“A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?” These eviscerating words, attributed to Karl Lagerfeld in Women’s Wear Daily, are directed at none other than Meryl Streep, beloved American actress of stage and screen. And thusly, a feud between the king of fashion and the queen of cinema was born.
According to WWD, Streep was all set to wear a Chanel dress to the Oscars this Sunday. She was “quite taken with” a gray silk gown from Lagerfeld’s most recent couture collection. It was perfect except for the neckline, which she asked to be raised slightly higher. Lagerfeld said easy peasy, puddinghead. Or something like that.
Once the alteration was well underway, someone from Streep’s posse (Andy Sachs?) called Chanel’s atelier and told them to cease and desist. “I made a sketch, and we started to make the dress,” Lagerfeld told WWD. “[They said] don’t continue the dress. We found somebody who will pay us.”
Karl emphasized that Chanel has a policy of not paying celebrities to wear its clothes — even an A-list celebrity like Streep with 20 Oscar nominations and a heart of gold (I’m guessing).
“After we gift her a dress that’s 100,000 euros [$105,000], we found later we had to pay [for her to wear it]. We give them dresses, we make the dresses, but we don’t pay,” Lagerfeld said.
A representative for Streep refuted this entire story, telling The Hollywood Reporter that Lagerfeld’s statement is “absolutely false,” and that it is against Streep’s personal ethics to be compensated for wearing a dress on the red carpet. Streep’s team also told Refinery29 that the executive director of VIP relations at Chanel could corroborate Streep’s side of the story. The plot thickens.
It’s a classic he-said-she-said situation. Insulting Meryl Streep is like insulting baby corgis or avocados. You just don’t do it. On the other hand, it would be kind of weird for Lagerfeld to just make this whole thing up — not to mention bad for business.
Lagerfeld does have a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth, though. Streep is only the latest in a long list of people who have had the honor of being dissed by Lagerfeld, including Pippa Middleton, Lana Del Rey, Andy Warhol, Heidi Klum, Yves Saint Laurent, Michelle Obama and Adele.
He did, however, extend Streep a paltry olive branch: “She could keep the dress because of the size,” Lagerfeld said to WWD. “It’s couture. It’s perfect for her.”
I can’t wait to see what Streep wears on Sunday. I hope the neckline is plunging.
Photo via Getty Images.