Karl Lagerfeld in ELLE Collections

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In our exclusive behind the scenes interview with Karl Lagerfeld for the new ELLE Collections, the world’s most famous designer talked us through some of his most memorable quotes. This is Karl, uncut…

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Karl, you once said: “I never fall in love, I’m in love with my jobs”

‘It’s a classic but I’m not sure I said it… it doesn’t sound like me. I’ve fallen in love with my cat Choupette who will have two books coming out – one very soon called The Perfect Life of a Fashion Cat and the other is The Scrapbook of Choupette. She will have her own makeup line at Shu Uemura; Choupette Uemura. She is also doing the advertising for Opal (Vauxhall), the cars. Everybody who has met Choupette falls in love with her. I don’t know if she falls in love but, she has two young women taking care of her – they are mad for her. They nearly prefer Choupette to their family. It’s unbelievable, she’s so funny, she’s like a person. My friends Ingrid and Sishy and Sandy Brant had a cat and I thought they were just ridiculous the way the cat was travelling, everything. But now I’m worse.’

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“I only know how to play one role, me”

‘Yes, that’s true. I never try to imitate anybody else so that’s true.’

“I don’t recommend myself as a guest”

‘That’s true because I am impossible. I have too much luggage to be a weekend guest. Nobody has houses kept on a level that my old maniac ideas of how I want things, it’s impossible, it would be…and also you know, most people think that I criticize their houses and things. No, I better stay at home. You can be my guest but don’t invite me.’

“The essential thing in life is to reinvent oneself” - where in the curve are you?

‘It’s a circle it’s not a curve my dear.’

“I have no wish to be normal”

I never wanted to be normal like everybody else. I couldn’t do the job I’m doing if I was average. Look, the French president wanted to be a normal president - look how normal he became.’

“I am modesty itself”

‘Yes, that’s what I think. I am because I can tell everybody whatever I want but I can tell myself nothing. I can only face my own truth.’

“I am less horrible than I seem”

‘Yes, that’s true. I think when you meet me I’m not as horrible as I might seem on a photo with a mean expression on my face you know.’

“I’m a funny sort of Coco”

‘I never said this… I don’t remember that but, you know, I don’t remember everything I said. Perhaps I should be more careful and remember. But this stupid thing I don’t remember… But I’m not mean like Coco. I’m not bitter, she was bitter. I have no reason to be bitter.’

“I am born to be alone”

‘Yes, I love to be alone because the batteries, we have to recharge them – if you do so many collections, all the photos, all the books I’m working on too – you need a little time to yourself. And I love to read, I love to look at books so I need a lot of time to myself. I’m never bored because I think being bored is a crime that means that you don’t know what to do with your life. People who say they are bored are bores themselves. That’s how I see it.’

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