Becoming Karl Lagerfeld (2024) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

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.
[choral music playing]
[phone ringing]
-[doorbell rings]
[woman on phone] Mr. Lagerfeld?
[woman speaking German]
-[in English] This is Marlene Dietrich.
Can you understand me?
-[door closes]
-Well, Madame Dietrich.
What an honor.
[Marlene] I've been hearing
quite a bit about you lately.
-Only good things, not to worry.
-Marlene Dietrich?
-I'm so pleased.
-[Marlene] I am in Paris now.
Would you join me for a cup of tea?
Why, yes.
[Marlene] I'm at 12 Montaigne Avenue.
Today at 6:00 p.m.
It will be my greatest honor to be there.
[line disconnects]
[chuckles softly]
[Pierre] We are ready,
so let's get started.
Thank you for being here
for the official announcement
of the creation of the Trade Association
for high-fashion designers
and Ready-to wear.
There are eight of us,
four houses of haute couture
and four Ready-to-wear labels.
The idea of this association
is to combine our longstanding tradition
of excellence on one end
with the dynamic creativity on the other.
The aim of this chamber is to put us
in sync during our seasonal presentations
and to make it easier for us
to face international competition.
I will be the president,
and Mrs. Sonia Rykiel
the vice president.
Does anyone have any questions?
Mrs. Crescent, do us the honor.
What do you say to the houses
for whom this alliance
signifies the end of haute couture?
I would say they are wrong,
haute couture is the figurehead,
the rest follow us.
But you're abolishing the hierarchy.
You're sitting at the same table
as Ready-to-wear.
[Pierre] Not quite.
We're two branches in the same army,
the cavalry on one side
and infantry on the other.
I'd compare it to the 19th century,
the alliance of the declining aristocracy
and the expanding bourgeoisie.
The fashion houses lend us their prestige
and we restore their image.
Well, our image is not in need
of restoration, I assure you.
It was Ready-to-wear
that made French fashion successful
throughout the world the last few years.
And that's why we find
ourselves here today, hmm?
Any other questions?
-[indistinct chatter]
-[lively music playing]
I always go to Paris.
I love going to the Colombe d'Or
whenever I can.
They've renovated
so much of the place already.
There are some really incredible new rooms
overlooking the pool
Yes, it was just amazing. Amazing.
We should go together in August.
Because I'm going there with Claude,
so we'll have to see what's possible.
We're getting into
some much longer procedures.
Would you excuse me? I'll be back. Pardon.
Hey there. You get along with your allies
about as well as the Soviets did
with the Americans.
That's just the joy
of trying to work with Pierre.
He's a bit like a baby, you know.
He hits you
and he just wants to touch you.
At least it means he's not boring,
but he is wrong.
Ah? And what about?
Continuing to look down his nose at us
like second-class designers,
which we aren't.
I've just started
dressing Marlene Dietrich.
Oh, are you dressing Dietrich? For Chloé?
Uh, no, it's under my own name.
A Karl Lagerfeld, tailor-made.
Wow, I didn't know
you tailor-made things for others.
Well, forgive me, Francine,
but you and your magazine are like Pierre.
All snobs.
[chuckles softly]
Well, I just have to know.
What are you doing for her?
Oh, Dietrich?
Well, it's an outfit.
[Francine] Yves Saint Laurent
won't be happy.
After all, she introduced
a tuxedo for women
30 years before Saint Laurent did.
I'll render to Caesar
what belongs to Caesar.
The biggest actress, the best designer
and the two are German?
You should write an article
on that for Vogue.
Ugh. She hates journalists, you know?
We all want her on our pages,
but we can't get her.
Oh, I'm aware.
I'll make you a deal.
You manage to convince Marlene
to make an appearance,
I'll give you five pages on your outfit
and one of our best photographers.
Your assistant can reach out
to my assistant.
-Very well. Let's do that.
-[Francine] Mm.
Sidekick is one thing,
but I'm nobody's assistant.
I don't even assist myself every day.
Come on. It's not like we could tell her
about our private lives, huh?
Private lives.
And how would you say that's going?
Have you looked lately?
Well, in the meantime,
I have sold Marlene Dietrich's skin
before killing her.
Minor issue.
Are you staying or would you like a ride?
I'm already running late.
I still have to go and get changed.
After you're done with Marlene,
I want you over for dinner.
My place, nine o'clock and I'll cook.
[Karl] You don't know how to cook.
I have the afternoon to figure it out.
-I'll take you to a restaurant, okay?
-But I don't want a restaurant.
I want you with me. All alone.
What? Oh, come on.
When have the two of us done that?
What do you mean, "the two of us"? What?
