29.1.12

Karl Lagerfeld's sunglasses

This month's ELLE is a bumper issue of excellent material, and for once I'm not talking at all about the fashion spreads. Now that the palaver of the new season has gone by and the summer collections are already coming out, they can get back to the serious business of great writing. 
I'm generally not a fan of interviews with intimidatingly big fashion names - I don't feel that I can learn much from said interviews. But this month's one, with the king of the fashion world, had to be read. 
I think my favourite part of the interview with Lagerfeld was the author's panic over her most controversial question - asking Karl whether he would remove his sunglasses. For it's true, the man is always shaded. You couldn't imagine him ever removing them, even at night. Karl, of course, refused to take them off, alluding to the need to always have some mystery left in life, some expectations not met. 
Because it would be odd to imagine Karl without the glasses. 
But maybe they aren't just a trademark, and a way to keep the unprivileged out. They are something to protect a little part of Karl that isn't public property. That is for Karl, and his loved ones, alone. 
In the same way that Lady Gaga costumes herself, and that Lana Del Ray (more on her another time) has invented a completely fake facade, canny people in the public eye have found ways to protect either a big or small part of who they really are, that we have no right to know. 
So hats off to the journalist who tried to get Karl Lagerfeld to remove his glasses for her. To see into the window of his soul, if you're poetically inclined. And hats off to Karl, and to anyone in the public eye, who keep a little bit of themselves back for only a select, special few to see.

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