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The Wit And Wisdom of Karl Lagerfeld

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“When you’re young you are always a bit of an idiot. What saves us is that we realize it later.”

I admit I’m a sucker for gorgeous books. When that book happens to be filled with interesting quotes, as is the case with The World According to Karl, all the better.

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Karl Lagerfeld “is a modern master of couture.” That explains why my t-shirt and jean wearing self had never heard of him before picking up this book, which is really just a collection of his wit and wisdom in the form of quotations.

In the forward, Patrick Mauriès writes:

Today we live in an era of the ‘global salon,’ where ‘sharing,’ rather than conversation, fills the ether; where one novelty chases another from one moment to the next, and where one must always be wired in. No one thrives better in this age than Karl Lagerfeld, our faithful reader of Mademoiselle Aïssé’s letters. He participates more for fun than anything else, it seems, responding liberally and multilingually to the daily demands (of running a fashion empire) via the press or the airwaves from the clamouring media whose playthings we are. Words are cast out to anyone and everyone, tirelessly picked up, polished and finally amplified across the planet, with force enough to ruffle the hair of a president, and yet fated to turn into the dust of the present. But this does not displease our hero, who cares nothing for posterity, and who has no other wish, he’d have us believe, than to let his utterances scatter and fade away.

This book is a collection of these statements, in an effort to ensure they do not disappear.

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Here are a few of my favoriate Karlisms.

I hate holidays! That’s for people who always do the same thing in the same place.

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I hate people in this profession who get stuck in a particular era and who think the world is going mad. The world isn’t wrong, it’s changing.

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What fashion expressed doesn’t last. Style lasts. But it has to follow fashion to outlive it.

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Every era gets the fashion it deserves.

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There is nothing worse than bringing up the ‘good ol days.’ To me, that’s the ultimate acknowledgement of failure.

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Life isn’t a beauty contest. Intelligence lasts, youth and beauty are seasonal.

I’m a kind of hired gun, so if the army is good it’s OK, but if the army is not so good there is little I can do.

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My greatest luxury is not to have to justify myself to anyone.

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A diet is the only game where you win while you’re losing.

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When people irritate me, I say anything. I like being politically incorrect as well, because I can’t put up with political correctness.

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My mother would always say: ‘When you’re talking rubbish, speak more quickly, we don’t have time to waste.’ And she would get up and head for the door.

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I never go out without my notorious dark glasses. I like to see, not to be observed.

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Whether you’re looking for a gift for the fashion conscious friend who has everything, or simply want to know more about a fascinating character, you could do a lot worse than the beautifully designed The World According to Karl.