Becoming Karl Lagerfeld (2024) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

This series is loosely inspired
by the life of Karl Lagerfeld.
Some of the characters, their intimate
and professional relationships,
their actions and statements,
places, incidents and events,
as well as artistic creations
have been invented or altered
by the authors for dramatic purposes.
In the case
of such invention or alteration,
any similarity to the actual character
or history of any person
is entirely for dramatic purposes
and is not intended to reflect
an actual character or their history.
[bluesy rock music playing]
I can't get no ♪
Satisfaction ♪
I can't get no ♪
Satisfaction ♪
'Cause I try ♪
And I try ♪
And I try ♪
And I try ♪
I can't get no ♪
I can't get no ♪
Satisfaction ♪
[priest] See, power is not an ideal.
Wealth is not an ideal.
And celebrity is not an ideal.
The question is,
and each of us needs
to consider this carefully,
"What good can I do with the talents
God has given me to share?"
[angelic choral singing]
Do I
Do I want to squander them
on mere convenience?
Or do I
Do I want to dedicate them
to something greater
-something that's bigger than me?
And that brings me
closer to God every day.
[pleasant music playing]
How's my Jacques?
Good, and you?
Oh, now we have to get in.
-[Jacques] I think we can.
-That's right.
Go ahead.
[lively pop music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[Jacques] Cool. Chic.
After you.
-[man] Bonsoir.
-[Jacques] Bonsoir.
[lively pop music continues]
[captivating vocalization]
[clears throat] Who Who was that?
[captivating vocalization continues]
-[Jacques] Bonjour, madame.
You're like the temple
of the fashion magazines.
Yeah, you'll find 'em right there.
[Jacques] Here?
-Oh, yes.
-[woman] Yes.
Something you're looking for?
Uh, anything with a Karl Lagerfeld.
He does some Ready-to-wear, I think?
-[woman] No, not familiar.
-[woman] Bonjour.
-[man] One Le Monde, please.
-There you go.
-[coins jingling]
-[man] Thank you.
-Have a good one.
[uplifting music playing]
You've never heard of him
but you've already worn his dresses.
An anonymous stylist,
he designs for twenty odd brands.
[Jacques] Merci.
Hey, you touch, you buy it.
-[Jacques] I would, but I'm broke.
I appreciate it.
[uplifting music continues]
-[woman] Bonjour, monsieur.
-[women] Bonjour, Mr. Lagerfeld.
Hello, my dear.
What lovely things have you prepared?
-Hello, Karl.
[indistinct chatter]
[Gaby] Let's see.
This is beautiful.
Oh, this, too, is interesting.
Ah, that's a very Chloé sketch. Love it.
This is not really my style,
but you'll find a buyer somewhere else.
But this is perfect.
-Ah, we're showing up late now.
Look at this.
It is very graceful,
-but it's not exactly Chloé.
-Okay. Okay.
[Gaby] What have you brought me?
It's lacking inspiration.
What am I supposed to do with five models?
Graziella Fontana.
I'm building my brand, my dear.
[Gaby chuckles] Oh, you little sneak!
Come here.
Oh, I'm so pleased.
[Rosemarie] Well done. I'm happy for you.
And you? Nothing to say?
-[Gaby speaking indistinctly]
-When I come to Milan,
you can take me out to dinner.
Buona fortuna.
[Gaby] Come on,
let's make an announcement.
Graziella here is leaving us.
-to set up her own brand in Milan.
-[woman gasps]
[all cheering and applauding]
[indistinct conversation]
[Gaby] All right,
we've got a collection to finish.
You're leaving me too, are you?
-Are you sure?
Don't you have a brand to build,
ambitions to fulfill?
A "Karl Lagerfeld" above the door?
Like a little boutique.
[Gaby chuckles]
[soft instrumental music playing]
[engine starts]
[tuning radio]
[female radio host 1] Haute couture now.
Fashion show season is in full swing
with the eagerly awaited presentation
of the autumn-winter collection
from Saint Laurent.
[male radio host] and perfection.
Yves Saint Laurent
was able to prove that fashion
[female radio host 2]
in the visionary fashion
-of this great oracle of haute couture
[tuning radio]
[upbeat music playing on radio]
Slow down, baby
I got something to say ♪
Whiskey, neat, please.