You never come to my apartment that
you pay for, and your mom is at yours.
So what exactly am I to you?
An assistant? Am I?
What's with all these questions, huh?
My God. No, no, no.
Why is now the time
you have to have this conversation?
-I have work to do.
I don't have time for this right now.
[speaking German]
[in English] Don't joke about that.
[indistinct chatter]
Jacques. The shooting star flew off?
I would love for you
to have dinner with me.
Happy to. Coupole for a change?
-Think they bite if we joined?
-No, Jacques.
That's a very bad idea.
[Paloma] Jacques, I can,
but I do what I want.
[Jacques] It would upset Karl?
[doorbell rings]
-[Karl] Bonsoir.
-Guten Tagen.
[governess] Please, follow me.
So that's what you look like,
Herr Lagerfeld?
[Pierre] Welcome to the big leagues.
You know, you're not the first.
The first?
A friend of Karl's committing
an act of betrayal by coming to us.
If you're feeling more sensitive,
it's because Delon is here.
[all chuckling]
Come on.
I don't see how you can compare with dusk.
It has nothing to do with it.
-I'll put on music.
Daniel, would you put some quail eggs,
things like that, some small bites?
Right away.
[lively rock music playing]
You like it?
What did you do
with those friends of Karl's?
They're very nice Americans.
Vulgar, but nice.
Too true.
The wind brought them here,
then carried them away.
Hmm. A poet.
And you? How did you two meet?
Um, at a dinner.
He was chaperoning a failed painter
seeking a new protégé.
He found my rump pleasing.
Been there ever since.
Sucking, like a ringworm.
The truth is that
he's always been fragile and still is.
And now he's a god.
So you're from Hamburg.
Good neighborhood, Blankenese.
However, I grew up in Schleswig-Holstein.
My parents had an estate there.
A Hanseatic heir
who is now designing fashion,
-à Paris.
-[Karl] For 20 years.
I simply could not imagine anything
other than being a Parisian couturier.
[Marlene tapping on glass]
-In Germany, do you know what they say?
-[Karl] No.
"He's a boy wonder.
He has a thousand ideas a minute."
I noticed you were not told
whether they were any good.
Do you have a style?
May I?
[orchestral music playing]
After I got to see you
in The Blue Angel
I drew this design when I was 12.
And that's you
after A Foreign Affair.
[Marlene] Billy Wilder.
This is you in your time with Fritz Lang.
And this
And here
I was 28 years old,
I was your muse.
You still are, madame.
-[bell ringing]
-[footsteps approaching]
[Marlene] See the gentleman out.
Thank you for the company.
I left Germany so many years ago.
I'm glad that we spoke.
One German to another.
How old are you?
Thirty-five. Well, in a few days.
[Marlene] Have you found it yet?
The glory, or whatever you were chasing,
that brought you
all the way to Paris at 15.
Not quite yet.
This is great.
I listened to it every day in the Navy.
[slow rock music playing]
You don't dance?
I watch. I'm not a dancer.
[Jacques] No? Come on.
You really have no idea.
Come on, santé!
Do you have sex with Karl?
I know him very well. More than you.
Enough to know he enjoys being touched
about as much as a repressed virgin.
Are we talking about virgins?
[Pierre] Is he impotent?
Or did someone try to touch him
when he was an infant?
Maybe a disease?
The most sophisticated
individuals in Paris.
[Pierre] Yves?
-Are you that modest?
-[Jacques] Oh
I'm not modest.
But I will say the Americans are classier.
[Bella] Maybe he doesn't like sex.
Although, everyone does. [chuckles]
[Pierre] Yves knows, but he won't tell me.
[Yves] I don't know anything.
I was as prudish then as he is now.
It's funny that you keep talking
about him if you hate him so much.
[Yves] We like him a lot.
We're just concerned about him.
You've so much beauty. So much youth.
You think?
It's a shame no one's bit into him yet.
Ah, well you know, Pierre,
I refuse to touch Karl.
I admire him too much.
Shall we?
[mellow music playing]
You certainly took your time.
I wanted you to talk to me all year.
On your knees, genius.
[music stops]
[footsteps approaching]
Keep it. I won't miss it.
How much do I owe you?
I imagine someone like you
has nightly rates?
[Jacques] That okay?
[Karl] Mm-hmm.
Turn around.
That's fine.
Take a centimeter here to fix the gap,
since his hips are slim.
But this makes his legs
look nice and long.
Well done. Very nice work.
-The vest?
-Let me get it.
You could have taken a shower.
You stink of sex.
You jealous?
[Jacques] Would you like to know more?
-[Jacques] No?
He's handsome. Fake fragile.
Wants me to treat him bad.
