“I just took a sleeping pill! I don’t know what I’m going to be able to do”: Michel Gaubert on a 1:30am call from Karl Lagerfeld
“The first time I worked for Chanel was in March 1990. I came home from work and I went to sleep; and my phone rang around 1:30am: ‘Hi Michel, it’s Karl.’ Okay. ‘Listen, I have this Chanel show tomorrow morning and the music sucks. I just heard it – the guy didn’t do anything I wanted. You have to help me. It’s in eight hours.’ I said, ‘I just took a sleeping pill! I don’t know what I’m going to be able to do.’ But I went to Karl’s house, at 5am, and we stuck together all kinds of stuff . That is something I love about Karl: it was Chanel, a major show in Paris but eight hours before he didn’t want to use what he’d heard. It was a gamble, but he took it. I mean, he said, “Whatever you do is going to be better!” The pressure was not on at all. But I thought – I’d better deliver. That’s the way we’ve worked ever since.”
Michel Gaubert creates catwalk soundtracks for names as diverse as Nicolas Ghesquière, J.W. Anderson, Raf Simons, Valentino and Christian Dior – a rare example of a talent able to straddle both the ideological boundaries of designer loyalties, and the time-management of fashion shows in each of the four major capitals. Gaubert’s longest-lasting affiliation is with Karl Lagerfeld: he discovered the DJ working in a Paris record shop, where Lagerfeld was the best client. For almost 30 years, Gaubert has created soundtracks for all his shows. “Everyone knows that music can be used as an accessory. It’s like the height of the heel, the hair, or the shape of the dress,” he says.
Hair: Christos Vourlis at Calliste Agency. Make-up: Mayumi Oda at Calliste Agency. Set design: Jean-Michel Bertin at Streeters. Digital tech: Frederike Heide. Photographic assistant: Mickaël Bambi. Styling assistants: Rebecca Perlmutar and Maria Bonfà. Production: Artistry London. Post-production: Studio Private
This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale now.