Sunday, December 14, 2014

post-script (or: why I stopped writing this, and is anybody still reading anyway)

It has been a long time, followers. It has been years! Partially because, as the saying goes, Life Goes On, and the less well known saying, When You Think You Are Above Writing As A 70-Something Germanic Fashion Designer. Here's the thing: I could keep writing as Karl 'til the cows come home and are turned into artisan burger patties, and for a while (several years) this bothered me, because it's like, how will you ever know the real me!(!) and it's like, does it even matter who I am? It probably doesn't. All this time I could've been the cleaning lady at the Vogue offices, writing award-winning judgements of ya'll whilst vacuuming impractical carpets and emptying dustbins full of rejected spreads. Or I could've been the guy who wrote the Fake Steve blog, and presumably that is why I've been so reticent in recent years- 'cause when the Fake Steve blog guy came forward he exploded into a pile of ashes from the sheer disinterest of his general readership.

In hindsight, writing a blog as someone other than myself was a slight misstep if I wanted to achieve the fame and glory that customarily comes with being a semi-successful fashion blogger. I was in the Yohji Yamamoto store in London some time ago, and let me tell you, they didn't get down on their knees and kotow to me! I said, "don't you know who I am? I am the great fake Karl Lagerfeld! I once was published in Elle magazine!", and immediately they presented me with a dozen boxes of roses, and within those boxes of roses were boxes of clothes Yohji's own mother made herself.

Another thing about me: I used to really love Bob Dylan. I met Tavi 'cause we talked about Bob Dylan (the big BD, BD-daddy-o) on twitter. I don't remember the last time I listened to Bob Dylan. I went to a concert of his a couple of years ago. He played baseball music when introducing his band. I know nothing about baseball, being a New Zealander, but it was the music you hear at baseball games on the TV. I don't know if they really play this at baseball games. I hope they do. Rest assured, I will defend Bob Dylan if ending up in one of those "Bob Dylan can't sing/is a shit musician" arguments (more often replaced these days with "Nicki Minaj is so terrible!") but I have not listened to his music in some time. The point of this paragraph is people change, etc. Didion would be proud.

I started this blog when I was 15 or 16 and a lonely high school student with no friends and a bad haircut. I researched like mad- satirising, developing a 'voice', does not come without reading every material one can obtain on Karl Lagerfeld. Yves Saint Laurent interested me as well- I read The Beautiful Fall and, amongst many NYT articles, it was probably the most valuable resource. Lagerfeld's interviews are a goldmine too, of course. I studied how he dressed. I emulated how he dressed. I went to a school halloween party as Lagerfeld: two girls knew who I was. Emulating Lagerfeld is hard work. It's about understanding a kind of futurist mindset- constantly moving forward- acting as a magpie of the zeitgeist.

Stopping writing regularly coincided with "graduating" (although in NZ, there is no graduating, there is merely an end) probably- this was inevitable, because when you are 'famous' (note the scare quotes) for being something other than yourself you develop a kind of complex. It's a very dull complex. It is mostly a if-I'm-so-good-at-this-people-must-like-my-other-stuff-too, which may well be true, but it is a combination of teenage arrogance and stupidity that makes one think one best do this starting from scratch all over again. It's like that novel JK Rowling wrote under another name, except nobody is dying to work out my identity and when people know that I have done x project or xx project sales are unlikely to go through the roof. I will be sincere again: I saw Rookie, which is fantastic and wonderful, and I saw people I'd known for a while, in the same 'circles' as me write on Rookie and progress from their blog-lives. I so wanted to progress. I studied to be a chef, which is totes logical in a twisted kind of way, and I was published in 'literary' magazines and my noisy band has had some success and rock critic Everett True likes us, and Everett True has a wikipedia, so. I don't recommend this move into the low-fi-junk-seafoam-noise sphere, fashion bloggers. It will make you seven dollars or so.

