So what is it about Karl Lagerfeld? This intriguing persona is worth digging into beyond his contribution to the fashion world.. Without any doubt, his magnificent presence in the world of fashion calls for analysing what’s going on in his brain.. On the occasion of the Paris Chanel show that took place today Oct 3rd, and after Lagerfeld closed the show with his signature straight-faced and stylish uniform, the iconic suit, sunnies and ponytail, we share with our readers a few of his most famous quotes, a glimpse of what goes on inside that endlessly quotable genius’ brain!
1 || On his feelings prior to a fashion show:
I have no human feelings.
2 || On the world’s oldest profession:
I’m rather pro-prostitution. I admire people who do it. It can’t be much fun. Thank goodness for it. People need relief or they become murderers.
3 || On the ongoing fur debate:
The discussion of fur is childish.
4 || On His Ponytail:
When I was tired of the fashion for long, curly hair—because my hair was curly—I started to attach [the ponytail]. It was in 1976. It’s the easiest hairdo. I’m not very gifted for hairdos. I don’t like gel and all those products. It’s perfect with this white powder, because my hair is not that white at all.
5 || On staying healthy:
Vanity is the healthiest thing in life.
6 || On being labelled a squanderer:
If you throw money out of the window throw it out with joy. Don’t say: ‘one shouldn’t do that’ – that is bourgeois.
7 || On furnishing a home:
The most important piece in the house is the garbage can.
8 || On Heidi Klum:
I don’t know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn’t know who she is.
9 || On his childhood:
I was very much like a grown-up. I have photos of me as a child wearing a tie, and it’s the same as I am today.
10 || On photographing Carla Bruni in the nude:
She was one of the ten supermodels… She has a great education and speaks many languages. She’s perfect for the job of first lady. I even photographed her naked… but they were elegant and she had nothing against it. She couldn’t care less. She’s very cool like that. The photo is beautiful. I can show you the nude of her. I did it for Visionaire in 1998. Everybody knows how a man or a girl is built, and everybody goes to the beach. So where’s the problem?
11 || On his boudoir:
If you see it you will think about everything except sex, because it is the unsexiest room ever. I love unsexy bedrooms.
12 || On Sacrificing for Fashion:
I lost 200 pounds to wear suits by Hedi Slimane.
13 || On music and technology:
The iPod is genius. I have 300.
14 || On being childless:
They grow so fast, and having adult children makes you look 100 years old. I don’t want that.
15 || On wanting children:
If I were interested in children, I would be a godfather.
16 || On homosexuality:
When I was a child I asked my mother what homosexuality was about and she said – and this was 100 years ago in Germany and she was very open-minded – ‘It’s like hair colour. It’s nothing. Some people are blonde and some people have dark hair. It’s not a subject.’ This was a very healthy attitude.
17 || On his working practices:
I am a sort of vampire, taking the blood of other people.
18 || On his collaboration with H&M and relying less on cost and more on the individual’s sense of style:
Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn’t.
19 || His thoughts on the recession:
Bling is over. Red carpetry covered with rhinestones is out. I call it the new modesty.
20 || On political correctness:
Be politically correct, but please don’t bother other people with conversation about being politically correct, because that’s the end of everything. You want to create boredom? Be politically correct in your conversation.
21 || On Tattoos:
I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time.
22 || On his early start:
When I was four I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday.
23 || On his inimitable image:
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.
24 || On Ines de la Fressange, his ex-muse:
I wish her all the luck in the world, just so long as I don’t have to see her anymore or hear her spoken about.
25 || To then-Moschino creative director Vincent Darré:
Moschino doesn’t have style anyway, it’s a pastiche.
(Darré thought the comment so brilliant that he asked Lagerfeld to write it down and had it printed on a T-shirt for his next collection – modelled by Ines de la Fressange).
26 || On fame:
You cannot fight against it. There’s a price you have to pay for fame, and people who don’t want to pay that price can get in trouble. I accepted the idea of celebrity because of a French expression: ‘You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.
27 || On Successfully Dieting:
Start your diet during a period of optimism and happiness.
28 || On fur and animal cruelty:
It is farmers who are nice to the cows and the pigs and then kill them. It’s even more hypocritical than hunters. At least the hunters don’t flatter the animals. I don’t like that people butcher animals, but I don’t like them to butcher humans either, which is apparently very popular in the world.
29 || On faxing Anna Wintour:
People I’m really friendly with have faxes. Anna Wintour has one.
