A Posthumous Karl Lagerfeld Podcast
Released earlier in March, Chanel’s latest chapter of its 3:55 podcast series shed light onto the significance and creative muse of the maison’s four influential métiers. And in the first of four intimate conversations, Monocle editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé interviewed the house’s late creative director Karl Lagerfeld at the Métiers d'Art show in New York last December.
For close to six decades, the prolific Lagerfeld and his seemingly insatiable curiosity had redefined and reinvented the codes of the French maison, enlivening the once-floundering brand into what is known as a global powerhouse today.
The 45-minute tête-à-tête offers an elusive insight onto the former creative director’s beliefs on craftsmanship, modernity and more. “My job is to propose a fantasy to whoever wants it, to whoever likes it, and whatever they may be used of it,” Lagerfeld says.
The podcast will also feature Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky; Lagerfeld’s “outside pair of eyes” and Chanel consultant, Amanda Harlech; and Chanel ambassador Pharrell Williams.
Karl Lagerfeld was 85 when he passed away in Paris on 19 February 2019. — Sng Ler Jun
Listen to ‘Métier Class by Chanel’ podcast at Apple Podcasts.
A Bar that’s Also a Nostalgic Enclave of Air Travel’s Golden Age
“There was no such thing as economy, premium economy or business class,” said Andy Griffiths from behind the smooth black marble-topped bar set against backlit shelves of glinting craft spirit and liqueur flasks. “Everything was first class.”
The Kiwi-born bartender and head of operations and creative at Idlewild, a newly opened cocktail bar sprawled at one of the Intercontinental Hotel’s ample corners, was harking back to the golden age of air travel in the ’40s. A time when the cost of plane rides was so astronomical they were only accessible to the upper crust of society who’d show up at airports in their black-tie best. Admittedly, it might be one of the most elitist and segregated of times, yet the brooding beauty and romance in its lavishness can’t go unnoticed either.
In essence, Idlewild — monikered after the original name of John F. Kennedy airport — wants to transport its visitors through an indulgent revisiting of past years’ almost-forgotten decadence. Inside the old-world salon-like space, where lilting rich jazz tunes waft, one can sink into one of the plush booths outlining the main room to flip through the cocktail menu. And the menu is a heady transatlantic journey through 10 cities — Dublin! Lisbon! Paris! Havana! — each featuring two cocktails made from its native small-batch distilleries.
A pleasant highlight is Paris’ The French Cook. Griffiths, a former chef, marries the lightness of French gin with the country’s culinary elements through a herb-based bouquet garni cordial. “This is lightly carbonated. It’s lively, fresh, slightly herbal and made to look almost like the absinthe you’d drink the first time you got off the plane in Paris in the ’40s,” he explained, deftly pouring the blend into an absinthe glass before topping it off with a wormwood jube. “You don’t have to necessarily fly first class to these places. Just come here and sit with us.” — Bianca Husodo
A London-Based Label Creating Disorienting Pre-Industrial Workwear Uniforms
The term anti-fashion is oxymoronic. It tends to be: when trying to be different is the norm, the efforts of differentiating oneself can be quickly inverted. London-based label Toogood though, manages to swivel against the ordinary churn, and somehow singles a unilateral ability to transcend the erratic pendulum swings of fashion.
Faye Toogood, a British polymathic designer who creates objects, furniture, interiors, founded the eponymous label in 2013 with her sister, Erica, a master pattern-cutter and former theatre costume designer. From the beginning, the label was meant to be a riposte to the fashion industry. The duo constructed a system of their own, designing eight coats based on pre-industrial workwear — each labelled its own sobriquet the likes of the Beekeeper and the Sculptor — which eclipse the borders of gender, age and style edict altogether, long before the blurring of lines became the industry’s overused fodder. The pieces and their names have been recurring, expanding with new additions each season.
For Spring/Summer ’19, or what the unorthodox label would rather dub “Collection 010”, the inspiration was gardening and nurtured growth. A maxim, “Grown your own”, became the basis of shapeless dresses, jumpsuits, co-ords dipped in earthy colours. Most came in linen hessian, a heavy linen woven in Italy that has been dyed and cold-washed, giving the amorphous silhouettes the textural irregularity of well-loved vintage clothing. That’s always the case with Toogood: the disorientation the garments make one feel, suddenly unsure of what year it is, even what century. Futuristic and prehistoric at once, yet what it most certainly is, is an antithesis to present times. — Bianca Husodo
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