clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Road Tripping to The Lagerfeld Estate: A Drawbridge, Fruit Trees, and Some Remodeling

New, 1 comment

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

We recently took a road trip to Grand Isle, Vermont for Hurricane Irene, for the antique store circuit, and to take a peek at Karl Lagerfeld's mystical estate. Our reasoning? Earlier this year we heard rumors of Karl and Baptiste Giabiconi getting married there that weekend. Plus we've got clairvoyant on the brain for his recent collection for Impulse exclusively at Macy's. It was an inspiring journey into the pastoral green hills to experience the presence of epic greatness.

Jamming out on Karl's two-disc album, Les Musiques que J'aime, the narrow meandering road led us to Ladds Landing Marina to ask about Karl sightings. Unfortunately, the marina was pretty busy preparing for the looming hurricane

Just beyond the marina, there is Vermont's only working drawbridge which is being rebuilt to modern-day standards later this month. As jokingly implied by The LA Times, this bridge would deny intruders access to "Kaiser Karl's castle". Actually, the bridge is the gateway to "The Gut", a body of water between two land masses. The Gut has access to waterways that connect Vermont to New York and Québec. Here at the mouth of The Gut, we stopped and watched Karl's neighbors pass through.

After that, we walked down the road where we found Karl's house, a 6 bedroom Greek revival Landmark from 1850. As we park the car and peer into the cow pasture next door we hear a loud thud. Is it Karl?

No, its a pear from one of his many pear trees. Looking at the base of the pear tree to inspect the fallen fruit further we realize we're surrounded by apple trees and other fruit trees too. The size and quality of each fruit is astounding and we think there may be landscapers around. There is a watering hose on the lawn leading into a bed of hosta plants and lillies, and a antique mason jar nearby (perhaps for catching lightning bugs).

The enormity of Karl's fruit took us by such surprise we moved in closer only to find that the house had been worked on quite a bit in the past two years; new kitchen, some new electric, copper screening, partial copper roofing, and a new stone patio just off the library. Unfortunately, the view of the other islands from the library and patio is now partially interrupted by a few newish houses who have more efficient access to The Gut.

Speaking to one of Karl's neighbors, we're told the house hasn't been used since the famous "It's very much Emily Dickinson" quote shortly followed by the famous photo shoot. We hear there has been much work done on the house since Karl purchased it and every once and a while there will be workers visible. But so far - no Eileen Gray sofa, no Cartier showcase, no Baptiste and no Karl.

In a 2008 T Magazine Profile in Style piece, Karl tells Cathy Horyn, “It’s like an alarm clock of taste and change,” referencing his varied tastes in the structure and interior design of his previous houses in Monte Carlo, Rome, Paris, Berlin. “Suddenly I want something else.” he says. [Racked]