IN CON­VER­SA­TION WITH ...

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Style -

A flash of tat­too makes this evening en­sem­ble dan­ger­ously sexy Model Sui He in her ar­mour-like jet beaded neck­lace

A pri­vate chat with Karl Lager­feld at the ac­ces­sori­sa­tion ses­sion.

KG: What was the idea for this col­lec­tion and how im­por­tant is Cruise? KL: I like the idea of colo­nial­ism but not its ac­tu­al­ity. The long lean lines of the skirt [Lager­feld points to a white num­ber, look 42, with a gen­er­ous cut-out in the front], the mod­ern open­ing – not a slit, but an open­ing – in the front makes it very el­e­gant. Cruise is not an in-be­tween sea­son col­lec­tion. It is ac­tu­ally a very im­por­tant col­lec­tion. In Chanel, I de­sign six col­lec­tions a year and ev­ery two months we have a new col­lec­tion, so that helps to keep the stores fresh, to have new of­fer­ings in the win­dows and dis­plays, and new mer­chan­dise for cus­tomers. English waiter, who has been qui­etly do­ing his rounds, of­fers a hand and starts to tie the most tra­di­tional of knots be­fore a causally dressed Pas­cal Brault, di­rec­tor of Chanel Sport, comes rush­ing in and im­me­di­ately takes over the task. Fi­nally, Lager­feld walks up to the model and starts ad­just­ing the tie as he sees fit. “It needs to fall like this, down to here and not too high.”

The next evening at Loewen Clus­ter on Dempsey Hill, where the Chanel Cruise col­lec­tion was shown, that sin­gle ear­ring that Lager­feld in­sisted on sud­denly made so much sense. It looked cooler than hav­ing two and didn’t look tra­di­tional. And that much-fussed-over Wind­sor knot­ted tie? It KG: What have you seen and liked in Sin­ga­pore? KL: I love the Raf­fles Ho­tel and the Botanic Gar­dens when I drove past it yes­ter­day. They are all very beau­ti­ful but I haven’t seen much of Sin­ga­pore.There are also some very ugly build­ings here. KG: What’s the ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­tween de­sign­ing for women to­day and thirty years ago? KL: I never look back. It’s about the now and the present. I al­ways look for­ward and never back.The whole at­ti­tude and be­hav­iour of women has changed so much. It’s a dif­fer­ent world now.The women in Asia to­day all have this pe­tite frame and body and are all so thin. So, this Cruise col­lec­tion to­day will work very well for their body. KG: What did you want to in­tro­duce with Cruise? KL: I didn’t want to use much colour. Mostly just black and white, blue and cream be­cause the last col­lec­tion [Paris-Édim­bourg] had a lot of colour and I wanted some­thing fresh and calm. Also, in that pe­riod there wasn’t a lot of colour. KG: Why did you pick Keira Knight­ley to front your movie KL: I thought Keira Knight­ley looks so much like Coco Chanel – she has the same fea­tures and dark hair. And she is a much bet­ter ac­tress. I didn’t think Anna Mouglalis played her well in that movie on Chanel. And Au­drey Tautou, oh well, she was a dis­as­ter! made the French teenager look im­me­di­ately grown-up yet brought that nuance of an English stu­dent when un­done just so. With clothes and ac­ces­sories so per­fectly ex­e­cuted at Chanel, you need that non­cha­lance, that sense of im­per­fec­tion, to make it hip and cool. Lager­feld made some mod­els walk with arms swing­ing and oth­ers with gen­tle gait and a boy­ish tough­ness. It demon­strated a rhythm he wanted. Play it with the boys for cool, tomboy chic and play it with the girls for a youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance. As Lager­feld said, “I tried to cap­ture moods from what she [Gabrielle Chanel] did in her early days ... there’s noth­ing folk­loric, noth­ing retro or vin­tage about this col­lec­tion.”

The Kaiser shares a light mo­ment with a model

Any­one for cricket? Karl Lager­feld’s ir­rev­er­ent take on clas­sic sports­wear

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