I kept fucking him all night long.
Nonstop from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I like him.
It would be a shame to spend six hours
fucking someone you didn't like.
Mm? Don't you wanna know?
You want to know who it was?
Okay, Jacques, are you 12 or what?
Tell me if you want to.
If you don't want to, then don't.
I don't care.
Yves Saint Laurent.
I'm joking. [chuckles]
Karl. It's a joke.
[man] Here you are.
Piping on the pockets. Take a look.
-That's fine.
Karlito. You okay?
-Of course.
-You're pale.
Ah, he's just come back.
One moment, bitte.
[softly] Marlene Dietrich.
Guten Tag.
[Marlene] It's true what they say.
You're full of ideas.
[Marlene] The dress is lovely,
but it looks like a costume for the stage.
I don't need this.
[in English] But your beauty
requires no stage, madame.
I have inspired the world,
and I will not ruin that
by parading my ancient body around.
I want something more modest,
something I can wear
to accept the Legion of Honour.
I knew of your service
during the war, madame.
And I would be honored
to dress you for the occasion.
[Marlene] In that case, come on Tuesday.
Uh, so, how is she?
Though she's forgotten it.
[captivating music playing]
Francine. How terrible of you
to arrive on the dot.
What bad manners.
Helmut Newton.
The photographer, of course.
Three Germans, the biggest actress,
the best photographer
The outfit of the century.
Uh, sparkling water.
And how badly do you want the Dietrich?
I want her. A lot.
I have my whole team standing by.
Well, I doubt she's still that fresh,
but for my readers, she's still an ideal.
A woman with power and sex appeal,
but not for free.
Intelligent, provocative in her elegance,
If you really want her,
then you need to offer her
something better than five pages.
[Francine chuckles]
-Ten pages?
-The whole Vogue.
That wouldn't be bad.
Saint Laurent looks happy.
Does he have someone new?
Yves? Oh, always.
He's a great lover
and a national treasure.
He gets it right back.
[Marlene] One thing is for certain.
This is not in the typical French style.
It's not a costume,
but it doesn't have to be bland.
Uh No. No, no, no. What are you doing?
I followed the path my heart drew for me.
-[keys jangling]
You have no choice.
If you want in,
you'll have to climb over my body.
No, Yves, I can't.
Why don't you make me get out?
These are poisonous.
They're going to leave stains.
Maybe ruin my clothes.
I can get you prettier ones.
Keep your mouth shut.
There's nothing between us.
Whatever you command.
[Karl] Vogue kept begging me
for an interview with you,
but I thought it might be more interesting
if you took over editor-in-chief
for an issue.
Like Fellini.
What do you want?
I want nothing, madame.
do you hope to gain
when I wear your outfit?
Are you wanting me to brag about you?
I want to show them what I can do.
That's what I want.
Show who? Hmm?
You. All of them.
One or two, in particular.
One gives you a little finger and you
Ah. All right.
You are a German war child
who sacrificed to live in Paris.
Who deserves a helping hand.
But when I show myself,
I ask for one thing.
Do not make me look like
the old woman that I am.
Like someone
in a Marlene Dietrich disguise.
Let me live out my misery
with a little dignity.
I've hidden myself every day, madame.
I don't have this body or this stature.
I'm not 35, either.
It's just what I show the world
because it's what the world wants of me.
Anyone who sees who I really am
would pass me by.
I won't allow you to wear
your misery as you have.
No, not you.
If you must be clothed in it,
you'll wear it as I have,
and the same way
you've lived your entire life.
With panache.
Put your trust in me.
[bluesy rock music playing]
I'd like to spend forever like this.
Doing nothing, hidden in our nest.
[Jacques] Finish the joint and leave.
That's not very nice.
Are you feeling guilty?
Do you think this matters to him?
Have you slept together?
[chuckles] No.
[Jacques] Has he ever been with anyone?
I thought you didn't
like talking about him.
So, is he always like this?
Always like what?
Come on.
When he was 20, he went by "Roland"
since he hated being German.
And he never was with anyone at all?
His only interest was in those
who didn't reciprocate.
Karl has always been alone.
Until you.
And now you're mine.
-You're crazy!
[Jacques] Marlene?
I'm already late.
The furs, the furs, the furs.
[both chuckling]
[Jacques] Happy birthday.
[Karl] In advance?
That's bad luck.
I've always wanted to own one of those.
I saw it in the window of the shop,
and knew you would be
the only person in the world
with guts enough to wear it these days.
So it's yours.
-[Elisabeth] Yes.
[Elisabeth] Mister moneybags.
So cute.
And Yves?
What about Yves?
What has he said about me?
Oh, how should I know? I never see him.