Wait a minute, woman
I thought you should know ♪
That I've been around the world
I got nothing to show ♪
Working hard, night after night ♪
[rock music playing]
I'm an alligator ♪
I'm a mama-papa comin' for you ♪
I'm the space invader ♪
I'll be a rock 'n' rollin' bitch
for you ♪
Keep your mouth shut ♪
You're squawking
like a pink monkey bird ♪
And I'm bustin' up my brains
for the words ♪
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh ♪
Keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe ♪
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh ♪
Put your ray gun to my head ♪
Press your space face
close to mine, love ♪
Freak out in a moonage daydream
Oh, yeah! ♪
Don't fake it baby ♪
Lay the real thing on me ♪
The church of man, love ♪
Is such a holy place to be ♪
Make me baby ♪
[lively dance music playing]
[man] Hey, hey.
-What's up, little boy?
-[Jacques] Can I get past?
-[man] Nope.
Something in it?
Yes, be my guest.
Thank you.
Antonio, would you do
something for me, please?
Go tell your friend over there
that I'm here.
Yeah, he's not interested.
How do you know?
He's not. Sorry.
Also, you wanna meet Karl,
you've gotta ask them.
They decide who's interesting for Karl.
So, what do you say?
Shall we go fuck?
[Jacques] It's me.
[pleasant instrumental music playing]
Where were you?
Yesterday's clothes.
-I brought croissants.
Your father's coming at noon.
Pull yourself together, Jacques.
-[door opens]
-[Anne] Good morning, Mother.
-Good morning. We're leaving soon.
-What are you doing?
Writing destiny.
[Anne sarcastically] Wow.
-[woman] Bonjour.
-Your mail.
Have a nice day, Monsieur Lagerfeld.
It's not enough
to celebrate his 10th anniversary.
[sighs, scoffs]
Now he's sending us this.
He is making fun of you.
It's not even personalized.
[Elisabeth scoffs]
I think you should be going, of course.
He'll think you're too ashamed
to show your face.
"Good old Karl.
"A ready-to-wear mercenary."
No use comparing.
[upbeat music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Marshal Joffre used to wear our underwear.
-General de Gaulle wore our underwear.
Pétain, too.
-[woman 1] Hmm.
-[woman 2 speaking Italian]
-[in English] What is this?
-I like that.
-Very nice.
-Oh, this is really beautiful.
-I'll take that one.
-No, no, no.
[all clamoring]
The question I ask myself is,
"What does a woman want today?
"What does she want?
"Does she even know?"
But what woman?
A rural secretary,
a banker's wife who vacations in Capri,
or a young and pretty student?
Tell me what woman you want to sell to,
and I'll give her what she wants.
-Uh, let's ask Karl, huh?
Go ahead.
What is your style?
Well, my style is always evolving.
I get bored otherwise.
You want your name on my label?
Oh, no, no, no. I'll stay anonymous.
Your name, your brand, your style.
I'll adapt and save you from bankruptcy
by updating your line.
Well, I'm not the only girl, am I?
In my eyes, you're always the first.
And me? In your harem of stylists,
where am I?
Oh. Hate to tell you,
but I'm depopulating the harem.
I have here a little list.
[indistinct chatter]
"Jean-Jacques Bartelli?"
[scoffs] Really?
[scoffs] Listen, he's very talented.
And younger and cheaper than you.
Why give me the cute ones?
I can make your collection alone.
I can make you three collections.
However many you wanted,
I could do it by myself.
And the day you leave me,
what happens then?
-I would never leave you.
Until they outbid me.
[muffled jazz music playing]
[jazz song playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Monsieur de Bascher, you are quite late.
Well, you're still here.
And was that wrong?
You really do look like
Ludwig of Bavaria up close.
It's interesting that you think comparing
me to a crazy man is a compliment.
I'd prefer it if I didn't die
at the bottom of Lake Starnberg.
But what a life.
It's such a bore to be sane.
-[server] Bonsoir.
-I'll have the usual.
The usual?
Yes. So what?
Uh Whiskey neat.
"The world is gray. People are gray.
"You are in color."
Not a bad letter.
You have a beautiful pen.
Quite the writer in the making.
Are you working on some novel
that will upend the world?
Yeah, but who cares?
Why do you say that?
Literature is important.
I want to know who you are.
Skipping the small talk.
But take a look around you.
What do you see?
A bunch of rich old men
and their little twinks.
I find it very sad.
And yet the two of us are still here.
Because of that pen.
And my natural curiosity.
I don't drink.
I don't smoke.
Like a ringworm,
my instinct is to stay alive.
But I love people who get high.
It's a lot of fun to watch,
so don't be shy.
I thought of you as I was getting dressed.
So you thought that because I'm German,
I'd want to see you with lederhosen?
I thought you were funny.
-I'm very funny.
Well, in the meantime,
my balls are sweaty.
I put this on
so you could unwrap me like a gift
and all I get is a chafed ass.
