«Kaiser Karl» by Raphaëlle Bacqué (2020)

The page about the book on the publisher’s website : here

To buy the book in English : here

Cons :

_Not enough informations regarding the spirituality of Karl Lagerfeld. It is suggested early in the book that he was an atheist. But there are many indications that he was a Christian. He sometimes wore crosses or rosaries. He organized a mass for the funeral of Jacques de Bascher. “The only love I believe in is the love of a Mother for her child,” he declared. A reference to the Madonna?

_The same goes for the networks he frequented (apart from those he had established): no information on these subjects. Only “The Rose Ball” taking place in Monaco is mentioned.

_Politically speaking, nothing is admitted. But the book is published by Albin Michel (publisher of Philippe de Villiers and of Éric Zemmour). Karl was always considered to be on the right but at the end of his life the author wonders if he had not become a “transhumanist” ? Jacques de Bascher, it is confirmed, was on the right +. Concerning the work discipline he imposed on himself, the designer described himself as “autofascist”. We know that he criticized Merkel regarding her migration policy, which is recalled in the book.

_On many times there is a lack of numbers (euros and dates).

_Putting some pictures on the book would have been a plus.

_The legendary quotes from the designer are really missing.

_The gothic style of this celebrity is not mentioned (not even the word). Like Helmut Newton, he rediscovered his German roots through exile. He is called a “vampire”. He once disguised himself as a character close to Dracula. No explanation of his recognizable personal graphic charter: black and white.

_The last ten years of his life are only sketched at the end of the book.  Not really premium…

Pros :

_As the back cover indicates, we discover a lot of what was behind the mask of this public figure.

_On form : K.L was a model of virtue, deportment, uprightness, discipline, rigor, precision, exemplarity and work (even if it meant sacrificing everything for this).

_Basically : we discover a much more “business-oriented” person. On the lookout for rumours. Having sometimes exhibited stifling or even toxic behaviour towards colleagues.

_We discover a world of fashion divided into two parts : slaves & highborns. The book has the great merit of talking about corruption in this universe. But also about the mythomania and the illusion of appearances in this environment.

_We discover that his success came late. We can feel his need for a revenge.

_The book is about the destiny of a soldier bee surrounded by many cicadas.

_It is a lot a book about a lonely man who only had the work in his life. His bodyguard speaks, at the end of his life, of a “monastic” end-of-life style.

Conclusion :

This is a biography of a fashion and a media legend. An extraordinary character. A beacon of righteousness in a world in full decadence. Karl Lagerfeld stood above his time. Managing to survive all the fashions (sometimes in a very brutal way). A spiritual Father to many entrepreneurs, soldier bees and survivors.

Chev Chelios