Karl Lagerfeld: “From the age of 5 or 6, I decided that I was going to end up like in fairy tales, that I was going to become a legend…”

Karl Lagerfeld: “From the age of 5 or 6, I decided that I was going to end up like in fairy tales, that I was going to become a legend…”

StyleIn GQ France n°30 of August 2010, Frédéric Beigbeder interviewed Karl Lagerfeld to try to unlock the secret behind a character who is omnipresent in the media but still just as mysterious. A legend in short.

By Frédéric Beigbeder

KL: Get to work!

GQ: What's on the menu?

KL: Coarse salt with a little bread. That's what the poor eat, right? When I was a child, in my remote countryside, there were salt-eating contests, but I didn't do it because some of them died. It's very dangerous.

GQ: I specify that we are eating asparagus. This is Karl's menu for this lunch.

KL: Yes, I have a permanent battle plan. It is not to lose weight, but to live in a state of non-gravity 24 hours a day, to sleep seven hours without waking up. That's luxury.

GQ: Yes, and without sleeping pills.

KL: No, how awful! Me, I don't like that at all. Even a Stilnox. The only pill I take is Doliprane, if necessary, and PC Sedative when I'm in a bad mood. It's a homeopathic thing that makes you indifferent. Me, I'm constantly in a bad mood after myself, I'm never happy.

GQ: You often say that you are the dictator of your body. Aren't you tempted to suddenly eat a packet of Fingers?

KL: I don't know if I was hypnotized or not, but I'm "no temptation". I am tempted only by what suits me, suits me. I have an inner voice, a kind of inner policeman.

GQ: Where does that come from? From your mother?

KL: My mother said that you should never own a garment that allowed you to weigh an extra kilo.

GQ: It's kind of a Stoic requirement.

KL: Leave the philosophers alone. It is much more superficial and in any case, it is the surface that we see. I'm self-fascist, but...

GQ: You made me self-fascist. I am in total Alain Gossuin look. Do you like it?

KL: Yes, it's fine on you because you're tall and slender. It's classic.

GQ: But you, do you always dress the same? It was Dior before, what is it now?

KL: It's still the case... This is a friend who gave it to me, it's Lapo Elkann. And I also wear shirts made for me by Hilditch & Key. They've been making all my shirts since I was 16, which means a century. They made me something like three hundred different shirt designs. With the collar rising, descending. But I can pull out photos of me from thirty, forty years ago with the same collar. I've always loved that. My Massaro shoes in silver crocodile, gray, repainted in silver between the scales. A gift from Monsieur Massaro.

GQ: So you're still very dandy. How does that fit you?

KL: There are two images of dandies. Because the real dandies, the Beau Brummell and the Count d'Orsay, were people who eliminated colorful, bright things. The regent, at the end of the 18th century, who was the Beau Brummell's protector, had diamonds and lace. Brummell didn't have the money to do that, so he figured he'd do the opposite. And he said he was corny with his laces and things like that. And that's how the French costume was invented.

GQ: And also because he didn't like to wash too much and he didn't want the stains to show.

KL: Yes, that was when he was poor and ruined. The beauty of the tragic is indeed a literary memory for people, a hundred years later. At the time, I'm not sure I would like it. In fact, Brummell's color was not black but navy blue. Often with very light beige pants. Then it got darker. The Comte d'Orsay lived in London and was the most handsome man of his time, he dressed in dark. And he also couldn't afford to stick with embroidery, things like that.

GQ: But your look has changed a lot.

KL: But there is no look.

GQ: We're talking about clothes and we'll go into depth afterwards.

KL: Especially not.

GQ: But people think you're like some kind of black and white logo like on your Diet Coke bottle. It's true that you have a defined style.

KL: Thinking about caricature is slower than reality, it's fixed. I have a room in my house full of caricatures of me.

GQ: But do you enjoy becoming a logo, like Andy Warhol at one time?

KL: Andy Warhol was made for the general public, much less me. Because back then, there was no cell phone you could take a picture with, or all that stuff. It wasn't the same at all. Andy Warhol is a concept today, but actually when he was in Paris he was relatively quiet. It wasn't Victoria Beckham. That came after.

GQ: We always imagine Karl in black and white, but here you are wearing a pink shirt, a blue striped jacket. The glasses are blue like Michou. In the 70s, you were bearded, with the face of an Argentine tango dancer.