Incidentally, I tried to write for Rookie because, as I said before, I really like Rookie- I check it pretty regularly. This seemed like a 'moving into the persona-of-myself' move. My writing was awful. I tried too hard. It lacked the ease of Fake Karl and the tone of my short stories didn't match their tone. I 'expanded as a person', which is good, but to some degree I missed the blogging thing. I found myself living in the desert with only a very valuable samurai sword and a small bag of dried-out broad beans. I started a broad-bean plantation. Bono came to visit me. He said, "why don't you use these old songs of yours". I said, what songs? He said look to the sky, or your closet. I looked in my closet and there was nothing there. Bono said, there is no spoon, and I said, that's from The Matrix, and he said he hasn't seen Interstellar yet.

I'm going to continue blogging here, anyway. I am now twenty two (almost twenty three, golly goose). It is entirely possible I'm broadcasting to dead air- that's OK too. Hi.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Fine Tradition

I like to spend mornings in bed with a dictionary, of which I cut out all the ugly words with a small golden guillotine I have named Jean Rameu (pronounced John, of course). John Rameu and I do enjoy cutting out such words as "moist" and "spit" and "phlegm" and so on- I think of it as a kind of act of beauty for the world. If one eradicates ugly words, how can one express ugliness? Well, one can dress badly or be ugly, but it does cut down on the word pollution one can hear going into any supermarket that doesn't have a valet of it's own. When I am done I wil release the dictionary into the wild and perhaps the tongues of everybody will turn silver. It's linguistic eugenics, really.

In any case as I lay in bed with Jean Rameu and Chopette (who you will recall is my cat, of course), I was notified of the unfortunate news regarding the Italian fellows Dolce and Gabbana. Though I certainly cannot claim any affinity for their work, I did raise my perfectly formed eyebrow somewhat. Jail is for hooligans and the uncouth (though I have long contested that The Unabomber is the chicest man in prison and plan to do a ready-to-wear collection inspired by him one day- survivalist chic, if you follow). "Why are they going to prison?" I wondered, til an assistant told me they had evaded a billion dollars or so in tax. I clapped my begloved hands together, my mercury rings clinking against one another (I wear mercury so nobody can copy my rings). "Aha!" I said. "They are continuing a great tradition, hm?" I recalled my great friends the Medicis, who were fantastic art collectors and happened to be Italian also. They managed to evade all the tax. I said to Chopette "Domenico and Stefano weren't so lucky", a line that seems redundant. As I have often said, luck is a more vulgar word for nepotism, and the Italian fellows clearly did not have enough nepotism. Do you know what the secret of the Medicis was? Nepotism. I sighed a great galaxy-creating sigh and telephoned Martha Stewart, who also happens to be a more recent friend than the Medicis. I like Martha: she is tough. You must be tough to be perfect. Diamonds are tough. Marshmallows are not. I solicited some advice on behalf of the unfortunate Italians, because as I said, they aren't quite hooligans. She said to ask for the cotton jumpsuits. Fair advice, I said, inquiring whether the prison had linen jumpsuits, and which seamstress was making them?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


See, I think the best way of doing an internet blog these days is to update as little as possible, because now we are in the instant generation of all the tweeting and so on- everybody updates their blog a billion times a day- so clearly, the logical thing is not to be instant. To release an album every 20 years and have it acclaimed as a Masterstroke of Genius, for instance.

I propose a new system of the social media: the anti-twitter. I call it The Lagergraph. Various friends- mostly despicable Germans- have pointed out that it has an unfortunate connotation to the popular drink of the lower classes, "Lager". I told all of them that the Lagerfeld name is undoubtably older, and who in fashion would know of lager, anyway? Lager is what they use to advertise football with, non? Champagne is what they use to advertise fashion with. Martinis, perhaps, but generally one will find they are for ugly Washington power brokers in terribly fitting suits. Hence Lagergraph.