Because I'm starting to think
this might be a job interview.
You want me to come
and join your flock of muses.
[smacks lips]
I'm not the least bit interested.
And you?
I mean, you probably sleep
with a different guy every night.
You could be thinking, "All right.
Tonight I'll go ahead and fuck this one."
Which one of us is more disappointing?
You're special.
-Ugh. Flatterer.
-[smacks lips]
I'm nice and genial,
so I know when someone else is too.
I knew that you were like me
the moment I saw you.
How are you like me?
Come on now.
Why does no one know you?
What do you mean?
You are not known.
People say when I ask about you,
"Mm. Ah, Lagerfeld. Yeah, fine."
I like anonymity.
Yes, of course.
You dress like the Sun King
and don't want to be noticed.
Every single day of my life,
I've dreamed of becoming a greater man.
[inhales deeply]
Quoting Musil?
So you do know Musil.
We come from the same planet.
Well, it's ten o'clock. I'm going home.
No need to worry about the tab.
I'll take care of it.
Bonne nuit, monsieur.
[children chattering]
[Karl] I've been thinking about your case.
[Gaby] Oh?
[Karl] There's so much beauty
in what you do.
Your house is good
because you started your niche alone
18 years ago.
But now you're competing
against couture houses.
Making their own luxury
Ready-to-wear pieces.
And they have more money
and more prestige than you.
The competitors are different.
They're Cardin, Givenchy, Ungaro.
If you continue working
like your designers are interchangeable,
they'll just say,
"Chloé has no real personality.
"If I want fashion, I'll buy a signature."
Kenzo is Kenzo Takada.
Emmanuelle Khanh is Emmanuelle Khanh.
Sonia Rykiel is Sonia Rykiel.
-Lagerfeld and Martelli, it's like
It's like a detective show.
They solve fashion crimes
by tracking down the clothing crowd.
All right, well, sounds like my only
alternative is to hire an art director.
And why not?
But who?
You don't know yet?
Not yet. [chuckles]
I know you wouldn't wanna
take over my house.
Wouldn't I, though?
[chuckles] You tell me all the time,
you don't want to waste your name
on the back of a dress
that ends up on the clearance rack.
You don't do clearance.
Just a minute. What are you trying to say?
If you were to ask me to become
the artistic director of your company,
I would consider it.
Ugh, enough dodging the question.
Be frank.
I would not say no.
I would like to be
the artistic director of your house.
What, uh
What made you change your mind?
Let's just say,
I don't want to continue to watch others
have the life I want anymore.
Now, may I be frank?
If you're my artistic director,
you'll be competing against
Yves Saint Laurent.
And that means
no more of these avoidance strategies.
You give this your all.
You don't compete with him once,
but every show.
Another show every six months.
I want you competing.
Every single day of my life,
I've dreamed of becoming a greater man.
Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé.
Chloé by Karl Lagerfeld.
[uplifting music playing]
[both chuckling]
[doorbell dings]
[Karl clears throat]
A second date
and I'm invited to your home.
Am I good or what?
[Karl] Come in. Let's get you dressed.
I don't know if you noticed,
but I am dressed.
Not for where we're going.
Are we going somewhere?
Maman. [clears throat] Jacques de Bascher.
Monsieur de Bascher, my mother.
Elisabeth Lagerfeld.
Bonjour, madame.
Bravo for your letter, Jacques.
A bit wordy, but there's an idea there.
We'll have to put
all these talents of yours to use.
Well then,
I'll have to write one for you, too.
-[Elisabeth laughs]
-Shall we?
[in German] He's a predator
and you don't have a whip.
[in English] No comment on the fact
that I live with my mother?
[Jacques] Not really.
I'm living with my parents.
Well, it's not my fault
she's funnier than everyone else.
[quirky music playing]
See you soon.
Are you ready?
I'm warning you,
they're a basket of crabs.
Uh, I love eating crab.
Karl. Hello.
How have you been?
I haven't seen you here in far too long.
But of course. Where else would I go
to study the competition?
-Jacques de Bascher.
-Paloma Picasso.
-[Paloma] I'll see you around?
Picasso as in "Picasso"?
Daughter of. Very sweet.
She looks like
one of her father's paintings.
Blue Period.
-Uh [chuckles]
-[Karl chuckles]
[martial music playing]
[quirky music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[Karl] Anna Piaggi,
Popess of Vogue Italia.
The wave hair is Madame Pompidou.
And these elegant ladies
Countess of Ribes
and Baroness of Rothschild.
All the pillars of haute couture.
Mm. Surprised, are you?
