In an interview airing this week on CNN Style, host Derek Blasberg talks to Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld at his studio in Paris ahead of his Haute Couture show. Lagerfeld spoke widely and frankly about a range of topics. Below are some of the highlights from the interview. (Catch the show on Wednesday, July 13th, 12:30pm ET; Saturday, July 16th at 2:30 pm ET; and Sunday, July 17th, at 2:30pm ET on CNN International.)
ON HOW LAGERFELD SEES PARIS AT THE PRESENT TIME: “The question is a little bit difficult to answer because this is not the most glamorous moment in Paris. I must say my whole life I never saw Paris that gloomy, but I couldn’t care less because I have my studio, I have my work, I go to Rome so it’s perfect. But Paris has to make an effort to become Paris again.”
ON HOW PARIS HAS CHANGED SINCE HE ARRIVED IN THE 1950s: “Beyond very different; it was another world. There was no feeling of danger…I mean it was very French in the sense that it looked like an old French movie. I have the feeling I lived in a world that no longer exists. In Italy the spirit hasn’t changed much, especially in Florence, but Paris and France have changed. But in a way Paris is still the best place to show fashion.”
WHETHER HE IS STILL INSPIRED BY FASHION: “Yes, but the inspiration of Paris is a cliché. It is the inspiration of whatever can be…you have ideas or you don’t have ideas – wherever they come from. I squeeze my brain…it comes naturally when I sleep, I don’t know. Don’t ask me that because I don’t know, and I hope it will continue. It’s in the air and I try to capture the air.”
ON BEING AN ‘INTELLECTUAL OPPORTUNIST’: “We are living in a changing world. I like change….It is better be an opportunist. I am an intellectual opportunist.”
REMAINING CONSISTENT IN A WORLD WHICH HAS CHANGED SO MUCH: “The most surprised person is myself! It is a miracle and I am not a cute young designer. It is a very strange story but at the same time I am a strange to my own story. Very bizarre. It is the person people see and there is the boy working and sketching and doing the homework. But I Iove this double life. What they imagine and what my reality is; I am enchanted by both.”
Also in this episode, Blasberg talks to Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief ofVogue Paris, about Parisian style; actresses Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Paradis on what makes Karl Lagerfeld so unique; models Natalia Vodianovaand Milla Jovovich about what draws them to Paris; and French art collector Gilles Fuchs regarding an artist who is addressing issues of terrorism and immigration facing Paris today.