The idea behind Lagergraph is this: you can send a message to an assistant, who will receive your message and then place it in a safety deposit box. It will sit in the safety deposit box- and I can assure you that the safety deposit box is well-made by artistans who previously made deposit boxes for Dictators in Questionable Positions (I believe some are even still living in said safety deposit boxes)- and then, after a period of time- perhaps two years, perhaps five years, they will tie the message onto the back of a pigeon who will carry it to the recipient. Is the recipient twitter? Then it will give it to twitter! Is the recipient to an email? It will give it to the email! So simple, hm? Yet so perfect.

The future is not fast. The future is slow. Slow is the new fast. The future is The Lagergraph.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bound on Unicorn Skin Paper

This morning (it's always morning, isn't it? Never evening- unless you're the president or dictator of a country, in which case the news comes to you first so you can vet it. I did this myself during my term as the President of The Land Of The Chosen- a small island I created sometime in the mid-2000s where only the truly beautiful could live- eventually we closed the island after being mistaken for "God's chosen people", which is not the same thing at all as Karl's chosen people. God is a small fry. Buddha is the Yamamoto of religion, no? Yet the weight problem-)

Where was I? Well. I received an email from a young man named "Kevin" and the general gist of his email was that he has made my novel vanish from the popular web-site "Smashwords". I rang him up. I even dotted in the numbers myself.
"Hello", I said.
"Hello" said Kevin.
"You have made my book vanish"
"Well, sir, your book was improperly formatted"
"It was formatted to how wanted it"
Kevin sighed. "Sir, your books must be formatted according to the Smashwords guidelines. Imagine if men wore skirts! And women wore pants!"
"The only reason I do not wear skirts is because I would look like my mother", I said. "But not all men look like their mothers. Do you look like your mother?"
"I don't believe so, sir. I have a beard"
"That is irrelevant"
"I think it's fairly relevant"
"Is it relevant if you put the emphasis on the first beat or second beat of your walk?"
"I don't think I understand the question"
I sighed. "Don't you understand?" I said. "The point is, some people put the emphasis on the first beat of their walk- CLIP-clop, and others on the second- clop-CLIP. Do you discriminate toward the clop-CLIPers?"
"No-" said Kevin, stroking his beard like the answer might perhaps be in it, somewhere.

I hung up. I cannot tolerate stupidity. I called Henerana, my Swedish assistant. She is very tall, Henerana. I asked her to bind the pages of the novel on the unicorn-skin paper I had made and make a cover out of the remnants of her soul.
"Of course" she said. I tossed her the remaining half of the novel- my mother always told me that Ms. Wharton would do this- tossed her assistant the pages of the novel in no particular order. I thought it was a marvelous idea.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So, perhaps it was me

Here is a confession that'll surprise none of you: it was actually I who planned the Yves Saint Laurent name change, from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris. I do not mind the young chap who formerly designed there, he was a good designer but didn't have the hip-to-the-minute thing that Hedi does. I'm sure he'll do fine at Bill Blass or somewhere like that. Hedi, as you know, is a good friend of mine and has been doing next-to-nothing for the last few years. "Hedi!" I would tell him, putting my best exclamation mark I'd had custom made for me by Fitzgerald. "Hedi! You must stop being so lazy! You haven't designed a spic of clothes in years! What if you die tomorrow! Everybody will think, what a failure, but couldn't he have been OK?", and then I would walk away with my ponytail down, and he would do that shrug all young men of a certain generation do.

As I told Yves in 1974, I take a while to get to my revenge. But I get there eventually, when nobody expects it. But my plan involves not only revenge- it is also to get Hedi working again, and to stop being a lazy do-nothing-all-day. Anna tells me this was her plan with Olivier Theyskens, and I said, how well did that work out? She gave me the shrug all women of a certain generation do and tilted her bob away from me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


There's been reports of I, Karl Lagerfeld, getting a kitten, and mostly these reports have been planted by me. I can confirm that they are true and that right now Choupette is sitting on her pillow beside me, as I dictate this post to the famous musician Bonnie Prince Billy. When I say famous musician, I say it with regret because for some time I heard the name "Bonnie Prince Billy" and believed he was some kind of German prince from around 1820, stepped with romanticism, wearing a small felt hat and riding a white pony named Ludwig. Of course, I am not as foolish to believe that it is still the 1820s, but I did believe that Bonnie Prince Billy had somehow transplanted himself here from another time and place. That sort of thing happens all the time.

