scena. In 2010 a importat o cantitate enorma de gheata din Suedia pentru a construi un iceberg de 265 de tone in interiorul Grand Palais, in 2014 a “ridicat” un veritabil shopping center cu peste 500 de produse, iar pentru primavara lui 2019 a imaginat plaja pe care modelele se plimbau agale, intalnindu-se din loc in loc cu valuri jucause.

Multi au cumparat si vor cumpara in continuare Chanel, Fendi sau Karl, insa ceea ce Lagerfeld lasa in urma nu sunt doar simple piese sau etichete menite a fi vanate de catre colectionari, ci o intelepciune care pentru cei care au capacitatea de a intelege si de a asculta, valoreaza mai mult ca un diamant perfect slefuit. Drum lin, Monsieur Lagerfeld, oriunde ai merge!

“When I took over Chanel, everybody said to me, ‘Don’t touch it. It’s dead. There’s nothing you can do.’ And I said to myself, ‘I love that people think that. Now let’s see.’” – Octombrie 2017 (WWD Honors)

“Those social networks, there’s something sad about them….It’s like a talkative mirror where people talk to themselves. And what I hate most in life is selfies.” – Septembrie 2014 (“Karl Lagerfeld Talks Media”)

„Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” – 2011

“I lost 200lb to wear suits by Hedi Slimane.”  – 2004

“When I was four, I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday. I wanted my clothes prepared so I could wear anything I wanted at any time of the day. I was a clothes freak. And I was mad for dressing differently at least four times a day.” – Septembrie 1999

“There was once a designer in Paris who said, ‘My dresses are only for intelligent women.’ She went out of business, so maybe there were only idiots. In fact, it was not clever for her to say that. I design for the people who like. There is no age group because age group is racism in a way, too.” – Decembrie 2005

“To say that there is no fashion anymore is ridiculous. The fashion of no-fashion is still fashion. And fashion is a train that waits for nobody. Get on it, or it’s gone.” — Noiembrie 1991

“I design like I breathe. You don’t ask to breathe. It just happens.” — Aprilie 1983 (“Karl Lagerfeld: The Banker’s Holiday”)

„I live in a set, with the curtains of the stage closed with no audience – but who cares?” – 1997

„If you throw money out of the window throw it out with joy. Don’t say: ‘one shouldn’t do that’ – that is bourgeois.” – 2007

„I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.” – 2007

„I’m very impeccable and clean before I go to bed. It’s just like right before I’m going out. When I was a child, my mother always told me that you could wake up in the middle of the night and be deathly sick, so you always have to be impeccable. I laugh about it now, but I think everyone should go to bed like they have a date at the door.” – 2009

„I had an interview once with some German journalist – some horrible ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists – maybe a week after – and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me: ‘It’s impolite; remove your glasses.’ I said: ‘Do I ask you to remove your bra?” – 2010

„Please don’t say I work hard. Nobody is forced to do this job and if they don’t like it, they should do another one. If it’s too much, do something else. But don’t start doing it and then say, ‘Aaaah, it’s too much’. Because a lot of people depend on it. What we do at Chanel, thousands of people work on these things; these things are sold in hundreds and hundreds of shops all over the world. People like the big machine, and the money the big machine involves, but the effort… Then, suddenly, they become artists. They are too weak. Too fragile. Non. We have to be tough. We cannot talk about our suffering. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta. Me, I like to make an effort. I like nothing better than concrete reality. I’m a very down-to-earth person, but it is my job to make that earth more pleasant.” – 2011


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