off the record (1994) by Karl Lagerfeld, Steidl Publishing
Karl Lagerfeld has left the world. He was not only known as the visionary fashion designer of Chanel, but also as a photographer – which is why we’ve chosen his photo book off the record as the object of the month for March. In addition to top models such as Naomi Campell, Christy Turlington and Tony Ward, personalities such as Katharina Thalbach, Emma Thompson and Zazie de Paris are also depicted.
Especially interesting is a photo story with Claudia Schiffer in the bar Kumpelnest 3000 in Berlin. On the cover of the book is the bartender, Gunter, dressed in drag and holding a baby. Gunter, a linguist and sign language interpreter, was co-founder of the group “Forgotten deaf”. He was happy to appear dessed as Marlene – no surprise when we see the photo. Gunter died in 2008 and is buried in the Old St. Matthew’s Cemetery in Berlin. The headstone inscription is something special, because Gunter chose to include the name of his husband: “Gunter Trube, b. Puttrich-Reignard”. This has already confused some who visit the grave site. In this way, the photo acts as a document of gay transgender history recorded by a star photographer.
Karl Lagerfeld, controversial as well as idolized, died on February 19th, 2019. While he never distanced himself from being gay, he also never confirmed it outright.
The object of the month will be displayed in the library on the first floor of the Schwules Museum.
Text: BeV StroganoV
Photo: Photomontage mit Buchcover