Meeting Karl Lagerfeld a personage larger than life

Karl Lagerfeld interviewed at the Theatre des Varietes in Monte-Carlo

Friday, March 28 the Monegasques had the rare opportunity for a close encounter with German fashion icon and photographer extraordinaire Karl Lagerfeld, currently based in Paris, in a dynamic interview organized by the Prince Pierre Foundation of Monaco at the Theatre des Varietes. Among the dignitaries at this one-of-a-kind colloquium were HSH Prince Albert, HRH Princess Caroline of Hannover with her son Pierre Casiraghi and girlfriend Beatrice Borromeo, Minister of Interior Paul Masseron and his wife and representatives from the Monegasque National Council. Karl Lagerfeld was in Monte-Carlo for the 60th edition of the Rose Ball that took place the day after at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting with more than a thousand guests and in presence of the Prince’s family. The designer was responsible for the whole scenography of the event that evolved around Constructivism, an art movement that was an artistic and architectural philosophy created by the Russian avant-garde after the First World War, suggesting a need for understanding, unity and peace. Constructivist art is committed to complete abstraction with a devotion to modernity, where themes are often geometric, experimental and rarely emotional.

Creative designer of three fashion houses

Lagerfeld is the highly creative head designer and creative director of the fashion house Chanel as well as the Italian house Fendi plus his own fashion label. He gave an innovative vision to Chanel while keeping alive Coco’s soul. For his latest Chanel show in March during Fashion Week KL transformed the Grand Palace in Paris into a Supermarket with models strutting down the aisles, well the runways I might say. Fashion is for him another form of work but he has the chance to have an occupation he is passionate for and that takes most of his time.

Talented photographer

“Long before I decided to turn to photography myself, I had always been struck by the idea of expressing my vision of things through an anonymous machine, as though it were a paintbrush or a pencil. » He now shoots all the advertising campaigns for the brands he works for as a designer. “Today photography is part of my life. I can’t see life without the vision of photography.” He looks at the world and at fashion through the lens of the camera that he says enables him to maintain a critical distance in his everyday work and helps him immensely.In 2012 Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with Carine Roitfeld for The Little Black Jacket, a photography exhibition and book celebrating the classic Chanel garment, which is making a tour of different cities. With photography by Lagerfeld and styling by Roitfeld, the images are grand in scale and star power. Featuring Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Uma Thurman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Georgia May Jagger, Alexander Wang, and more, the show is astonishing and fascinating.

Revamping the Coca-Cola Light Bottles

Lagerfeld, a personage larger than life, was incisive and candid at the same time when responding to the interesting questions by Francoise Garmendinger, General Secretary of the Foundation and Francois Chantrait, Director of Government Press Center. It was a unique chance to enter the vast universe of a multifaceted man, passionate for literature whose philosophy of life is centered in living fully in the present moment. He calls himself an amnesic because the past is gone and the future is only an illusion. The time spent with Lagerfeld went fast and was rich in surprises and funny moments discovering his multifaceted personality. When asked about his multiple interests as designer, photographer and film director he said: “What I really like is what I have never done before.” His range of expression has no limits, be it creating opera costumes or revamping the Coca-Cola LIght Bottle, a beverage he loves. He once said: “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.”

A voracious reader

The public was mesmerized and entertained all through the interview by the man behind the dark glasses that allow him to see the world without being seen. At the end there was a buzz of excitement when one by one we happily lined up to have Lagerfeld dedicate a book by Sandrine Gulbenkian and Patrick Mauries that reunites some of his affirmations or ways of thinking. He who never wrote a book because he affirms: “I have nothing to say. No memories, nothing. Anyway, we cannot tell the truth.” Being very discreet he does not have the necessity to tell his story. A voracious reader, he spends long time reading newspapers from all over the world to be informed, and several books at one time and in different languages. He is known for saying: “Books are drug where we do not risk overdose.”

The Prince Pierre Foundation

It was 90 years ago in 1924 that Prince Pierre created in Monaco The Conferences Society that received among its first presenters Paul Valery, Darius Milhaud, Joseph Kessel and Sacha Guitry. The Prince Pierre Foundation, as we know it today, was created in 1966 by Prince Rainier III in honor of his father and at present is presided by HRH Princess of Hanover.The cycle of interesting colloquiums that take place each year enable the public to participate in presentations by renowned specialists in different areas, be it the arts, literature, history and sciences. Furthermore, they organize the awards for literature, music composition and contemporary art on an annual basis. The team at the Foundation should be congratulated for organizing such an interesting and entertaining top class event.

For information on future events go to


One thought on “Meeting Karl Lagerfeld a personage larger than life

  1. Dear Celina, very interesting article about an outstanding personality, who is very active and highly appreciated in the Principality. Here is one quote of KL: «Je vis très bien avec moi-même et ça c’est le comble du luxe». 😊


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