KL: Yes, I love nothing more in the world than Carlos Gardel, it's my own rap, I love it. Argentina, the tango. The brigand side, it comes from there. In the 60s, I had hair up to that point.

GQ: You didn't actually look like a German, you looked like a Latino.

KL: I look like a European. It is believed that all Germans are blond. Me, I was born exotic where I was. If you want a description of my childhood, the rural atmosphere, the climates, well it's Le Ruban blanc.

GQ: What a beautiful film. Was it that strict?

KL: No. My mother was more like the chatelaine and I was the little boy who wasn't blond, and whom the others beat. But the atmosphere, the houses, the people... The film was shot thirty kilometers from where I spent my childhood. And I can tell you that hasn't changed. People had the same interiors, the same faces. I actually told Michael Haneke that. This film is a masterpiece, it took me three days to recover from it because I felt like I was seeing the worst people from my childhood. I didn't suffer much because I'm strong. I was not beaten. I hated children. I only wanted to be with the adults, I only talked to the seniors. It's a pretty nice area, and actually I don't have bad personal memories, but the people were horrible.

GQ: You were an only child?

KL: I am a fake only child, the last child from my parents' last marriage, they were only interested in me. I could do whatever I wanted as long as I didn't make a problem. I spoke three languages ​​at 6 years old, so my mother vaguely knew that I was not totally stupid, she said: "If you repeat a year, I don't care, the shame is for you, not for me. »

GQ: Once you told me that your mother is the cause of your elocution, of your rapid delivery.

KL: Yes, because she said: "Listen, you are 6 years old, I am not. Make an effort, otherwise shut up. ". She also told me: "For the bullshit you're saying, we can't take any more time. And she was getting up to go to the door, so I had to finish my story. But I think she was right. She was the perfect mother. In Germany, we were attacked a lot by pedophiles! I almost never went alone in the street, like today, but not for the same reasons. I vaguely knew what it was all about, if I may say so, and I told my mother everything. And then she said to me "It's your fault, you didn't look at yourself? »

GQ: You shouldn't look at people?

KL: No, but the way I spoke, the nerve I had as a child. Because today, I'm modest and self-effacing, but as a child I had such a nerve... In addition, in a country where everyone was vaguely blond, red-haired with a crew cut and a little sweater knitted by mom, I I was in a suit and tie, in a village. And I had very long hair for the time, I was deathly pale. People were asking: "But this child looks sick. And I had mahogany hair, a color so strange my mother called me "old chest of drawers." She wanted to dye my hair black but they told her it wasn't very good for children. She also said: "I have to take you to the upholsterer, because your nostrils are too big, you have to put up curtains. »

GQ: She kept you grounded.

KL: Oh yeah. From the age of 5 or 6, I had decided that I was going to end up like in fairy tales, that I was going to become a legend...

GQ: And this project has been accomplished?

KL: If that means you can't cross the street and walk five hundred meters without being attacked, then yes. In fact, my best childhood memory is the day she takes me to the dentist and at the time, dentists in the countryside are something. Today, veterinarians are soft next door. And on leaving there, we come across the worst teacher in the municipal school. So the gentleman said: "Ah ma'am, I'm delighted to meet you, you never come to see us. She answers: "Why, my son is stupid? And he said to him: "I would like you to ask your son to have his hair cut. And my mother approaches him, takes his tie and throws it in his face and says with her big navy blue eyes: "Why, are you still a Nazi? Me, I was drooling with admiration.

GQ: I come back to the evolution of your appearance. There was this magnificent look of an Argentine dancer, and then in the 80s, the powdered marquis, 18th century.

KL: There was still between the Caracchini period with the Italian suits and afterwards, the Japanese, where I had gained weight because I was not interested in fashion, I was not interested in myself, I had so many things to do…

GQ: Is it true that how much did you weigh there?

KL: I don't remember!

GQ: You don't want to remember!

KL: But why would I bother with stuff like that. More elegantly, I went from 56 to 46.

GQ: Today, we can say that you have the look of an international rock star. Was that ultimately the outcome you were looking for?

KL: No, I didn't look. The other day, I go to Dior, I see a very serious friend, who is having a jacket redone. I tell him: "I don't want to offend you, but you should never try on a jacket. You have to fit into the garment. The clothes should not fit you, you should fit the clothes. “I never buy something that needs to be touched up. At Dior, or even in other houses, they never changed even a button for me. I am like bidets: Ideal Standard.