30 || On Yves Saint Laurent:
He is very middle-of-the-road French-very pied-noir, very provincial.
#31 On Working Out:
I worked out a lot before I was 20. I was hard underneath. I had just a little padding. I was quilted. Always Chanel . . .
#32 On living on his own:
I live in a set, with the curtains of the stage closed with no audience – but who cares?
#33 On the Big Beauty Picture:
Beauty—or the desire to be beautiful—is in itself a dangerous motivation. Someone (I forgot who) once said, ‘Does the person who loves someone for their beauty really love them?’ So don’t focus on beauty . . . a respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul. It is the sum of our experiences that makes us interesting, and having been through a time in your life in which you were in a bad place (or what you perceived as a bad place) physically can be useful. It can even be necessary.
#34 On unattractive and short people:
Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people. The worst is ugly short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life – they are mean and they want to kill you.
#35 On Andy Warhol:
I shouldn’t say this, but physically he was quite repulsive.
#36 On interview ettiquette:
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?
#37 On Coco Chanel:
What I do Coco would have hated. The label has an image and it’s up to me to update it. I do what she never did. I had to find my mark. I had to go from what Chanel was to what it should be, could be, what it had been to something else.
#38 On his feelings following a fashion show:
I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm.
#39 On his bedtime routine:
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.
#40 On sunglasses:
They’re my burka… I’m a little shortsighted, and people, when they’re shortsighted, they remove their glasses and then they look like cute little dogs who want to be adopted.
41 || On crime:
Frustration is the mother of crime, and so there would be much more crime without prostitutes and without porn movies.
42 || On phones:
I send notes. I’m not a chambermaid whom you can ring at every moment. Today, you know, most people act like they work at a switchboard in a hotel.
43 || On intellectual converstaion:
That’s exactly what I am. As a child I wanted to be a grown-up. I wanted to know everything – not that I like to talk about it. I hate intellectual conversation with intellectuals because I only care about my opinion.
44 || On smoking:
When I was 14, I wanted to smoke because my mother smoked like mad. I wanted to smoke to look grown-up. But my mother said: ‘You shouldn’t smoke. Your hands are not that beautiful and that shows when you smoke.
45 || On designers who complain:
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.
46 || On his famous diet:
“I made a diet and my doctor made money that way. We sold nearly a million copies. I never touch sugar, cheese, bread… It was a very good, healthy thing, the best move in my life, I think, but it’s totally effortless. I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it’s as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I’m like the animals in the forest. They don’t touch what they cannot eat.”
47 || On retirement and work:
Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished. ‘m lucky to work in the most perfect of conditions. I can do what I want in all kinds of areas. The expenses are not expenses. I would be stupid to stop that. Work is making a living out of being bored.
48 || On his mother’s words of style wisdom:
I love hats, in a way, but when I was a child, I’d wear Tyrolean hats, and my mother – I was something like eight – said to me: ‘You shouldn’t wear hats. You look like an old dyke.’ Do you say such things to children? She was quite funny, no?
49 || On his favourite member of the Middleton family:
I think Carole is very sexy. I think the mother is sexier than both the daughters. There is something full of life about her. For a woman who must be 50 or so, I think she’s great – full of energy.
50 || On his wedding curse:
Normally, I don’t recommend me for wedding dresses – they all get a divorce.
51 || On his famous white ponytail:
When I was tired of the fashion for long, curly hair-because my hair was curly-I started to attach [the ponytail]. It was in 1976. So that means that I have had the ponytail for 35 or 36 years! Not bad, no? It’s the easiest hairdo. I’m not very gifted for hairdos. I don’t like gel and all those products. It’s perfect with this white powder, because my hair is not that white at all.
52 || On his beloved cat, Choupette:
You know, personally, I don’t even think I’m that famous. Now, Choupette really is famous. She has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it’s out of the question. I’m commercial. She’s not. She’s spoiled to death. Obviously.
53 || On the Middleton sisters:
Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties. On the other hand, the sister struggles. I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.
54 || On selfies:
They are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.
55 || On books:
I will not talk about that. I like to read biographies, history, philosophical things like this. But it’s for my private use, and not for making people say, Oh, how clever this stupid man is. I don’t make intellectual conversation. I’m very superficial. I’m just a fashion designer. Fashion designers look at fashion magazines, right?
56 || On TV:
I don’t go to movie theaters because I don’t want to be photographed by strangers. People bother me wherever I go. I like to imagine the world my way. I don’t want second-rate images of the world.