Karl Lagerfeld's Muse: Brad.
January 17, 2015 11:52 AM   Subscribe

The Jet Set Life of Karl Lagerfeld’s Favorite Male Model He let the thought linger. “There’s no other male model in the history of the world doing these kinds of things,” he said. “I’m not bragging or anything, it just is what it is.”
posted by R. Mutt (60 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I used to read a couple of Livejournals by A&F male models about a decade ago, but I had to stop after a week because, though they went interesting places and worked with really interesting people, they themselves were kind of average in everything but looks, which in turn, made them seem almost dull. This article gives me the same sort of feeling.
posted by xingcat at 11:59 AM on January 17, 2015


This was really interesting (in a "wow this is totally divorced from my experience" sort of way) but also I am imagining that the Zoolander sequel could borrow some plot hooks from it.
posted by dismas at 12:11 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also this sort of reads like (and I'm not sure this is fair, if I'm reading this uncharitably or if it's something the author's alluding to which may or may not be true) that like, dude's strategy to keep himself relevant to Lagerfeld was sort of to bring his kid into the mix? Which feels pretty gross?
posted by dismas at 12:15 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


The picture of him, his lady, and the kids, staring disconcertingly at some out of shot object, sums this up perfectly...
posted by Windopaene at 12:15 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Karl Lagerfeld has a sad life, I always think. He's so brilliant and talented - and he really is, I have never really liked contemporary Chanel, but he is awfully, awfully good and zeitgeisty - and all this skill and brilliance and being-widely-read and everything churns around inside him and spits out in mean little phrases designed to be quoted, meanly, around the world.

I mean, I think he's actually had a pretty sad life - at least, there are several books about him which go into some fairly miserable stuff.

It's not that I would turn down wealth, fame, power, glamor and incredible talent if someone offered to bestow them on me with a wave of their wand - but I think I'd turn them down if they came along with being Karl Lagerfeld.
posted by Frowner at 12:31 PM on January 17, 2015 [16 favorites]


I keep a couple of fashionable cats. I admire genius, that I even know his name signifies his reach into the sub-everyday. In my next life I'll be thin and give fashion some energy. Those private jets are nice toys, and that little boy has probably paid for his college already with some effort, but not a lot. What an incredible niche!
posted by Oyéah at 1:14 PM on January 17, 2015


“I have no family at all, so it’s good to have, like, sons but without the unpleasant problems sons can create.

“I hate ugly people,” Lagerfeld told me. “Very depressing.”

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:44 PM on January 17, 2015 [14 favorites]


IAmBroom I came here to post exactly that.
posted by sfts2 at 1:49 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lagerfeld is kind of legendary for saying horrible, horrible things about ugly people and not-thin people. He does it on a regular basis. He seems like a very unhappy and slightly pathetic person, and I can't imagine thinking he was a very healthy person to whom to expose one's small child. But I was sort of charmed by Brad's complete indifference to the rules of conventional masculinity.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:03 PM on January 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Of interest: Brad can do 10 pullups in a row.
posted by allthinky at 2:19 PM on January 17, 2015


I wonder what Brad's wife thinks of this article...
posted by ill3 at 2:25 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Being a toy of a capricious fashion designer sounds exhausting.
posted by 41swans at 2:28 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


some visual context - here's the full Dubai show, with Brad's son making an appearance near the end. Loads of eastern influences in cruise clothing this year, it seems.
posted by helion at 2:28 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Has Lagerfeld seen himself? Like, in a mirror? Dude is a mummy.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:03 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.

The beauty of fashion is that Lagerfeld's words only hurt to the extent that what it he says actually means something this season, and that next season his words may mean nothing, or he or his career may be dead. The beauty of fashion as an Art Form is that it is not often sentimental in its brutality in discarding the old.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:05 PM on January 17, 2015


Lagerfield has been cultivating this Litch King persona for a while now, he'll never die, just ossify in place one day and we'll put a dust bell over him and charge tourists to take photos.
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on January 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


Has Lagerfeld seen himself? Like, in a mirror? Dude is a mummy.

Usually I try not to be too judgemental about a person's looks, but I'll make an exception here and agree.
posted by ovvl at 3:11 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lagerfield has been cultivating this Litch King persona for a while now, he'll never die

As I read the article I found myself wondering why Lagerfeld hadn't been cast in Only Lovers Left Alive.
posted by kenko at 3:19 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Possible answer: because Lagerfeld is a hater?)
posted by kenko at 3:20 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Frowner: "I mean, I think he's actually had a pretty sad life - at least, there are several books about him which go into some fairly miserable stuff."

