CB: Do you believe in dressing your age?
ILF: My main message is you don’t need much and sometimes it is better to take off a couple of things. You don’t need to wear every piece of jewellery you own – it would be better to have only a plastic watch.
CB: Yes, Coco Chanel said before you leave the house look in the mirror and take one thing off…
ILF: Coco Chanel and me – it’s the same [laughs]. She explained to women who wore birds and flowers on their hats and lace detail in their dresses that they didn’t need it all – she was inspired by men’s dressing.
CB: Are you inspired by men’s dressing?
ILF: I think it is gorgeous. My favourite place on earth is Anderson & Sheppard on Savile Row. I love the fabrics and I love that they improve with age. It doesn’t mean you have to be boyish. Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn were totally feminine in men’s clothes. There are some things in shops that are done for men, but there is no way that men would wear them. Pink linen shirts, for instance – my boyfriend would never wear one, but I love them. Uniqlo has a great selection for men – it’s much better to buy a sweater too big and wear nothing underneath. That can be very… not sexy, but it can give some sensuality. Also a man’s watch can make your wrist look delicate. It is better to have a cheap, masculine watch than one with diamonds. If someone offered me a gold watch I would sell it immediately, unless it was a huge, fake gold watch, that would be fun.
CB: Tell us your beauty tips.
ILF: I put make-up on every day, even on Sundays. I love all the Chanel make-up, first for the packaging – you see a Chanel thing, and even if it costs a fortune, it gives you a good feeling. But you have to remove it properly at night. Bioderma is the best remover – all the professional make-up artists will tell you that. I never buy expensive creams because I’m not sure they are so useful. If you smoke I can understand, but it is nice to try not to smoke too much. And you’ll probably expect me to say something very French, like make love a lot!
CB: What other products do you swear by?
ILF: There is a Christian Dior cream – it is for lazy people like me because I never have time to go for a manicure and I find it very boring – called Crème Abricot. Dior has been changing its products since forever, but never this one. Put it on before you go to sleep and your nails will be perfect. It smells so good that a customer once tried to eat it. But don’t eat it.
CB: Tell us about your modelling career.
ILF: I did stupid jokes all the time. I would come on the runway with my dog, with a Polaroid camera, with my skis. Once I jumped off the runway and sat next to one of the journalists and the girl was laughing. I was a real clown – it was another century.
CB: What was the turning point in your career?
ILF: I never think so much about my career, I was not a very successful model. I was asked to do the advertising for Christian Dior and my face was in all the airports and everywhere. After that I decided to quit modelling and sign an exclusive contract with Chanel. Everyone told me that it was a mistake to go with a forgotten ghost house and an unknown German designer. I thought it was rather fun and at this time Chanel had one shop in the world – hard to believe, but it was the 80s – and I was the first model to have a contract like this. This was the turning point.
CB: What is Karl Lagerfeld like to work with?
ILF: He is great fun and has a much greater sense of humour than me. All the time he makes funny jokes – he’s not at all uptight and really very cool. He was the best teacher in the world, at the best school in the world.
My main message is you don’t need much and sometimes it is better to take off a couple of things