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"It's a New Mix"

The Paris Fashion Set Fêtes Karl Lagerfeld

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Karl Lagerfeld with Virginie Mouzat and Emmanuelle Alt   
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Karl Lagerfeld understands decor as well as he knows fashion. The premises for his new signature collection Karl are an opulently minimal series of salons in an hôtel particulier on the Left Bank, so it made sense that the food for the dinner party he hosted on Wednesday night to launch the line should also focus on the bare opulent essentials: caviar, foie gras, and lobster, with a logo-fied iPad as a takeaway. One of the T-shirts in his Karl range features a fanciful self-portrait with the handwritten message "I Love Gossip." Plenty of that in a room full of fashion people, though I spent much of the night talking about obscure Eastern European films with the encyclopedically informed Anja Rubik. How often do you get the chance to have a real talk with anyone about Dusan Makavejev's scatological Sweet Movie? Especially while chunks of foie gras are drifting back and forth under your nose.

Rubik stars in the commercial that Trey Laird made for the launch of Karl. It was pre-loaded on the iPad. Sui He is also in the ad. She spoke no English when she arrived in New York a year ago but now sounds as politely precise as an elocutionist. On the day of the shoot, Sui was intimidated by the ease of the more experienced models. "It was like a competition," she said. Everyone's a winner in the finished product, which premiered at the dinner, but Sui seemed a little taken aback at how persuasive she was as a minx.

"It's a new mix," murmured Lagerfeld to the camera at the end of his film. Right on cue, Azealia Banks appeared to perform. The neighborhood is "nice," so she didn't get to play more than two songs, but a ruckus was duly raised, and the hair of the haute bourgeoisie peering down into the yard from their windows was surely curled (presuming they could understand her four-letter wordplay). From caviar to c-you-know-what…It may have been a new mix, but it was the same old polymath Karl.

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