Well, the first quote from him:
“I hate ugly people,” Lagerfeld told me. “Very depressing.”
Accompanied by that picture, leads me to guess he's depressed every time he looks in a mirror. That may be bitchy, but if you're going to say mean things like that, fuck you you self-absorbed prick.
posted by notsnot at 3:45 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


(on preview, I'm not the only one...)
posted by notsnot at 3:48 PM on January 17, 2015


What does an artist consider ugly? Who does Karl Lagerfeld consider ugly?
posted by graftole at 3:51 PM on January 17, 2015


Being a toy of a capricious fashion designer sounds exhausting.


It's not easy being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:53 PM on January 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also- did you know that Alexander Skarsgård played Meekus in Zoolander?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:58 PM on January 17, 2015


I still wish Herzog had directed Lagerfeld Confidential.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:01 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


“I have no family at all, so it’s good to have, like, sons but without the unpleasant problems sons can create."

Made even more repulsive by, in the same paragraph:

"I have a sister in America who I haven’t seen for 40 years. Her children never even send me a Christmas card.”

I dunno, maybe his sister wasn't beautiful enough, or had some other terrible, terrible flaw.
posted by Rumple at 4:03 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


How would you even send Karl Lagerfeld a Christmas card if you hadn't seen him for 40 years? Just put "c/o Chanel, Paris, France" on the envelope?
posted by rollick at 4:07 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


You just send him a "hey let's catch up" falcon.
posted by The Whelk at 4:09 PM on January 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


I love the conversations Brad and Karl have.

"This is good food."
"Yes, this food is good."
"Today is hot."
"It is hot today."
"My shirt is blue."
"It is a blue shirt."
posted by mono blanco at 4:29 PM on January 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


When he runs in the morning, he told me that he likes to think of Sean O’Pry, the pouty-lipped 25-year-old American currently ranked among the world’s top models.

Brad and I have something in common.
posted by discopolo at 4:45 PM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


I used to read a couple of Livejournals by A&F male models about a decade ago, but I had to stop after a week because, though they went interesting places and worked with really interesting people, they themselves were kind of average in everything but looks, which in turn, made them seem almost dull. This article gives me the same sort of feeling.

I don't think they're dull. I think they're likely rightfully guarded.
posted by discopolo at 4:46 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just feel bad such a brilliant and talented man as Karl Lagerfeld ever has to see even normal, average looking people.
posted by dashDashDot at 4:47 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Lagerfeld's Guatanamo, Walmart, Groesbeck, Texas.
posted by Oyéah at 5:56 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.

The beauty of fashion is that Lagerfeld's words only hurt to the extent that what it he says actually means something this season, and that next season his words may mean nothing, or he or his career may be dead. The beauty of fashion as an Art Form is that it is not often sentimental in its brutality in discarding the old


... I'm not following. Will Lagerfeld decide that ugly people are okay next season?
posted by Going To Maine at 7:45 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: " He seems like a very unhappy and slightly pathetic person, and I can't imagine thinking he was a very healthy person to whom to expose one's small child.

You really have to monitor Karl Lagerfeld exposure (measured in KLags) very carefully in small children. 1 KLag/hr is nominal and very low risk. 2-4 KLag/hr poses increased risks of Bieberism, but the effects are generally reversable. 5 KLag/hr exposure is the real danger zone, resulting in a 63% increased risk of the child becoming a Bond villain.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:26 PM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Karl used to be more than bit overweight himself before he was mummified. His diet book is a riot and is the only diet book you should read if you have to read a diet book. I picked up a copy for a penny on Amazon a while ago.
posted by lagomorphius at 9:00 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


kenko: "As I read the article I found myself wondering why Lagerfeld hadn't been cast in Only Lovers Left Alive."

I don't think he could even pretend to want share his blood popsicles.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2015


So, once upon a time (about ten years ago), fashion went through what was known as the Dolls Era. A period in which doll-faced girls were highly desired in runway shows and print. There's a bit of a primer here.

Anyway, two of the biggest models of that time were Gemma Ward and Sasha Pivovarova (affectionately referred to as the Alien Dolls) - they were often presented as sort of a Sweet Vulnerable Good Doll vs Evil Doll Who Is Thinking Most Longingly Of Eating Your Arm Flesh duo.

Now, having seen Gemma's walk in a few shows, I know she has a fairly standard, smooth runway walk and I guess - being so used to associating she and Sasha with each other - I just assumed that Sasha was fairly similar.

