Inside Karl Lagerfelds Many Luxurious Homes
Courtesy of Lagerfeld Gallery

Inside Karl Lagerfeld’s Many Luxurious Homes

Perhaps Lagerfeld’s homiest home was Le Mée, a retreat near Fontainebleau outside Paris, where the “madcap” Princess Diane Beauvau Craon played chatelaine. Described in Vogue as “a fusion of neo-baroque styles,” the overall impression conveyed in photographs is one of airy coziness. Here Lagerfeld slept in a bedroom covered with a chintz fabric based on Louis XVI documents. In 2000 the designer opened the doors of his weekend retreat in Biarritz to the magazine, which dubbed it “a study in spare luxury that matches his new physique.” (The designer famously lost nearly 100 pounds in order to be able to wear Hedi Slimaine’s slim-fit suits, and it’s still possible to buy copies of The Karl Lagerfeld Diet on Amazon.) Rendered in a palette of chocolate brown and white and filled with Jean-Michel Frank furniture, here Lagerfeld deep dived into Geheimrat Architektur “a kind of rich, bourgeois, and intellectual architectural style,” he explained. But the real draw here was the play between inside and outside: the residence was set in a 100-acre park featuring a Lagerfeld-designed swimming pool.

“Modern is modern,” the designer told Vogue in 1992. “My dream is one day to build a very modern house. I don’t know why, because I have enough houses already, but I dream of it.” 16 years later that reverie was realized in a gleaming Paris apartment with twists and curves not unlike those of the space-age molded bags the designer introduced in the early 2000s. This was a machine for living, one custom-built for a man who, like Andy Warhol, was at once wholly of his time and apart from it. Lagerfeld seemed to have a psychic synchronicity with the past, at the same time that he was possessed of the need to push forward. To never linger. “Anything dusty, dirty, musty—forget about it. I like my 19th-century fresh,” Lagerfeld said.

Of all the peeks into Lagerfeld’s life proffered through the interiors features published in Vogue, perhaps the most telling is the photograph of the designer’s brushed-steel bed in his futuristic apartment. In stark contrast to the metal, it’s dressed in fresh white cotton and lace-trimmed linens, a promise, it seems, of a soft landing for Lagerfeld upon return from his time travels and heady flights of imagination.