“He wants the Baccarat 12!”
“Who? Who wants the Baccarat 12?”
“Karl! Karl Lagerfeld!”
“Have you received the check from Lagerfeld?”
“No…not yet…I would ask but I don’t want to be too demanding.”
“But mon cher months have gone by…you’ve called, wrote, and still nothing.”
“Mon cherie, you can’t push powerful people…”
“Oui, je sais, mais, nous avons bills to pay! Alors, i’ll go,” Colette says.
Colette approaches l’appartement particulier.
The lavish courtyard completely envelopes Colette.
This is like nothing she has ever experienced. Every single detail had been meticulously decided upon. The box hedges along the base of the walls underlined the windows. A soft trickle from a fountain aurally tickled her spirit. She felt the cool grey gravel below her feet slightly part as she took a step.
She quickly regains her focus and remembers why she is a la maison du Lagerfeld. Pour la money!
First task, find where the accountants are located.
She enters a hallway ornately decorated with gilt covered wooden onlays.
With a door on each side of her she takes a guess…
The next thing she knows she is in the kitchen and a chef is asking her if she’s lost.
Luckily the chef doesn’t ever begin to think that she is a random intruder as she looks like the type of people who frequent la maison.
Colette’s dressed in her chicest outfit-ready to demand payment for her Baccarat 12.
She asks the chef where the accountants are located, he points and says…
“They’re through the door across the hall.”
Colette bursts through the door across the hall, startling the two accountants who are calculating away.
She states who she is and what she’s there for.
“Oui madame. That’s so funny that you should come today, the head accountant Monsieur Marseille is coming in today and is planning to sign a check for you…Now run along and we will have it mailed to you.”
A week goes by, and still no check.
Naturally Colette returns to the accountants seeking answers.
They give her another excuse.
Another weeks passes and still no check.
Colette, infuriated with the entire scenario, returns to la maison. This time around she could careless about what she’s wearing or what she looks like.
Upon arriving to la maison Colette notices that there is a hoard of staff preparing for some event. Bouquets of gardenias are being carried through the hallways, le jardin is adorned with a spotless red carpet…the scene is set for an evening of glamour.
Colette, again enamored by the glamorous scene, almost forgets why she is even there.
But hellbent on getting the money from Lagerfeld she storms into the accountants’ office.
“This is bullshit,” she yells, “it’s been months now and still no payment.”
“I want my check, and i want it NOW!”
The accountants try to put her off one more time, but Colette isn’t having it.
“NO! I am not leaving here unless i have a check in my hand, the only way i’m leaving is if the police drag me out, and by the way, if you’re going to call the police you may as well call the journalists, because you can bet your ass that i’ll make a scene.”
The accountants, calculating that the money they owe to Colette is worth much less than the scene she could create on the night of Lagerfelds fête, decide to call Karl..
Karl descends his lavish staircase, gliding along with his signature sunglasses, gloves, and ascot he does not even look upon Colette, rather he speaks to ceiling and says, “follow me”.
[Karl escorts colette into his ballroom whereupon the Baccarat 12 chandelier hangs]
“You see this? This is what you bring to my life.” Karl drags out the word “my”, implying that colette should feel grateful that one of her pieces is adorning the digs of Mr. Lagerfeld’s Parisian Maison.
Colette, understanding Karl’s point and attempting to display some deference without sacrificing her own needs replies, “Oui monsieur, c’est très bien, mais mon cher et moi aren’t from 4th or 5th generation antique dealing families, we are just starting out. We have bills to pay.”
At this point Karl pulls out a white envelope, clearly filled with money, and starts fanning himself with it as though it were his signature fan.
He starts waving the envelope in Colette’s face as though he is scolding her.
“Never has anyone demanded money from me.” He moves the envelope in front of Colette’s face, moving it as though it were a whip.
Colette, beginning to feel indignant, decides that if Lagerfeld were to try and make her feel any more guilty for appropriately asking him for what he owes to her she will just snatch the envelope and walk away.
Immediately after Colette makes this decision Lagerfeld begins to make the same gesture.
Colette quickly snatches the envelope and turns away. Never looking back.
As she steps onto the cobblestone street she immediately begins thinking in hindsight about this scenario “I mean…i guess…instead of the money I could have asked for some of his designs…that would be a nice addition to my life,” Colette drags out the word ‘my’ as Karl did earlier. But then she silently says to herself…
“Mais nous avions besoin d’argent…”