Which is why I laugh-barked out loud like a SEAL when I watched the video linked above and got about halfway, only to see Lindsay Wixson calmly gliding about, with a lurching, zombie Sasha in the background, hurtling around the runway as though seeking glamorous, glamorous brains.

Thank you Metafilter, for this unexpected and totally entertaining update to my Model Canon Knowledge. You've made my afternoon.
posted by pseudonymph at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


PS: this is not a knock on Sasha, for whom I hold a great deal of nostalgic affection. She's had a frankly incredible career, notable for its longevity.

It's just...watching that video section, part of me wonders if someone took a snake, gave it human form and told it to try modelling. And now, by god, it's pretty sure it's got this walking thing down, hell yeah, WALK WALK FASHION BABY, sssssssssssss.
posted by pseudonymph at 10:18 PM on January 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


pseudonymph: That's not Sasha zombie-walking behind Lindsay Wixson. It's Charlotte Free and her pink hair, who does look similar to Sasha. oh god why do I know this
posted by Xere at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


why do we know this, I can still tell you anything you want to know about Lily Cole's career trajectory, help us

In that case, you're not kidding, she looks very similar indeed! I'm so disappointed that Sasha isn't the Evil Zombie Doll of my dreams, but I shall have to live with it, I guess.
posted by pseudonymph at 11:44 PM on January 17, 2015


People are surprised/displeased that a fashion designer - and Karl Lagerfeld at that - is openly not a fan of "ugly" people? How weird. Like, clearly it's a reprehensible view in general terms, but it's his actual job. It's one of the reasons the fashion industry is not good for the old self-esteem, but it's hardly an outlier view in his world. I wouldn't judge Lagerfeld for the fact that I depress him any more than I'd judge a doctor for finding my smoking off putting or a sports coach for being appalled by my inability to climb a flight of stairs without keeling over. I expect it therefore I avoid such people. In other words don't read an article about KL if you don't want to be shocked, SHOCKED! that he is less than complimentary about non-model types.
posted by billiebee at 3:54 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's Kurt Lagerfeld's job to hate ugly people?
posted by dashDashDot at 4:12 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the whole fashion industry thinks it's their job to hate ugly people. And fat people. And short people. And old people. Unless ugly/fat/short/old is having "a moment".
posted by billiebee at 4:21 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's early and I'm not yet fully awake. For a moment there I thought maybe this was about Brad Takei. Time for coffee.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:34 AM on January 18, 2015


This guy strikes me as pretty rare inasmuch there don't seem many examples of male muses without relationships being involved (google "male muse").

While reading I couldn't help comparing it with "Behind the Candelabra" thinking this guy fared comparatively well. I mean except for him and his family being an accessory to the Lich King and their existentially empty life.
posted by yoHighness at 4:34 AM on January 18, 2015


It's Kurt Lagerfeld's job to hate ugly people?

It's Karl Lagerfeld's job to make everyone think they are ugly and hate themselves until they are in Karl Lagerfeld designs.
posted by srboisvert at 4:56 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is one of those moments when I really do think I live in the Hunger Games dystopia.
posted by RedEmma at 4:57 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Reding that article tripled the total amount of time in my life I've spent thinking about Karl Lagerfeld. Better stop while I'm ahead.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:35 AM on January 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


This guy strikes me as pretty rare inasmuch there don't seem many examples of male muses without relationships being involved (google "male muse").

one of the many lol lines in this was where his wife talks about not being worried he was sleeping with glamorous *women* behind her back...

also, is insulting Karl Largerfeld's pets a fun fashion industry game? or is someone actually going to be offended by this piece... or, god knows, maybe these people are so ridiculous that being compared to a golden retriever or Dracula is complimentary.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:27 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't like Karl Lagerfeld, but then again, I learned almost everything I know about him from dlisted.com. However, I must say that Karl Lagerfeld's library is pretty impressive.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:59 AM on January 18, 2015


“I hate ugly people,” Lagerfeld told me. “Very depressing.”

Accompanied by that picture, leads me to guess he's depressed every time he looks in a mirror.


But vampires can't see their own reflection in the mirror.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about Karl, but he DID invent the piano tie.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 11:11 AM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Karl Lagerfeld actually did a lot of very interesting fashion-y stuff - if you want a trashy yet very informative book that's equal parts Karl Lagerfeld bio, Yves Saint Laurent bio and general popular culture in late sixties through mid-eighties France, I recommend The Beautiful Fall. It's full of various kinds of scuttlebutt, of course, but there are some quite interesting interviews with important fashion people and also a bunch of former models, artists and so on who don't really have any particular reason not to be forthright. And there's lots of potted history about various French elections and economic shifts in the seventies, plus some interesting sidelights on gay life in France in the seventies.

