Saturday, October 18, 2008
Review of Lagerfeld Confidential
A friend of mine from my former job gave me an advance screener for the documentary Lagerfeld Confidential which I took from him with glee.
Like the doc Valentino: The Last Emperor, Confidential follows Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld around the world, into his homes and in his studio, but unlike Emperor, this documentary is more like a long interview than a insight into the mind of one of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The filmmaker, Rodolphe Marconi, tries to get inside Lagerfeld's head through a series of interviews, and although we learn a lot about Lagerfeld's philosophies on life, sex, fashion and relationships, I was left feeling that I didn't really learn who this man really is.
In Emperor, director Matt Tyrnauer doesn't ask Valentino any questions but follows him around quietly so we get to see the designer show his true nature. But in Confidential, we get a censored version of Lagerfeld.
There are neat insightful parts in the documentary that reveal Lagerfeld's little quirks like the 14 iPods he has laid out on a desk, the dozens of white collars filling his drawers, the thousands of rings on his dresser and the neat racks of black suits filling up a whole room.
Lagerfeld isn't portrayed as an eccentric genius as many interviews claim him to be, but we understand why he is seen as such: His sunglasses he wears everywhere even in the dark (although when Lagerfeld is unaware of the camera we do see his eyes a few times); his admission that no one knows who he really is, even his closest friends, because he wants to be an illusion for people; his ultra-liberal views on relationships, marriage and love; and his honest and sarcastic sense of humour.
Unfortunately we don't see him make a collection which I was hoping for. We don't really get to see his creative process. Instead, we see him design a few sketches and he tells us what kind of pencils he likes to use. I would have liked to see him at the Chanel atelier going through the process of making a collection from start to finish. We do however get to see him backstage at a Chanel show but it's very brief and I didn't get much out of it.
Certainly it's an interesting documentary to watch for Lagerfeld and Chanel aficionados, but I was left wanting more.