GQ: And writing about all that, about yourself, have you thought about it or will you think about it one day?

KL: I write correctly in ¬French and in English. Much less in German. I have hardly ever lived in Germany, I speak very little German.

GQ: Yet you have a German accent.

KL: No, but when I speak German, they find that I have an accent too. That's my weird way of talking.

GQ: Friends who imitate you to perfection.

KL: Vincent Darré, among others. Édouard Baer has never done it in front of me but I know.

GQ: And also Amira Casar.

KL: Yes, it's one of his classics. It is even better known than his theatrical activities. I love Amira. But she has a somewhat discreet passage in her career, right?

GQ: Tell me about your days. Do you wake up sooner or later?

KL: I am someone who is constantly plagued by a bad conscience, which, by the way, makes things tastier, saying: "I should do this, this and that and I don't. »

GQ: You have billions of things to do every day, how do you find time to stroll, to live, to read?

KL: But I read a lot. Half of my bed is not accessible because of the books. Without that, I'm no longer worth anything, I'm not a machine. In general, I like to have the morning to myself. That's why I'm late for lunch, I don't look at the clock. I don't wear a watch. I wear a large white shirt to the ground...

GQ: A nightgown? Gosh!

KL: Yes, but sublime.

GQ: A kind of djellaba?

KL: I don't like this word. It's more like big grandpa shirts. Very elegant, very long, the price of a haute couture dress. And it serves me as a work coat, because as I draw with pastels it's disgusting. Besides, most of the time, I wear shirts that have no sleeves because at noon, we are already dirty. I read the newspapers, I daydream if I want...

GQ: There, I saw Sébastien who brought you whole bags of magazines from Colette.

KL: That's what I read during the weekend.

GQ: You read magazines from all over the world. Nobody gets there. Do you leaf through very, very quickly, do you take photographs, do you remember?

KL: I am a very good scanner. I speak quickly but I also read quickly, in three languages ​​too.

GQ: You are an anomaly of science, Karl!

KL: I am my own iPad. In addition, I have another problem, I don't watch a lot of movies and almost never television. I go home myself on Friday evening, I stay alone for forty-eight hours and I am delighted.

GQ: Tel Oblomov, the hero of this Russian novel.

KL: Besides, I don't see any intellectuals or anything. As I prefer the outward appearance of people, I don't see people of my generation, it bothers me, I don't socialize. In fact, I live very well with myself and the others, if they are happy and content, that's fine.

GQ: Are you some kind of hermit, a misanthrope?

KL: No, not even. I am a person who wants to have time to himself to inform himself, to read, to know. What is this obsessive way of always wanting to be glued to people? Solitude is the greatest luxury.

GQ: But because you have a choice. If you decide, you can be very surrounded.

KL: Obviously, if you are old, sick and poor, it must not be funny. Baptiste and Sébastien are not always with me, they are there when I have an audience. And then there is also the telephone and the fax. Me, I am very fax. So my network, all over the world, is done by fax. There are people keeping a fax because of me.

GQ: Would you define yourself as someone alone in the middle of a crowd?

KL: No, not at all.

GQ: You choose to be alone but it feels like you are always surrounded by a court. Or people who work with you. A hive. And suddenly, you disappear.

KL: I don't disappear. But there is a generation gap, I want all these young people to have their own life. I don't want anyone to become a satellite in my life. I don't want them to be available to my whims, for anyone to depend on me morally and materially of course. That is the problem.

GQ: I'm an old person, I'm 44, and I also surround myself with 20-year-olds.

KL: You're right. But it's contagious, it's bad.

GQ: Is this the secret of your eternal youth?

KL: I got angry with almost all the people who are still alive and those who have known me forever bore me to death, they talk about the good old days . Me, I'm not complaining. If you mainly consume stories of illnesses from people we know, no, no, no… Go to the doctor but don’t tell me that.

GQ: Old people are whiny?

KL: Yes, because they think it was better before. Maybe for them it was, but not for me. It was OK but it's more than OK now. In addition, the past embellishes, daily life has always been boring. You have to have a mentality. You too have a mentality that makes you not overwhelmed. We are not there like the little grandfathers we go out. You have to be aware of the same things as them, you must not have contempt for a lack of culture. Because life is different and me, it suits me very well. Me, the others suit me because I suit myself very well. It's awful what I'm saying.

GQ: On the other hand, I don't have your lifestyle. How do you resist self-destruction?

