late night self-help
from Karl’s Sciences-Po Master Class
I do not have a steady position. If you only have one view in the fashion business, you’re screwed. Contrary to what some people say, elegance is not dead — it has just changed. We have to adapt to the era, not the other way around.
I don’t have any archives. Forgetting is essential. It has to stay in the subconscious. I don’t go through my old designs. I have to do something lively. I am interested in things I haven’t done yet.
Karl’s Spring 2014 line of watches.
from Karl’s Sciences Po Master Class
I hate the word hire. Most of the people who work with me came to me randomly. I did not hire them. I have a secretary who used to be my receptionist, or they are old interns. There are many people who work with me who have never worked with anyone else. It proves I’m not a monster. I have worked with my head seamstress for over 40 years.
I don’t have a boss-employee kind of relationship. I don’t manage a company. They are not my employees: They are helping me to do what I do. Except having a few ideas and knowing what I want to do, I don’t know how to do many things, [but] fortunately, some people know how to do them.
This is insane. There’s no connection between Karl’s sketches and the physical pieces I’m looking at. I call Terry over, show her my folder, then show her the prototypes. There are certain similarities between them, like a family resemblance, but without actually looking like each other. I feel like I’m surrounded by dark fog. Pudge hangs her head gravely. “These look like knockoffs.” Knockoffs? Why would they do that? It doesn’t make any sense! At this point, they’re the only ones (along with us) who have the rights to the Lagerfeld label. What interest could they have in counterfeiting themselves?
Almost 8am. Terry and I take out the last prototypes. Looks like the fabricators ignored most of Karl’s corrections. I decide to leave Anita’s ribbons and pins as they are. Pudge will do what’s necessary and work with the stylist. We’ll fix up the most glaring errors, and leave the rest for when we make our finishing touches. The other prototypes seem perfect, but I don’t recognize them. Not a big deal. We left the fabricator’s factory before viewing all the prototypes. I look in my bag for the dossier I prepared before leaving Paris. Inside, I go through photocopies Karl’s sketches, Polaroids of the sewn canvas prototypes and photos of the initial prototypes. I dig and dig, I compare and contrast, and I try to understand what’s happening…
Our offices are already open. With precision and efficiency, the sales team marches down the hallways, on the double. The rehearsal for the runway show starts in two hours. The four models are here early, having their makeup done. We’re in New York, a city where only the best will cut it, and “almost” is a grave professional error.
New York, Sunday 28 January 1996
7:30am. I leave my room on the 44th floor of the Royalton. A thick, cotton-y silence has enveloped Manhattan. The streets are deserted, and still immaculately white. 4 centimeters of snow have fallen over the course of the night. My suede boots squeak in the powdery snow…I keep walking straight until I hit 5th Avenue.