I didn't invite myself.
We invited you, then?
Well, that's good. So much the better.
Bonjour, monsieur.
-Well, see you after for a cocktail?
-Yes, of course.
-Don't run off to work
-after the show's over.
Anne-Marie Muñoz,
right hand of Saint-Laurent.
He is hopeless without her.
Real or fake friend?
She, Yves and I started out together.
We're old friends.
Her son Karlos is named after me.
-Excuse me.
-Ah, enchanté.
-I'm borrowing him for a minute?
-Of course.
-Functional, classic.
-[laughs] Voilà.
[Karl] Jean-Michel.
[Jean-Michel] It's nice to see you again.
[Karl] How are you?
Why is the German here?
If you don't have talent,
don't suck it from others.
Hello. Surprise visit?
Did Anne-Marie invite you?
Is there a lottery for invitations?
Write "free food" on a little card
and I'm bound to show my face.
Ah. [chuckles]
Jacques, I present
the famous Pierre Bergé,
who runs the house of Saint Laurent
with a fist of iron.
Uh, Pierre, Jacques de Bascher.
A brilliant writer.
Jacques de Bascher de Beaumarchais
to be exhaustive.
Mm. You're a writer?
-I am.
-What is it you write?
Uh, about Gilles de Rais,
for the most part.
Ah! Who raped hundreds of children.
You beat me to it. Exactly right.
Why be prudish about it?
The people you choose to surround
yourself with are always so interesting.
I'll be around. Pardon me.
[indistinct chatter]
He's the reason why Yves and I separated.
I'm warning you, I'm not interested
in women or their fashion.
Fashion has nothing to do with women.
If it did, there wouldn't be
so many gays in the business.
It's a way of embodying the zeitgeist,
you know,
declaring what our society is.
And every season, whichever of them wins
gets to shape that definition.
[operatic music playing]
[camera shutter clicks]
This is boring.
You haven't learned how to watch it yet.
[operatic music continues]
[cheers and applause]
[captivating instrumental music playing]
What a success!
-A real success.
-Thank you.
[woman] Bravo. Merci.
It's true what we say in culture.
When we get showered in laudatory reviews,
we get caught up in talking about it.
You're too kind, thank you.
[woman] Bravo! Bravo!
-Oh, thank you.
-[speaking French]
-Thank you very much.
-[woman] Extraordinary.
[reporter] Monsieur Saint Laurent,
s'il vous plaît.
-You're a master. A master.
-[man 1] Mr. Saint Laurent!
-[woman 1] A magician.
-[man 2] Bravo!
-[woman 2] What a journey
-[woman 3] Bravo!
-That's very kind of you.
-I was afraid you'd be sulking.
-[chuckles] Why?
It was very kind of you to invite me
after so long.
And I never sulk.
[Pierre] Yves.
Jacqueline is leaving. Please.
I'm talking with my friend.
Such daring work with muslin.
What a line! Transparency,
letting us see what you're hiding.
-It was sublime.
-Seamstresses hate me.
Pierre will have to make a gesture,
or else I might lose them.
One of them would only
leave you if they had,
I don't know, arthritis.
Sometimes I think about leaving myself.
Go somewhere private, never come back.
Yves, I'd like to invite you
to my fashion show.
I'm taking over Chloé.
Thank you.
You invite me, I invite you.
You know, last month,
I was curled up on my tile,
sucking on a paper bag
that was supposed to help me breathe.
It was grotesque.
Then they told me to start
thinking about something nice.
That's when I thought about you,
and me,
when we were sitting with Anne-Marie
and drawing on your sheets.
I calmed down,
got to my feet.
I couldn't remember where my youth went.
Where did my Karlito go?
Jacques de Bascher. Writer.
Oh, really? A writer?
Yves, here, please?
You were right to want to pursue
Have fun.
I'm just another slave to fame.
[orchestral music playing]
I'll drop you off.
And you?
I have to work.
[orchestral music playing]
[music ends]
[groans] What is it?
I'll be heading out.
Where did your beard go?
Yeah, I wanted to tell you
that you don't have to come later.
And why not?
Of course, I'd like to be there.
Let's not pretend
that a solo show at my age
is anything more than a bit sad, really.
It's not heroic.
So? I'll applaud like everyone else there.
I don't want you to come tonight.
I'd rather people not know
that this is what matters to me.
If you come,
then they'll know it's important.
Stop caring so much about
what others might be thinking.
And let me sleep.
[captivating instrumental music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[man] Just fix it, okay.
Rachmaninoff with green pillbox hat.
-Who did we say it was for?
-For Pat.
-And Valentino shoes.
