Sunday, October 20, 2013

Karl Lagerfeld and His Cloud

Harper's Bazaar September 2013
Dutch artist and cloud conjurer Berndnaut Smilde created clouds for this editorial that features Karl Lagerfeld, among others.

Lagerfeld chose the Grand Palais in Paris where he has shown his collections since 2005. The photograph is really spectacular as is the formation of the cloud. Lagerfeld says of the cloud: I love the old saying and the idea that clouds have a silver lining. I would love it to be true. A cloudy day can be inspiring, because just blue can be tired and boring in the end. Clouds are the most beautiful installations of ever-changing abstract modern art in movement.

I agree. Though a cold blue winter sky is welcome, skies are so much more interesting to meditate on. I particularly love driving toward work to see the wall of clouds that form over the lake that my city is situated on. Maybe not a wall, but more like a shelf. The sky immediately above me could be all blue, or dark as we head toward winter, and out in the distance, a mile a way, is a cloud-full sky. Just the other day as storms roared in during the day, they as soon dissipated. And when the storm crawled out over the lake, it left the skyline with a cloud cap that was remarkable to see in its stormy drama.

Naturally, if I were to have been the one chosen to be photographed, Mr. Smilde would have to conjure his cloud over my head. It is my mother who reminds me that if she were to needlepoint a portrait of her children, all four of us, that she would have to include the little black clouds that follow us each. I would, in my portrait, look up and smile knowing that it was there, my good friend that isn't all bad ... just mindful of what we, as Irish people particularly I believe, understand to be the equilibrium that must be maintained between happiness and sorrow in order to live profoundly.

Lagerfeld, naturally, has no storm cloud, rather his is a nice fluffy one that is saved for days where they are useful only in that they are decorative. It's an accessory. Mine, I imagine, is more of a statement piece. A fine cashmere or twill that is enduring and never out-of-season.

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