For what is literally the third Karl Lagerfeld project we’ve reported on this week, the Renaissance man is also starring in a four-hour German TV documentary comparing fashion to religion, according to WWD. According to Martina Nuen, the TV journalist behind Mode Als Religion (Fashion as Religion), fashion has the same sort of age-old rituals, system of beliefs and sense of community as a religion. Magazines are bibles, models are angels, etc.
Lagerfeld, with his vaguely priest-like uniform, is considered the “pope” of fashion, and was followed throughout his day-to-day life over 16 months.
Obviously, Lagerfeld said some ridiculous things about actual popes along the way, which WWD graciously pulled out of the doc: “The only pope I thought was chic was Pius XII,” he said. “Even though he may not be remembered for his popularity, I thought he was elegant. And Pope John XXIII was the most charismatic; you can keep all the others.” As if he just has no use for them.
The designer also referred to himself as a “fashion missionary.”
Lagerfeld wasn’t the only fashion star followed for the film (not that four hours of nothing but Karl wouldn’t be entertaining). Many of his disciples were also documented, including Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista and Inès de la Fressange, Suzy Menkes, Christiane Arp, Gerhard Steidl, Diane Kruger, Sarah Jessica Parker and Milla Jovovich.
“He’s the most impressive person I’ve ever met,” Nuen told WWD of Lagerfeld. “He’s a true individual, and there’s a lightness of being around him.”
Indeed, Lagerfeld is one of many fashion icons we’ve probably professed to “worshipping at the altar of” (even though we should really add that phrase to our list of fashion words that have got to go). And based on the sheer number of jobs he has, it’s clear he has the ability to perform miracles. Sounds like this documentary is onto something…
It’s set to air in Germany September 7 (after a special screening in Munich, which Lagerfeld is set to attend). And we certainly hope it makes its way to the States somehow. One Karl Lagerfeld doc is just not enough.