Few of us can hope to draw like fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, but now we can at least try, using his favourite tools. The polymath, who often illustrates and photographs his own designs for both Chanel and his eponymous label, always uses pencils and pastels from 255-year-old Faber-Castell, which has supplied artists from van Gogh to Rauch. Lagerfeld’s personal association with the brand goes back to 1987, when he designed a wedding dress for a member of the family that founded and still owns the brand.
Now Castell has collaborated with Lagerfeld to create the Karlbox (£2,500), a wonderful limited-edition artists’ playground in the form of a black lacquered beechwood box designed by Lagerfeld on the lines of a Chinese wedding cabinet. Behind the doors – decorated with a contemporary square of pyramidal studs – lie seven layers of drawers that slip out and can be set up separately for work. A total of 120 water-soluble Albrecht Dürer artists’ pencils, which are Lagerfeld’s favourites, are arranged by shade spectrum in each drawer, alongside 60 Polychromos artists’ pastels, 60 Polychromos colour pencils, 60 Pitt artists’ brush-nib pens, 13 Pitt artists’ Fineliner pens and three Pitt artists’ metallic pens. A huge selection of pencils – 12 Castell 9000, five Castell 9000 jumbo, five graphite Aquarelle and four Pitt graphite crayons – allows for classic drawing.
As this is a total toolbox, it also contains a double sharpener, two different erasers, a sharpening knife, a sandpaper block and a folding water cup. “To me, drawing is like breathing and writing – things that almost relax me,” says Lagerfeld. Even if art is a casual hobby, it could be nothing but relaxing with a box of tricks like this.
In all, 2,500 are being made, available exclusively at Harrods and Karl Lagerfeld’s flagship store from Thursday September 1.