As, uh, an anarchist and everything, I am super into fashion history even though most of the people involved are terrible.

Anyway, Karl Lagerfeld is interesting - to me, anyway - because he is crazy prolific and it's all very cohesive and has a strong narrative. For much of his career, he was designing under his own name and anonymously on contract for about a zillion high-end places. He's very good at simultaneously bringing in new things and also keeping a cohesive idea of Chanel which still references what Chanel was in the twenties and thirties. And he's very well-read and creepily good at getting the wheels to turn in his favor.

While the books I've read about him are obviously of varying degrees of serioiusness and actual historical value, what has really jumped out at me are the cost exacted by homophobia, the cost exacted by being a rather femme little nerd (he apparently was a brilliant little nerd, and did not fit in at school at all), the ways that horrible people can be horrible to new talent, thereby making the new talent turn pretty horrible himself, and also a whole bunch of personal losses and betrayals. There's one story from the late sixties in The Beautiful Fall, for instance, told by the person who did the thing as if it were a huge joke and totally hilarious, about a really, really nasty, homophobic personal betrayal that I can barely read without flinching.

Karl Lagerfeld is awful, of course - really, farcically awful. But I have a bit more sympathy for him, because he's someone who has so clearly been made awful by awful people and personal suffering, whereas there are lots of people high up in creative industries who've had their whole lives on wheels and are still mean, greedy and appalling.
posted by Frowner at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Will Lagerfeld decide that ugly people are okay next season?
Ugly people are so hot right now!
posted by chillmost at 5:24 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I find it refreshing that people like Lagerfeld exist. I love the fact that human life is so diverse. I love that people actually exist who live some semblance of the kind of life parodied in Zoolander. I mean ... seriously ... a butler who flies to a city ahead of him and awaits his arrival holding a chilled diet Coke on a silver platter? I am not kidding when I say I am utterly delighted that such stuff happens in this world.

Am I the only one who found there to be something almost charmingly human and touching in his little apercu-like statements? His conversations with the child, Hudson, really brought the lulz -- the part where he said "I have to wake up fresh, you don't; don't be selfish," and the part where he criticized Hudson's selfie, saying something, "I hate selfies. Don't waste your film on ugly things." There is something so charming about that caustic, cheeky candor.

I think each human life can be a sort of experiment in human possibility, and in the highest, rarefied echelons of each field of endeavor, you will find a visionary elite whose existence is so coccooned from the life of ordinary people, who are so disciplined and live in such a dreamlike and bizarre personal world, that it is ridiculous to get offended by their opinions. Their extreme opinions, their rigor, their willingness to apply a rigorous vision and selectiveness in everything they do, is what makes them interesting and special. Lagerfeld sounds like a very interesting person and I was delighted by this article.
posted by jayder at 6:06 PM on January 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


oh my God, Lagerfeld brings the lulz. I love this guy.
posted by jayder at 6:48 PM on January 18, 2015


Of Brad's son:

Lagerfeld has become enamored with Hudson, giving him gifts (books, clothes, pint-size Fendi purses)...

(shudders and fears for Hudson's life, suspects Lagerfeld is a vampire)

Said Lagerfeld, "You cannot photograph the same person for 200 years.”

(confirms Lagerfeld is a vampire)
posted by kinetic at 4:27 AM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


NYMag's incredulous reaction to the article is pretty great.

But, seriously. There's no way that the Times article (interview?) was written with anything but seething contempt for its subjects (or, at least, as much seething contempt that the Times editorial staff allows its writers to focus upon the High Society socialites that the paper loves so very very much).

I was halfway expecting/hoping the writer to derail the piece halfway through, and start apologizing for his paper's role in supporting and enabling the farcical carnival that high fashion has become.

Alas, The Times' style pages remains as soulless and unaware of itself as it has ever been...
posted by schmod at 8:14 AM on January 20, 2015


Oh, this is what he actually said about not liking ugly people:

"Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people... the worst is ugly, short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life... they are mean and they want to kill you."

Somehow I want to think he's talking about those "nice guys." But he's probably just talking about those pissy guys who think no one is romantically interested in them just because they're short.
posted by discopolo at 6:24 AM on January 22, 2015


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