Choupette upsets Karl Lagerfeld
“J’adore ma Choupette, mais when she turns tail…it tears me apart! Everytime.”
(note the tiny man in black, c'est Karl!...crying)
Choupette is the pampered pussy of designer Karl Lagerfeld. Mr. Lagerfeld is ALWAYS elegantly composed with a bon mot on any subject. Having met the gentleman and witnessed live as well as endless videos, this is a man who marches forward never undone by the world.
One day when my own cat unfurled a un-earthly squeal over who knows what and leapt into the air like a huge fur ball and my heart leapt out of its socket...I realized that Choupette turning tail...THIS might be the one thing to upset The Kaiser.
This portrait of Karl and Choupette was also inspired by the annoying pony tail of my friend “Coco” (her real nickname.) At a bar one night, Coco’s pony tail was whipping me in my face every time she turned around.
First, a message from the pilot. I am writing this post just as Karl’s Chanel’s airport-themed show in Paris is happening. Strap yourself in, this is the invite to the Chanel show and now… my little story of how a kitty tail whipping revealed the heart of The Kaiser, Karl Lagerfeld.
I came home from the bar-tail-whipping and drew this sketch of a little ponytail below, and wrote, “Love ‘Coco’ but when she turns her ‘tail,’ it knocks me out every time!” intending to draw the little humorous scenario the next day.
On the next day, when I began to think about how to draw Karl Lagerfeld for Paris Fashion Week coming up, I had a few sketches drawn and then my eye caught this little pony tail drawing on my desk.
I filled it in…it looked just like a sad Karl, vulnerable in a dramatic cape or dressing gown at home.
Karl is one of the most confident humans on the planet…with all the sartorial symbols and attitude worthy of a distinctive, warrior-like portrait.
However, drawing that would be too easy. I find that when I follow the trail of subconscious symbols winking at me, the real portrait appears.
The tail switching in my drawing made me think of Karl’s famous princess cat, Choupette, (owner of two maids and an Instagram account.) When she’s upset…or ‘turns tail’…this may be the only thing in the whole Universe that saddens The Kaiser!
I like seeing the vulnerability in powerful people. Certainly Karl is a very thoughtful, sensitive man with a knowledge and interest in many subjects, although he bellows and issues proclamations, leading one to philosophical questions, beyond fashion. Having stood in his presence several times, as he clipped out “missives” I can vouch for this!
Chanel’s signature quilting conveys status by way of comfort, a cross-hatch inspired by the tweeds and plaids of Scottish hunters as camouflage. This play of opposites is the dynamic of our world. The windows, the portes and portals, the gates through which we frame and see the world.
Anything soft and fluffy is likely our emotions floating, through.
White kittens are so very fluffy, very Princess. All this fur got me tearing up white paper for the fur in the drawing.
This first version was a frenzy. Eh Choupette?
Here is the actual Choupette:
Choupette’s fluff and kitty fur frenzy called for the seat-belt-securely-fastened-in of Karl’s Chanel show invitation. I rarely re-work an illustration like this, tut! I am like the Kaiser, once it is done, it's done! However, the intensity of this moment made me want to give it a solid yellow, warning! warning! color to convey the "je ne sais quoi"...this tense atmosphere.
Coincidence that the tail of a French girl named “Coco” inspired this image?
I must have been “Chanel-ing” the real Coco Chanel.