Fashion icon for 50 years, friend of the reputable artists, woman with a big heart who uses her fame and fortune for the service of others, and a 3rd generation Texan: Lynn Wyatt is everything at once. She is also the woman that best embodies the strong link that exists between Texas and Chanel, thus honored at the 2013/14 Métiers d'Art fashion show titled "Paris-Dallas" that was presented on December 10th at Dallas Fair Park. Lynn Wyatt shares her admiration for Karl Lagerfeld and her unconventional encounter with Coco Chanel. Interview.
Your friend, Karl Lagerfeld presented his new collection, "Paris-Dallas" on your soil. What were your first impressions?
It was absolutely fabulous. It is a wonderful tribute to Texas, and more generally to the wide open spaces of America. It is also the occasion to celebrate the strong history that Chanel and the United States share.
How was it to meet Karl Lagerfeld for the first time?
I met Karl many years ago in the south of France, where I often spend time, at Beaulieu-sur-Mer and at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. I just was so amazed by his energy. He animates himself with both an artistic side and by creation, without neglecting business. You rarely found that in an artist, and he is a true artist in my opinion. He also has a fabulous sense of humor, and he knows absolutely everything about everything. He is a true Renaissance man! I had the chance to go to Venice with him - my goodness it was wonderful seeing the city through his eyes. I fell in love with him. I don't see him so often – not enough for my taste – but my feelings are still as strong.
Karl Lagerfeld likes to call you his "favorite Texan". What does this mean to you?
I don't know! Like a lot of Texan women, I'm independent and I have a very can-do spirit, I'm athletic… It's a delicate subject to speak about oneself. (Laughs)
Share your encounter with Coco Chanel…
I met her once during a visit to Paris, during which my husband took me to the Haute Couture fittings. I appreciate the Métiers d'Art more than anything and all of the seamstresses that create these magical dresses. Mademoiselle came into the room and said, "Oh, so you're the Texan!" I burst into laughter. I replied, "Oh, Mademoiselle, I'm just so honored to shake your hand. I’m just such a fan of yours. I’m so happy that you choose things that I love". The moment only lasted three minutes, but it is engraved in my memory!
Has fashion changed since this period?
In those days, when there was a fashion show in Paris, we had to wait weeks until the magazines came out. It took nearly a year for the collection to arrive in the U.S. It's nothing like today, where everything is instantaneous and the world is much smaller now. In those years, women changed their clothes four times a day. We had outfits for the morning, lunch, the afternoon and for cocktails. It was different way of dressing. Karl has contributed to change all of this! What he does is always relevant to whatever the mood is, the style should be. He has such an influence! He is a genius!
Lynn Wyatt, you have met so many incredible people in your lifetime! Andy Warhol, who did your portait, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Truman Capote…
(Laughs) You know, I'm very grateful for my life. For me, the most important things in existence are family, friends and fun! I am lucky to have met such incredible friends. But I have a special feeling about Karl…
Photo © Anne Combaz