KL: I have an oversized instinct for self-preservation. For others, it's their ego. I only find life fun if the machine is running smoothly. The day it turns less well, I'm not sure it would interest me for long. I am not tempted, Saint Antoine is not me.

GQ: But temptation is inherent in our humanity, which is only desire...

KL: Yes, but my relationship with humanity is what Rostand and the insects did. I watch.

GQ: You're actually a voyeur.

KL: In a way, yes.

GQ: You can surround yourself with drug addicts, for example, but without drugging yourself.

KL: I love it. Piss-vinegars like me, I hate that. But I know how to compensate with a way of speaking, meanness, etc.

GQ: You manage to integrate yourself into the middle of the night owls, what.

KL: For me, there is no longer any middle ground.

GQ: When you're at the VIP Room, do you enjoy seeing them in daze?

KL: It seems natural to me. It would be boring if they were like me. Otherwise we stay at home. I don't do intellectual parties, I want to be informed like an old scientist but it's for my personal ease, it's not to make discussions. I hate intellectuals, especially if they are not very well dressed. Look at the photos of people like Bergson, and everything: impeccable. Today, they are all sluts.

GQ: It's true, there is a lot of letting go. It may come from Jean-Paul Sartre.

Karl Lagerfeld: “From 5 or 6 years, I had decided that I was going to end up like in fairy tales, that I was going to become a legend…”

KL: The brain would not allow to take care of the outside. I don't agree with that at all.

GQ: Oscar Wilde said it often. It is possible to be an intellectual and presentable.

KL: But today, it goes with political correctness. May 68 nevertheless dealt a fatal blow to the dyeworks.

GQ: I wonder what is the forbidden zone in your life...

KL: There is none.

GQ: You're not cheating on your age like some actresses? (According to sources, he was born in 1933 or 1938, editor's note)

KL: They are right to do so because people are boors. On the contrary, I have an age and I would rather age myself because it would be even more surprising. I've been here so long that people from prehistoric times can't compete.

GQ: I come back to this story of loneliness because it intrigues me. You say that the more you are alone, the happier you are?

KL: It's more study than loneliness.

GQ: Solitaire?

KL: I love solitaires, I love diamonds, I'm not one. Or maybe a blackened diamond.

GQ: Me, I need to be in love. Talk to me about love.

KL: You will also get over it with time. You are only 44 years old. Afterwards, it will be less funny because promiscuity sets in with age.

GQ: Me, I don't want to live with the person I love. Aren't you in love?

KL: There is a time for everything. And then there are all kinds of loves and there we are not going to analyze that.

GQ: I say that because there was a very funny article in Surface magazine where you talked about escort boys and you said you weren't against it.

KL: I'm not against anything. And then, all the articles about me are not necessarily written by myself.

GQ: You say that today the rich live like that. We call escort boys, they come, it's very happy, and they leave afterwards. There is no problem of feelings, of suffering.

KL: It is a very good method. Without falling into confession, how does the method seem to you?

GQ: It seems to me a way of dissociating sex and feelings.

KL: This is my main method. It always has been and it is a very good method. Asses wear out, affection does not. The degree of affection and friendship varies with each person and circumstances. Sex is fine, OK, it's a sporting activity.

GQ: I totally agree, but we can get attached sometimes.

KL: Yes, okay, and then we make a family. Me, if I were a woman, I would have children, but I'm not a woman so it's missed.

GQ: Do you regret not having children?

KL: No! Oh no ! Who said: "The best moment in a man's life is when he finds out his son sucks. “It would not be up to what I would have liked. Me, I had a sister, my mother did not find her up to par and she never took care of her. And my dad also had a daughter from another marriage and he never cared about her because he found her disappointing.

GQ: You often talk about your mother, maybe you also want to transmit.

KL: Yes, but I was the ideal child.

GQ: So it's not a regret you have.

KL: I have some remorse, but regrets, no. Already as a child, I always knew that I did not want a family. I thought it was a ball. I'm so selfish, I love being in control of my time so much. I live in a kind of pleasant atmosphere with myself. People who say they are bored are usually very very bored themselves. Because how, with all there is to see, to do, to know, to read, can we get bored? It means we're stupid.

GQ: But you might want to convey something... Do you convey it otherwise?

KL: I don't convey anything at all.

GQ: Through your work, your fashion shows...

KL: It's useless. I have nothing to transmit, I am completely bogus.