-Yes, yes, yes.
Who brought the shoes?
Uh, the shoes were still at Chloé.
-A case of shoes has gone missing, okay?
[laughs] Amazing!
[Karl] Very good. Very good. Super.
-[model] No, no, no.
-[Antonio] It's okay. Okay.
[Karl] Uh, no, no, no!
Ladies, don't touch the chairs.
Leave them messy.
I want the signs taken down.
I said no reserved seats, Gaby.
What are you doing?
We need to seat the journalists.
The others, I don't give much of a shit
about, but the journalists
Ah, well, if they want to have a front row
seat, they should come early next time
-because at Chloé, our seats are premium.
-They'll just complain. All these egos
Their complaints will still be chatter.
That's all I care about.
Karl, two models are missing.
Oh, no.
[captivating instrumental music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[man] Thank you.
Madame, welcome.
Sir, have a good show. Welcome.
[Rosemarie] Lily's in New York.
-And Fabianne is pregnant.
-What about Gwen?
-No, Patricia doesn't have a phone.
Maybe Sophie?
No, she's booked with Kenzo
and Charlotte's booked with Rykiel.
Two of our models are sick.
Do you have anyone who could walk?
But they need to come now.
[Antonio] Okay.
[sighs] Don't get too anxious.
Try to calm down.
Everyone, relax!
[Gaby] Another show every six months.
You'll be competing against
Yves Saint Laurent.
And that means
no more of these avoidance strategies.
Give this your all.
Give this your all.
-Give this your all.
-[Rosemarie muffled] Karl?
[echoing] Karl!
[echoing] Karl!
Where is Karl? [echoing]
-Anything from Antonio?
-No, none.
-And we can't wait any longer.
-I know, I know.
-We need to go.
-I know.
I understand you're missing two models?
[Rosemarie] Karl!
Are they prostitutes?
Okay, one, they're beautiful,
two, they can walk.
And isn't fashion inspired by the street?
Remember this now, because I will be
the only man who will dress you up.
Not like our work is cheaper.
-Not at all.
-[women chuckle]
Ladies, would you please follow me?
[Karl] Merci.
Happy to see you again.
Thanks for the invitation.
Especially after not hearing from you
for two months.
Would you do me a favor?
[lively jazz music playing]
See the brunette over there
with that stuck-up face?
That's Francine Crescent,
the French fashion priestess.
She never shows any emotion on her face,
so you won't notice anything.
But there's always a sign
that's a dead giveaway.
If she puts her notebook in her tote,
then she's going to write an article.
If the notebook gets handed over
to the assistant, then we've failed.
When it comes to where it goes,
I need to know, hmm?
You know you're making me work a lot.
[Karl clapping]
Mademoiselle, we start in five minutes.
And don't forget,
we're not modeling haute couture, hmm?
I don't want anyone stood up straight
like they've swallowed a broom.
It's about being free.
Modernity on the catwalk, understand?
You're allowed to have fun. Okay?
Do whatever you want.
But if I see anyone doing their job
properly, you will be fired.
Okay? Here we go.
[all cheering]
[lively jazz music playing]
Pardon. [clears throat] Uh, excuse me.
Can I take your place?
-No? You sure?
How about a kiss for a seat?
No? Okay, then.
Excuse me. I will kiss you for that seat.
-Oh, no.
-You sure? Um
Anyone want a kiss
for their seat in the front row?
A kiss for a seat?
-Yes, over here.
-Really? Yeah.
Oh, excuse me.
[woman] Bonjour.
Jacques de Bascher de Beaumarchais.
Anna Piaggi.
Magnificent, darling.
-You're quite magnificent yourself.
-[Jacques] You're too kind.
[upbeat music playing]
-Oh, it's beginning.
Yeah! Whoo!
[all cheering and applauding]
-Surrender your love, baby ♪
-Surrender your love, baby ♪
Surrender your love ♪
-Surrender your love, baby ♪
-Surrender your love, baby ♪
Surrender your love ♪
Oh, cheers!
[indistinct chatter]
Uh, so?
Crescent, the journalist?
Mm. [chuckles softly]
[lively music playing]
[host] S'il vous plaît.
Is that it? No other comments?
Anna Piaggi thought it was fun.
Wow. Okay.
Quite a vocabulary.
And me?
Don't you want to know
what I thought about it?
Even though I don't know
how to watch or appreciate it,
aren't my kind supposed to buy it?
And you? Tell me what you thought.
I'm sure
that you are a genius.
And one day, you'll be
the greatest designer in the world.
[romantic music playing]
Do you want to help?
[elegant French music playing]
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