I was so excited that my Bookshelf of the Week feature was returning to RobAroundBooks this week that I couldn’t wait until its usual slot (Wednesday) to bring it to you. And part of the reason for this is because of the glorious subject matter I’ve chosen for this week. This is a shot (click to enlarge) of outrageously flamboyant German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s Parisian studio, as captured by photographer, Todd Selby. I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader that this is one breathtaking vista for the book lover.
Spanning two floors and almost running floor-to-ceiling, it’s unusual to find anyone who presents their books in piles such as Lagerfeld has here. Yet on this scale I think it really works and the whole room just presents itself as a living monument to the printed word. I love how clever consideration seems to have also been given to the construction of the spiral staircase and the upper walkway, because the neutrality of the materials used – together with careful positioning of the staircase itself – seems to make them blend into the background, keeping all of the emphasis on the books themselves. Glorious!
Of course on this occasion is not just the books, or indeed Karl Lagerfeld that are the star of the show, because Todd Selby, the photographer responsible for this shot, is something of an icon too. Success for the New York-based portrait, interiors, and fashion photographer began when he launched an online project in 2008 called ‘The Selby’. The plan was simple, to produce photo shoots of friends in their homes and post them online, but it wasn’t long before the website caught on, and more esteemed clients began knocking on Todd’s door wanting their homes to be featured.
One thing led to another, ‘The Selby’ went from strength-to-strength, and in April last year Abrams Books (a specialist in art books) published a beautiful tome of Todd’s work, The Selby in Your Place. This featured photo is actually taken from the book, and indeed the book itself is where I first came across the photo (I was browsing the book in a branch of Urban Outfitters while the ‘women folk’ were shopping for clothes ). If I’m being completely honest with you the book as a whole is a real inspiration. It features so many wonderful shots of the interiors of the homes of creative minds that it’s difficult not to be inspired. Don’t take my word for it though, if you head on over to ‘The Selby’ website where you can cast your eyes over many of the photos which are included the book, including a few more of Karl Lagerfeld’s studio, and some others which also have a strong bookish theme.
So that’s Karl Lagerfeld’s Parisian studio, and I hope you enjoyed this quick peek into it. Many thanks to Todd for taking and sharing such a wonderful image; an image incidentally that Todd himself has declared to be one of his favourites of 2010. The man has impeccable taste .
Now it’s over to you dear reader. What do you think of Lagerfeld’s library? Does it blow you away or do you think it’s a difficult setup to get to grips with? If you’ve browsed Todd Selby’s website what are your own favourite photos? Let me know in the comments below.