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Digital Subscriptions > > KARL LAGERFELD


After 50 years at Fendi and 30 at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld is the reigning monarch of the fashion world – and the only designer who could stage a couture show on top of the Trevi Fountain. One of the world’s most revered designers though he undoubtedly is, longevity in the fashion world doesn’t come easily without a fair amount of business savvy, too, as much as he’s loath to admit it. Indeed, Lagerfeld’s Midas touch even stretches to his pampered pussy, Choupette, one of social media’s most followed felines

It’s been nearly two decades since I first met Karl Lagerfeld, and over the years, I have come to realise that the only certainty in any conversation with him is that he is likely to avoid the obvious, and there will be many diversions along the way. And so it is that when I meet him in Rome, not long before the Fendi couture show at the Trevi Fountain, the last thing he wants to talk about is his visionary creative direction for the brand, which he juggles with his role at Chanel (and much else besides).

I’ve just seen a preview of the collection, which is in part inspired by the illustrations of the Danish artist Kay Nielsen, whose work included a haunting series of drawings for a collection of occasionally-menacing Scandinavian folk tales published in 1914, entitled East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Quite how this will relate to the setting of the Trevi Fountain remains unclear to me, at this point. (Later I remember that Anita Ekberg, who frolicked in the Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, was born and bred in Sweden; hence the possibly-tenuous Scandinavian connection?).

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