Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
[Photo via Danica's Daily Bleurgh]
Karl Lagerfeld is hilarious. That is our takeaway from his discussion on the Chanel Contemporary Art Pavilion that just landed in Central Park with architect Zaha Hadid at MoMA yesterday afternoon. Karl arrived in signature Karl attire: black suit, high-necked white button-down shirt, black leather fingerless gloves. (Zaha was wearing some sort of stretchy black ensemble topped with an architectural gray coat.) The talked a bit about how they met—Karl approached Zaha at the Mercer, where they both like to stay when in New York, and told her that he admired her work—then spoke how the idea of the Mobile Art Pavilion came about. Karl: "For me, she is the architect of the 21st century. There was no second option. Zaha Hadid or I'd lose interest in the project." He seemed as excited about working with Zaha as he was about the concept, a futuristic-looking traveling entity of huge volume.
Moderator Barry Bergdoll turned the talk to the economy and our "troubled times." Zaha discussed 9/11—when it happened she was actually staying at the Mercer—and how afterward, people thought that no one would want to build towers any more, yet many went up in cities around the world. Karl, "You start to think like this, there will be no projects."
But the most interesting part of the discussion, for us at least, was when the moderator asked Karl if he had any questions for Zaha and he replied, "I never ask questions, I only answer questions." It was kind of like he was joking, and kind of like he wasn't. Zaha, then, spoke up about seeing him arrive at the hotel one day with all his luggage, and asked what exactly he brought with him. Karl, "I work without computers. I bring my favorite books, paper to sketch. Clothes—obviously, I like clothes. And my pharmacy. I feel at home everywhere as long as I can bring everything with me." Then, in an offhand way, he suggested that the pavilion might eventually become someone's summer home. Karl, we'd gladly live in your orb of insanity.
· Inside the Orb of Insanity: Touring the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion [Racked]