By Karl Lagerfeld.
One day, as I was taking off my quilted sleeping mask and ringing the bell beside my bed for my morning-butler, I felt an odd benevolent feeling surge within me. Non, it was not a surge- it was just a tickle. Now normally I equate “benevolence” with charitable old men, who are balding and senile. These old men probably are chairmen of a bank someplace, and they most likely have grandchildren whom they dote like a fashion designer dotes upon his mother. I do not have any grandchildren; banks bore me and I am most certainly not senile. Yet I felt slightly benevolent as I thought to myself: “I should write a book about how to live in a proper fashion.” Of course, this would mean helping people, as hardly anybody knows how to live these days. This itself led to a moral dilemma: do I really want to help people? Do they deserve my help, hmm? I debated this with myself for all of an hour, as I sketched out the latest Chanel collection. Yet this niggling charitable feeling simply would not go away, even as I practised my passive-aggressive face in the mirror. I pursed my lips, and eventually decided on a course of action. I would write this book, but only for the sake of posterity (like one might produce a great artwork, a great symphony or somesuch- I am writing this guide to living simply because it would be a crime not to.)
It is safe to assume that since you are reading this book you know who I am. On the chance that you’re some philistine who does not know who I am, some jam-brained sweat suit wearing fattie- well, just stop reading now. However, I’m going to introduce myself anyway. I did consider making one of my cohorts write an introduction- “Karl Lagerfeld is perhaps the most important fashion designer of the 20th and 21st centuries. Here is a man who is always relevant, who has produced more variations on the little black dress than Bach produced variations of the well tempered clavier…”- that sort of thing. I’d get someone people think of highly to write the introduction, whilst looking over their shoulder with a silver cane. Maybe Alber Elbaz, Anna Wintour- someone like that. In the end I couldn’t let somebody else write my introduction, I’m too selfish.
My name is Karl Lagerfeld (but you knew that, assuming you can read the front cover). I am the greatest fashion designer to ever walk this little planet- Chanel became a legend because of my designs, my genius. Before I came to Chanel, it was a near-comatose ugly stepsister, remembered by nobody. Coco Chanel was remembered primarily as the private call-girl to a Nazi and a decent businesswoman (I am not making this up, no joking here. You can look it all up if you don’t believe me). I revived Chanel solely through my own design genius. I also have designed almost every other collection worth noting, whether it is Comme des Garcons or Dior; every decent collection has been designed by me. Other designers put their names to these collections, yet I see the other “designers” scavenging around the bins outside my Parisian abode. They’re looking for the collections I’ve designed which are not good enough for me. Generally, they find them and take the sketches back to their teams who plagiarise my aborted collections. It’s rather similar to stealing a Picasso piece which Picasso himself does not like, or settling for a second-rate lover. All my collections are fantastic lovers, of course, yet I prefer to be incredibly fastidious with the collections I release. Some lovers are more Karl than others, hmm? And the Karl-lover is always better. Besides- if I released too many lover-collections upon the world, they would simply die of sexual ecstasy. Dead customers are deadbeats when it comes to paying their bills.
As you can see from the above paragraph, I’m rather brilliant. You’re probably awed, and your jaw has dropped so low that I must ask you to close it- drool is never chic. Imagine what you’re doing to my pages! It is a privilege to be reading this book, and you should thank your trust fund or whoever gives you money that has allowed you to afford this opportunity. You may never get to speak to me, but at least you can read my words.
This book- a guide to living, if you will- will be organised alphabetically. A, B, C, and so on, until we reach Z and as the children’s song goes, you may start all over again! Everything in here is my strict advice- it is no joke. If you follow these commandments, you will be living a far more chic life! You’ll never equate with I, of course, yet at least you will rise above those plebes not reading this book. Let us begin.