I don't think we've spoken.
I think we've said hello before.
But anything more than that,
I'm not interested.
He doesn't have much to say.
Do you want to have dinner with me?
A birthday dinner.
Without my mother.
You serious?
Tomorrow night.
After the shoot with Dietrich.
I would love to
[camera flashing]
It's the big day, Madame Dietrich,
Bonjour, Monsieur Lagerfeld.
Francine Crescent,
editor-in-chief of Vogue.
Aren't I
the editor-in-chief? [chuckles]
Well, of course you are.
I wanted to make sure everything
was set up for you today.
So we have the light that you asked for.
And if you wanted peace and quiet,
we've prepared a small room for you
to get ready and relax before we start.
[Marlene] Yes. Very good.
The centerpiece, if you would.
This is just
the first version of the dress.
For any adjustments, Anita is here.
Ooh. It's daring.
With this outfit,
I was looking to bend the rules.
So, I used silk that would
normally constitute the lining,
for the entirety of the look.
How did you do this
with such soft material?
It's magic, as is Anita.
You'll find, uh
We used some braided material
as lining to hold it together.
It's ultra-light.
It looks like it falls on its own.
But inside, it is pure technique.
Thanks to the silk,
it is elegant and understated
while still daring and unconventional.
It's Marlene Dietrich.
Herr Lagerfeld, can I talk to you alone?
Yes, of course. Yeah.
What's the matter? Just tell me.
I'm sure we can fix the problem.
You have the nerve to ask me
why I'm upset?
Yes, in all sincerity.
But it's so ugly.
If you'd be kind enough to humor me,
try it on for a moment.
I'm sure I can convince you.
Are you color-blind, or what?
It's vile.
The red is ugly.
The lilac is ugly.
And both together are particularly ugly!
You had to shine at all costs.
I thought that I was very clear.
It doesn't get clearer!
[coughs] No.
I wanted one thing.
I asked for a return to dignity.
And what did you set out?
A clown costume.
I admit some liberties
were taken with the request.
But this is supposed to be
a creative process between the two of us.
I design fashion.
I'm not just here for you.
Who do you actually think you are?
It is not "dressing me in Karl Lagerfeld."
You're the one dressing Marlene Dietrich.
You're a designer of fashion?
Puff yourself up
for the journalists all you want,
but never once, not once,
should you forget.
A couturier
is a mirror of the girl that he dresses.
You are my mirror.
But you only exist
if I like what I see.
If I'm pleased.
You can tell your colleagues
to pack up their things,
Monsieur Lagerfeld.
I will not wear your mess.
Keep the suit.
Good day.
Where is she going?
Ah, divas.
I asked her to pay,
but she couldn't afford it.
-She's pulled out of the shoot.
-Wait. She pulled out of the shoot?
What do I do now?
We can't cancel at the last minute.
It's not my fault.
Well, it's not mine.
Anita, would you put it away?
Oh, yes, of course, Karl.
[indistinct chatter]
You look handsome.
[lively music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Thank you all for coming.
They're my friends,
I wanted to see them tonight.
It's not just us?
I know I said without my mother
but I never said we'd go alone.
-What's wrong? Come sit down.
-Uh, yeah.
-Bonsoir, Jacques.
Hi, Karl.
-Been a while.
-How are you?
-Well, and you?
-Bonsoir, monsieur.
Something to drink?
[Pierre] So, you're going
to dress Dietrich?
What happened to Chanel?
Who's dressed by Chanel,
now that Chanel has passed?
-That's gauche.
-Yes, but I don't understand.
Why did Dietrich approach you?
Oh, yeah. German connection.
No, no, turns out
she didn't even know I was a German.
She just heard talk about my work
and wanted to meet me.
[Pierre] Okay. Did it go well?
It was wonderful to dress her.
She certainly retained her figure.
[Pierre] Oh, yeah, really?
-[Paloma] Jacques, are you okay?
Your lover seems upset.
[chuckles] What lover?
I don't fall in love.
[Pierre] Is that so?
[Pierre] That said, it's a real question.
Are you guys together or not?
[captivating music playing]
I I forgot my smokes.
They're together.
Bonsoir. May I help you?
No, thank you.
-Taking this.
-Go ahead.
[Pierre] Is it sinking in?
Come on. You're smart, aren't you?
You think you're ahead. Lead people on.
And you're just another plaything
for men who work too hard.
[somber music playing]
[Paloma] Making a wish, Karl?
-[Paloma] Yeah!
-[Pierre] Bravo!
[Paloma] Happy Birthday, Karl.
[music continues]
Fucking shit!
Happy 40th birthday, son.
[choral music playing]
Previous EpisodeNext Episode