A sketch for the MSTRKRFT / Lagerfeld EP. That's the boys in the studio below. Photo by Geoff McLean
Karl Lagerfeld can still remember the first time he heard MSTRKRFT’s incendiary remix of Bloc Party’s “Two More Years.”
The designer was sat on top of a fake Appalachian mountaintop, dyed-black peacock feathers cascading down his cheeks (from a mink crown / snowboarding hat designed for Chanel’s winter 2007 collection) as gigantic wind machines circulated real snowflakes imported from Greenland around a state-of-the-art mobile digital photo studio, created for Jeremy Scott by Apple’s head of New Fashion Technology, Chip Withers.
The models Behati, Lily Cole and Sonja Wanda were mooching around half-undressed talking to a really pale-looking Paul from Franz while waiting their turn to be shot as Jake Gyllenhaal and Rhymefest goofed around in the catering area, ad-libbing raps to the MSTRKRFT soundtrack.
“Rhymefest was cracking up at Jake’s attempts to rap,” remembers Karl Lagerfeld over the phone from his Paris bunker. “He kept yelling, ‘Karl! I wish Kanye could be here to hear dis shit’ as Jake kept coming out with these ludicrous rhyming couplets about the pressures of Hollywood and his ex, Kirsten Dunst. It was an insane scene.”
As Al-P and Jesse Keeler’s evil production tentacles wrapped themselves around Kele’s plaintive vocals, Ryan McGinley was snapping frame after frame of Karl, laughing as the snow machine blew peacock feathers up Karl’s nose.
All of a sudden, the designer freaked out and yelled, “Stop this fucking shoot!” “I couldn’t concentrate. It was the song, the MSTRKRFT Bloc Party remix, it just muddied my thoughts and instantly had me hooked to the extent that I just had to listen to it over and over again. I remember it had the same effect on me as the first time I heard Low. Here was music that was intensely, almost inhumanly visceral, but with such a pulsing fragility at its core that, within two hours, I had Jesse Keeler on the phone talking to him about making a record with him.”
Fast forward to January 2006 and the MSTRKRFT / Lagerfeld EP is almost finished.
Said Jesse Keeler: “Getting to know Karl was great. You wouldn’t think that fashion design skills would translate to songwriting but Karl really brings it on to this shit. I like how he raps / sings about his ponytail and that one line about ‘All dem models on my dick’—WHAAAT!? And that other line about skinning your pitbull and making it into a fur coat. Heads ain’t ready for this shit!”
The MSTRKRFT / Lagerfeld EP is out in May on Vice Recordings.