Tag Archives: Karl Lagerfeld Gay

MEN OF DISTINCTION: KARL LAGERFELD

It has just been announced that Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic German fashion designer, has died. He was a colourful character whose creative vision turned around the fate of fashion house Chanel.

I first became intrigued with Karl when reading a book about his life and the life of another iconic designer, Yves Saint Laurent, during the 1970’s in Paris. ‘The beautiful fall‘ is a story about excess, gay lovers, celebrities and the overall fabulousness of Parisienne living. Many of the people who orbited around Yves and Karl died very young while both designers managed to live long and fruitful lives. They were the heads of rival fashion social groups but shared the fashion spotlight along with sharing friends and gay lovers. The book is a fascinating peek into a time of overt excess and into the celebrity and fashion worlds that were once off limits and existed only behind closed doors and in the clubs of Paris.

While Karl rarely discussed his sexuality, with many asking the question “Is Karl Lagerfeld gay?”, this book gives a glimpse into the relationships of the famous gay designer.

Karl died in Paris on the 19th February after a period of ill health. He had missed two of Chanel’s haute couture shows in Paris on January 22, but the fashion company only said at the time he was feeling tired.

RIP Karl.

In 1950s Paris, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld were friends, the rising stars of the fashion world. But by the late sixties, the city was invaded by a new mood of liberation and hedonism, and dominated by intrigue, infidelities, addiction and parties. Each designer created his own mesmerizing world, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, and it was to make them bitter rivals. “The Beautiful Fall” is a dazzling expose of an era and the story of the two men who were its essence and who remain its most singular survivors. Buy it here.

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MODERN GAY STYLE: YVES AND KARL

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A few years ago I was recommended a book entitled The Beautiful Fall, a true story about the fabulous Parisian fashion world of the 1970’s and two of its most influential characters, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. The book is a captivating look into the interwoven lives of Yves and Karl during that time and recounts tales of parties, drugs, sex, exotic travels, infedelities and feuds between the two designers. Yves and Karl shared similar friends and even gay lovers, albeit not willingly, and were surrounded by the most beautiful and famous people in the world. Each designer created his own mesmerizing universe, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, but in the end it was to make them bitter rivals. Their stories created a yearning within me for a time gone by when the fashion world was simultaneously bohemian and excessive, where celebrities and fashionistas weren’t overexposed through continuously updated media channels and where careless youthfulness was embraced and exploited. The author of the book, Alicia Drake eloquently takes the reader from Paris to Marrakech, from the beds of Yves and Karl to the restaurants of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, while respectably and affectionately sharing with us the lives of two of the world’s most famous fashion designers.

Click the link to see more details about The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris

Now a new biopic called Saint Laurent has been made about Yves’s life during the period of 1967 to 1976 when the designer was at the height of his career. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and directed by Bertrand Bernello, the film is scheduled for release on May 8th.

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