"Starched collars are not really done well there," the designer laments, blaming that shortcoming for his tendency to overpack for trips like this week's New York jaunt to close fashion week with his hotly anticipated show.
"My problem is being overweight, not in myself — in my luggage," he quips in his dizzying, mile-a-minute manner. "I'm always bringing too many books and papers, cameras and music machines and tons of clothes because I never like to wear the same thing twice ... My life is a trunk show" (of the Goyard variety).
Otherwise, New York suits the slim designer to a T. "I feel very much at home in New York," he says in an interview about the latest fashion capital he's conquering, after Paris with Chanel and Milan with Fendi. "New York is a city where I like to go out every night, something I don't do in Paris."
The Japanese restaurants Omen and Matsuri are favorite Lagerfeld haunts, but he's adventurous and always on the lookout for the new, too. One of his latest discoveries is La Esquina, which he describes as "this new Mexican restaurant in the basement, sort of like a speakeasy, where you eat behind the kitchen and where people can smoke. It's very funny."
Lagerfeld, of course, doesn't smoke — never has — but he's against such prohibitions in principle, convinced frustration of any kind leads to no positive ends. He's not even particularly fond of Mexican food. "I eat nothing," he says.
Slated to arrive in New York on Monday, Lagerfeld has kept his slate relatively clear for his five-day stay, owing to the amount of preparations necessary for a megarunway show that will mix four different collections for men and women into what he hopes will be a legible, irresistible fashion statement.
Tommy Hilfiger Corp. owns the Lagerfeld business and the show will feature his Lagerfeld Collection previously called Lagerfeld Gallery and previously shown in Paris, plus the new contemporary Karl Lagerfeld label.