In any case, I took it upon myself to lure Mr. Prince Billy into my Paris apartment by creating a trail of very expensive embossed paper, much like Hansel and Gretel, but in reverse. Obviously it worked, as his rather un-princely hands that resemble more of a lumberjack (again, Hansel and Gretel- the world is a fairytale) than anything else, are typing this post right now.

The truth about Choupette is that I'm no longer content with the everyday business of spying- spying on people in restaurants, in bistros, in cafes, in saunas. This is how I know everything that has ever happened. I have footage of Jesus being nailed to the cross, accompanied by The Tiger Lilies singing Banging In the Nails. Of course, the music came afterwards. But it makes for much better viewing that agonized screaming and all that- of his fans, of course. Mr. Christ himself looks rather smug. I am drifting away from the topic at hand. My point is, is that one day I realized that all my careful monitoring had only been of the human world. Yes, I know the truth behind dozens of assassinations and the moon landing and whatnot, but what were the ants thinking? What were the birds thinking? This has alluded me, and during my conversations with Choupette, who I met when she materialized one day at my doorstep in a Herm├Ęs hat-case, I realized that with her network of contacts I could start to monitor what all of nature thinks and does.

I am not calling myself a Dr. Doolittle. This is simply an exercise to further my knowledge of the world in a way I couldn't do with humans. It is also part of my plan- in my ten year plan, as a politician would say, to build an army of cats who will attach all the substandard fabric in the world and rip it to shreds until there is no my substandard fabric left. All in the ten year plan, hm?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


It is not often I post anymore, and many of you will be wondering why this is. Well, dear readers, the reason is because a Karl Lagerfeld imitator and his cohorts- socialists and exiled dictators of island nations- imprisoned me inside a chamber consisting of non-ironic tropical print shirts and beige shorts. The very ugliness of the clothing weakened me, eating away at the very fabric of my twelve thousand dollar suit. My high collars (I carry a spare two on me at all times, as a proper gentleman should) were a vestige of the past, and my unicorn-leather shoes simply fell off my feet and shrank like a dehydrated tomato. I have spent the last four months clawing my way out of the chamber, resewing the tropical shirts into the finest vestments of couture and the beige into sari wraps Ms. Vreeland would've been proud to wear. It has been a long journey. It has been painful. To be honest- to be perfectly honest with you, dear readers, I feared for my survival. The beige was that particular shade of beige found in cheap hotels and hospitals that is so hard to work with that it has exterminated whole nations of dessert-dwelling citizens.

Anyway. I am out of that particular quagmire, and the sari wraps and tropical shirt dresses have been sold to very wealthy women with more money than cocktail glasses (or champagne), and I have reasserted my authority as The Actual Karl Lagerfeld. The impostor is apparently trying to launch a collection of low-cost garments under a line called "Karl". I do not do low cost. I do high cost. He has convinced a fair few people, though- he has had the plastic surgery and powerful people are funding him. However, these powerful people dress badly. This is the clue that this "Karl"- one could even call him "Fake Karl", if one wanted- is a fraud. His powerful funders wear shoulder pads. They own a lot of polyester. They own whole closets made out of polyester. What was my solution? Well, it was to string up this Karl impostor in black silk, while I imitated a spider and then put the Karl impostor inside a large dehydrator we obtained from El Bulli, and then- here is the brilliant part- we raised the prices of the "Karl" line. Then everything was OK. I had solved the problem, and I sat back in my Karl Lagerfeld designed chair and read my Karl Lagerfeld designed book of Karl Lagerfeld-taken photographs.