Lagerfeld’s legendary persona was in full effect when the designer appeared at the opening of his Karl Lagerfeld pop-up shop in Selfridges Tuesday evening.
He made the trip from Paris to introduce Selfridges shoppers and an elite crew of supporters (Edie Campbell, Daphne Guinness, Josephine De La Baume) to his Karl and Karl Lagerfeld Paris lines. The collections consist of the same sharp, monochromatic separates the Chanel designer favours in his own dressing, done over in feminine, futuristic iterations—think fingerless gloves, double-layered blazers and splatter-painted denim biker jackets.
Both lines are geared toward the same customer, he told us. ‘The Karl Lagerfeld Paris woman is the same woman who buys Karl, only it’s more expensive. It’s the same spirit, and same style, but on another level of material and execution.’
Selfridges also launched an exclusive Team Karl collection, winking at the Olympic spirit that has overtaken London. T-shirts with gold-medal appliqués and metallic-foiled skinny jeans referenced the Games without compromising on chic.
‘The Olympics are the thing of the moment, eh?’, Lagerfeld told us as he showed us the collection. ‘I think it’s a great moment, but in two days nobody will remember us because it will all be about the Olympics.’
Given that Lagerfeld is one of the most difficult people to envision ever wearing a sports kit, we wondered: if he could compete in any Olympic sport, which would he choose?
‘I never compete,’ he said. ‘My motto in life is “never compete, never compare.” In sports or whatever.’
Other items redone in silver and gold—sequins, of course—include Lagerfeld’s signature detached collars, which come straight from his own wardrobe. His high starched collars have become such an ingrained sartorial habit that he feels underdressed without them, he said.
‘I don’t even feel them—for me they’re like turtlenecks. I’m so used to it. I feel dirty and poorly groomed, poorly kept, if I don’t have something like this around the neck,’ he said.
‘If you look at photos from a long time ago, nearly every man wore something like this, except much higher. But then people became sloppy. And I hate sloppy.’
Click through the gallery to see more images of Lagerfeld and his guests at the Selfridges event