1815 Magazine, USA

2019
by Cathleen Naundorf
Auf Wiedersehen. A Letter to Karl Lagerfeld from Cathleen Naundorf

 

Karl, I remember you telling me, that you had found by chance Coco Chanel’s missing chair at an auction in Monaco and you bought it to bring it back to her apartment at Rue Cambon.

Coco Chanel didn’t like being photographed, to feel comfortable, Horst decided to photograph her in her chair in his studio in 1937. She loved the pictures so much that she ordered a lot of prints from each sitting.

In 2008 I photographed the same chair and a model in a Coco Chanel style to pay homage to my mentor who introduced me to you and the House of Chanel.

Eifel Tower, shopping center, beach, or airport… it all happened under the roof of the Grand Palais. Karl, you always think big and international.

This iconic monument of Paris, located at the Champs Elysee and built for the Exposition Universelle 1900, is a symbol of transparency and modernity.

In 2010 I photographed your Haute Couture Spring Collection… one of the most beautiful ones. Classy, elegant, and inspired by the 1920’s… Very Coco Chanel. I had the Grand Palais for myself alone for the shoot and it was just heaven.

Imagine my surprise, when CHANEL told me that the entire collection was gone to Cannes for the film festival and there were only three dresses left that I could have… Who cares… I did a series of three dresses in the Grand Palais and the result was stunning.

Who does not know the mirrored staircase at rue Cambon? It has been photographed thousands of times. CHANEL told me afterwards that it had never been photographed in that way, where you could see the metal structure.

I knew that you admired German Expressionism as I do… Murnau’s films. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu. Your winter 2007 / 2008 Haute Couture collection was perfect to recreate the powerful mood of this movement.