GQ: By the way, you said that the best actors are X actors and that porn is the supreme art for actors.

KL: I hate that, but since I don't eat meat is no big deal. But I admire. Pretending false feelings is easier than going at it face-to-face like these people.

GQ: You can't resist the pleasure of a good word.

KL: Oscar Wilde, as you quoted before, said: "The best way to resist a temptation is to give in to it. As I am no longer tempted by food, I can give in to other temptations.

GQ: Me, I imagine you to be modest, but maybe what you like is to surround yourself with very beautiful people. Like Andy Warhol with very beautiful people having fun on your bed.

KL: No, never. I am puritan to the last degree. As for me, Andy, I knew him very well. I even acted in a film of his that you haven't seen, I hope.

GQ: Unfortunately, but I will get it very soon.

KL: Very hard to find because there are only two copies left. But there is an excerpt on the Internet. (You have to google “Karl Lagerfeld and Donna Jordan make out in Andy Warhol’s L’Amour 1970, editor’s note) We don’t think this hairy creature in a tank top is me.

GQ: Is it an erotic film?

KL: Yes. Slippery, slippery. That was the thing for me at the time. But the movie is badly done...

GQ: With Joe Dallessandro and all that?

KL: Yes. He wasn't funny that one. Short-legged, a dachshund! Sometimes stocky people can be sexier than skinny ones. It depends on the images of elegance and eroticism one floor below.

GQ: You run interesting risks.

KL: "No risk, no fun", as the Baron de Paris used to say. This is the title of the memoirs of the Baron de Paris. What am I risking ?

GQ: To normalize yourself, to lose your aura.

KL: Aura, there will be.

GQ: Do people around you tell you: "No, you shouldn't do that, it's risky..."

KL: I don't have an image director. What I say, I make it up. Some of my colleagues, they ask the questions and we write the interviews to them, I know how to answer everything.

GQ: What is your relationship with passers-by who recognize you in the street?

KL: I'm kind because it's the best way to get rid of them faster. You have to be quick and smile.

GQ: One day, I think, you come out of the Hotel Pozzo di Borgo, rue de l'Université...

KL: Which was sold to a black man, which I think is great when you think that the old duke was Croix de Fer and that he was in prison because he was so right-wing, before the war, and everything. And now it has become an African colony. The Pozzo di Bongo hotel! If they can buy residences at 80 million, the subsidies are back.

GQ: Once too, you went out without your usual appearance...

KL: It was here, to go to American Art, my framer, the best in Paris, down rue Bonaparte. And at the corner of the street, a guy said to me "So, are we dressing up? ". I was dressed in a raincoat, which was not mine, and a hat. It lasted three seconds and I went back, took that shit off.

GQ: Are there any subjects that annoy you?

KL: It depends on how it's posed.

GQ: Me, I noticed that as soon as you mention the name of Yves Saint Laurent, it irritates you.

KL: Yes, I remember. But he's had enough, he didn't read. One day he said to me: "F-rançoise Sagan ticked off the best passages in Proust for me. »

GQ: Françoise Sagan took her pseudonym at home. Sagan is a character in Proust.

KL: Yes, but Françoise Sagan existed. Sagan Castle belonged to the Duchess of Dino who was one of the three daughters of the Duchess of Courland. She who during the Congress of Vienna, when the pants changed, said: "This fashion is horrible, we no longer know what men think. »

GQ: It makes you think of Mae West's sentence: "Are you carrying a gun or are you just happy to see me?

KL: One day, she was wearing a muslin dress, the weather was nice, she lay down on a lawn, a cow passed over her and she said: "Take turns, gentlemen. »

GQ: The dark glasses, is it because you don't like your eyes like Polnareff?

KL: No, there are plenty of photos of me with my eyes that are completely correct. First, it's a courtesy. Tinted lenses make everyone look better. So I'm not going to deprive myself of making the world around me prettier by removing glasses in a sordid light. Second, I'm a little myopic. I had my myopia removed and I had it put back.

GQ: No?

KL: Because when you're not myopic, you become presbyopic and I don't like that. And when you're nearsighted, the first ten minutes after taking off your glasses, you look like a dog from the SPA who wants to be adopted at the pound. That's not my look.

GQ: I've seen you have moments of recoil at parties where people throw themselves at you to kiss you.

KL: In general, these are people whose breath is not perfect. I could give a list of names that kindness prevents me from giving.

GQ: I'm changing the subject. You have just been decorated...

