Karl Lagerfeld Tells Jessica Chastain How He Got His Start in Fashion (And that No, He Doesn't Own Sweatpants)

by Maura Brannigan

Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty Images
Two-time Oscar nominated actress Jessica Chastain arrived at Lincoln Center on Thursday night with a stack of note cards, fully prepared to interview none other than iconic fashion head honcho, Karl Lagerfeld. Half an hour before the interview, however, Lagerfeld terrifyingly told Chastain he wanted to "improvise," instead.

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At the hour-long Q&A, Chastain did just that, asking Lagerfeld seemingly non sequitur queries, including very important topics like what his pajamas look like ("No comment") and whether he owns sweatpants ("No").

The meat of the conversation came in the form of Lagerfeld's early life as a designer, which he discussed freely to a room full of fashionably hungry ears. His big break, he explained, came at the age of 21 when he won the 1954 International Wool Secretariat prize for his sketch of a coat, chosen out of 200,000 entries. And so, Largerfeld's love for drawing served as a perfect segueway to that of fashion design.

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"It was hard to imagine someone could make a decent living in this business," Lagerfeld said. "Fashion now is something completely different; then it was not at all trendy to be in fashion. But I was always interested in what people would wear, I loved clothes."

But perhaps our favorite quote of the evening was a surprisingly sweet soundbite regarding his famous feline, Choupette. "Choupette is the most beautiful cat in the world...Perhaps [Choupette has] helped me to become a nicer person. There's something very touching about her."

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