The World According to Karl




Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel, sunglass-wearer, and all around fabulous enigma, has a lot to say about a lot of things. On sweatpants: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” On Andy Warhol: “I shouldn’t say this, but physically he was quite repulsive.” These bite sized snippets of wisdom are known affectionately as “Karlisms,” and there’s a whole page of them on his website. The above are just a few of my (kinder) favorites.

Because we all need some sassy advice from someone infinitely chicer and judgy-er than us: there’s a book coming out this month of Karl’s greatest hits, appropriately titled, “The World According to Karl.” While he wasn’t involved in the book, he apparently approves.

In case you can’t wait for the release date, might I point you in the direction of this achingly funny faux-Karl blog: Karl Lagerfeld’s Guide to Life, written in a convincingly accurate tone:

I like to spend mornings in bed with a dictionary, of which I cut out all the ugly words with a small golden guillotine I have named Jean Rameu (pronounced John, of course). John Rameu and I do enjoy cutting out such words as “moist” and “spit” and “phlegm” and so on- I think of it as a kind of act of beauty for the world. If one eradicates ugly words, how can one express ugliness?…When I am done I will release the dictionary into the wild and perhaps the tongues of everybody will turn silver. It’s linguistic eugenics, really.

(While I love the Karl Lagerfeld character, I will never support or buy Chanel, since Coco herself was a Nazi sympathizer and documented anti-semite)

23 thoughts on “The World According to Karl

  1. Okay okay – while I am thoroughly enjoying these Karlisms – this is actually the first time that I am learning that Coco Chanel was an anti-semite! I’m kind of glad that I’m not all about Chanel’s perfume like the rest of the world is…

    1. Oh, yeah! She stayed in Paris during the occupation and was always known for having been chummy with the Nazis. Louis Vuitton stores even had “No Jews Allowed” signs in their stores. Then of course there was Ford, Hugo Boss, etc etc the list goes on and on. But yes, I’m glad I’ve stayed away from Chanel for aesthetic reasons all this time, it would be worse if I actually liked their stuff. xo

  2. these are hilarious. funny karl says that andy warhol was not looker :) i do think kl is quite the entertaining character however.

    now, i have never heard this about coco chanel! luckily i can’t afford anything with a chanel label so i guess that worked out just fine. and there’s so many fabulous perfumes in the world.

    1. Haha, I mean come on, haven’t you seen a photo of Andy Warhol before and thought, “meh”? Or is that just me? Haha, I kid! Karl has quite the glib sense of humor (assuming he’s trying to be funny…)

      Aside from not being able to afford it, I just plain don’t like any of their stuff! The bags look like comforters, the perfume smells like old ladies. No merci. xo

  3. Yeah the Chanel news is a real downer. Of course I always think of the Simpson’s episode where Marge has the Chanel dress she cuts up to wear over and over again *every* time I think of Chanel, so I’m pretty much useless, I guess.

    My head hurts so it was hard for me to read that font, and at first I read that last one as “Personality begins where compassion ends!” Oops! ;)

    1. Haha, I’m not as current on my Simpsons as I should be, so that reference escapes me. But it’s certainly a more flattering association to have than this one! Hope your head is feeling better lovey. xo

  4. HA – genius! My sister and I are always talking about words we don’t like – like “food” or “tingle.” Sounds like we need our very own Jean Rameu.

  5. I hope then that you don’t use any Ford vehicles- Henry Ford was the only American to receive the Cross of the German Eagle Order medal- for “friends of the 3rd Reich”. I find it funny that Ford is portrayed as so patriotic and THE American car, when he was such a bigot.

    Personally I always found Chanel perfumes to smell like cat piss and dust, so thankfully have never bought any. Also it seems more…Advanced Style-type women wear Chanel, so I never found it very exciting or, er, youthful. Or interesting. Good to learn Coco was a dick, though. Now I feel even better sneering at the dorks prancing around with their interlocked C’s on display like they’re hot shit.

    1. Pssh, I’ve never even owned a car! And all the cars my family ever owned were foreign made. Why do people buy American cars? They’re made like shit and they get horrible gas mileage. But that’s besides the point. I agree with the hypocrisy of saying Ford is some American icon when most people would be shocked to know of his WWII activities. You’re polite with your assessment of Chanel perfume wearers ;) The phrase you’re looking for is “old biddies.” xo

  6. Oh to have the confidence and personality to not give a shit. May be that’s something we learn or aim for with age. I didn’t know that Chanel fact so thank you teaching me that today love, I’m off to check out the website x

    1. Haha, I think that sort of confidence comes hand in hand with having a ton of money. When you’re rich enough, you just stop giving an eff. Or so I assume. ;) xo

  7. Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage – was he an antecedent of Peter Dinklage, the most awesome dwarf prince in Game of Thrones?

    I will never buy Chanel because I can’t afford it! And the perfume is way to strong and imposing. Horrid stuff. And seriously, what is the deal with her? I watched that film with the uber annoying audrey tatou in it and Chanel came across as a user and a scheming, social climbing, narcisstic knob. Why everyone thinks that film is so lovely is beyond me. And she had shit clothes in that film, all that horrid gingham. I’m with you sister!

    Oh and don’t buy Hugo Boss either.

    1. That has got to be the most German name ever, right? I love Peter Dincklage. He was great in a movie called “The Baxter,” he played a wedding planner. We tried to get into Game of Thrones but then J was traveling a bunch as we got out of the habit.

      We’ll agree to disagree on Audrey Tatou, but I’ve never seen that Coco movie before so I’ll trust your judgment on it. Can’t say it’s on my list of things to see now, certainyl! xo

  8. Well, who knew Karl was so hilarious? I would have guessed at the sassy, but not the funny. Now I want to get my hands on that book!
    Did you happen to read the interview with John Galliano in VF? Part of me wanted to believe his apology and that he was truly sorry for his anti-semite tirade in a Paris cafe. Another part of me believes that hatred (on that level) lives deep within and never really goes away – it can only be masked with socially acceptable behavior. As you explain, the best way to inform “these people” that we don’t condone their behavior (or beliefs) is by boycotting their service or product.

    1. I think part of what makes him so funny is that he has no idea how funny he’s being! He’s just speaking his mind and it happens to be gold, haha.

      And yes, I read that article with such skepticism. On one hand, I was glad to hear him answer questions about that night, but on the other…giving him such a glamorized platform to do it in? Shot by Annie Liebowitz? Uhh, no thanks? I’ve known several people with addictions and none of them have ever spewed that sort of vitriol even at their darkest hour. That’s either in you or it’s not; there is no drink or pill that magically spawns that sort of hate. I’m with you, he can go away forever and I’d be a-okay with it. xo

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