KL: I am very flattered in absolute terms that I have been made Commander of the Legion of Honor but I never wanted any decoration. That's why they made me commander right away, because I don't deserve anything, I don't have any merit. I have always worked for my own chapel.

GQ: Yes, but you did France good...

KL: But I'm not French. I am fairly well integrated, my French is correct.

GQ: We can say that you are proof that immigration works in our country.

KL: Yes, it is. But I don't have social security.

GQ: Exactly, by the way, there is a pension reform in France...

KL: Yes, but that does not concern the politicians who talk about it. They may be 100 years old.

GQ: I have a rather unpleasant question, I'm sorry: do you want to die on stage like Dalida or Molière?

KL: Chanel died making a collection at 89, so why not? If all of a sudden, I feel that I no longer have what it takes for the job, or that it bothers me, I will be the first to organize my succession in the houses. Because all the business that I am associated with, I do not want them to fall at all. But there are jobs where I find it brave to work for forty years.

GQ: The French love the idea of ​​retirement.

KL: It's ridiculous to generalize. First, it should be a la carte. If you want to continue, you continue. But there are jobs where at some point it also becomes dangerous because it's a physical thing. And then there are jobs so boring that doing the same things forty years in a row is enough.

GQ: But you have a frenetic activity...

KL: No, it's not tiring, I sleep seven hours so where is the fatigue? The other day I was told about my nervous fatigue. Me, I'm sleepy, I sleep well. Nervous fatigue, I don't know what it is and I ask you not to analyze because this word is not part of my language. What is nervous fatigue? Am I hysterical or what?

GQ: You are in a creative profession, you deal with a lot of anxieties...

KL: What is this story? You have read too many articles on Saint Laurent. Everything that is written about Saint Laurent has no relation to reality. Of course, he made the same collection for twenty years, so I understand that in the end he was anxious.

GQ: But artists are people... Proust says so...

KL: But I'm not an artist myself. I am not Proust.

GQ: You're not an artist?

KL: No. I am a dilettante.

GQ: False modesty. Doing everything you do is artistic.

KL: It's very pretentious. Chanel, Balenciaga, they never said they were artists. Marc Newson, who is a genius in design, he says he is a craftsman. Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando, ​​they say they are architects. Maybe others say it, but I swear to you that I don't stick to the label "artist".

GQ: But you do photography, you're a publisher, bookseller, filmmaker... You're even a DJ. None of this is art?

KL: No. These are the whims of a spoiled person who is lucky enough to be able to do all this in correct conditions without being an amateur, who has the facilities to do this since he does it 100% every time. I work to spend life pleasantly.

GQ: And those of others, too?

KL: I don't at all want people around me to have an unpleasant life. On the contrary ! My motto in life is that I want everyone to be happy, including me. I have zero ambition. My ambition is limited to what I want for myself.

GQ: Earlier, you said: "Well, if one day my flame goes out, I will have to find someone to succeed me. So I'm going to suggest some names to you.

KL: I'll stop you right away before you start your little speech, you first have to know who will be good when the gas cuts off and the flame goes out. will turn off. Because there are plenty that are good today and maybe will be worn out because there are not that many that are indestructible like me, I apologize.

GQ: You still have some under your feet, that's what you mean.

KL: Yes, yes. Under the pedal exactly!

GQ: But in fact you are a monk. I sincerely think you are some kind of monk.

KL: Less faith.

GQ: You don't believe in God?

KL: No. Yes, in God yes, but it is not linked to a religion. Before all religions existed, there were billions of beings on earth who died without these metaphysical and religious concerns. Afterwards, there were different religions, but why are those of that religion damned and not those? No. I admire people who have faith, it's a great comfort, it's probably very good but I'm deprived of it and I got used to this idea. When you open a newspaper and see the horrors on the Catholic Church, you understand that it is a shame because there are people who believe in it.

GQ: The Church is one thing, but here I am talking to you about God. Don't you feel that you are missing something, a meaning, a kind of superior beauty?

KL: My religion is Greek mythology. Philosopher Simone Weil said when she became a Catholic she got burned for it and she said the Christ thing, it came straight from Prometheus.

GQ: My last question is very deep: do you remember what you answered to Tom Ford when he asked you: "Karl, are you happy?

KL: I said to him: "I'm not that ambitious. Because people think it's a right to be happy, what does that mean? Happiness is not a given, it takes work and it takes some effort.