Roll Over, Coco! French Filmmaker Goes Gaga for Chanel Legend Karl Lagerfeld

transom karl lagerfeld2v Roll Over, Coco! French Filmmaker Goes Gaga for Chanel Legend Karl LagerfeldA little more than two years ago, the designer Karl Lagerfeld agreed to have lunch with the French filmmaker Rodolphe Marconi. For three months, the 31-year-old director had been trying to get some face time with the Mr. Lagerfeld in order to persuade the legendary Chanel couturier to be the subject of a documentary.

The lunch, which took place at Mr. Lagerfeld’s palatial Persian home, lasted five hours, at the end of which the host removed his jacket (by Libertine). “He gave me the blazer and said, ‘When do you do want to begin?’” recalled the diminutive Mr, Marconi, in town to promote the resultant project, Lagerfeld Confidential (see review, page C13) who joined the Transom for a carrot juice on Monday, Oct. 22. “I said, ‘I dunno.’ And he said, ‘We start tomorrow.’”

Mr. Marconi spent the next two years following Mr. Lagerfeld around the world. In that time the designer—whom he described as “incredibly generous, always giving things away and buying clothes for his assistants”—bestowed on him four blazers, two dress shirts and four Chrome Hearts rings. “One day, I was wearing all four of the rings on my hand like this,” Mr. Marconi said. “And I said to Karl, ‘But I can’t go out on the streets like this.” And Karl said, ‘How can you say something so ridiculous!’

“With Karl, it’s just you be yourself, and that’s good style,” he said.

Many people had approached Mr. Lagerfeld about doing a documentary in the past. Mr. Marconi said he wasn’t sure why the designer had chosen him. “I think he like me and he had seen my films.”

It wasn’t because the blazer fit?

“Maybe,” Mr. Marconi said dreamily. “Like Cinderella.”