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K-Pop superstar G-Dragon on Chanel, Karl, and gender

We caught five with the musician after yesterday’s show

Trying to make your way backstage at a Chanel show with K-Pop hero and fashion icon G-Dragon is quite an experience – the musician, who found mega-stardom with boyband Big Bang, seems to be surrounded by a small crowd of people and have about four cameras trained on him at any one time. Known for his sense of style (he also has his own label, PEACEMINUSONE), his colourful hair (yesterday, it was shocking red), and his totally devoted fans, the rapper has been a Chanel ambassador since earlier this year.

He was in Paris for yesterday’s show – where Karl Lagerfeld oversaw construction of a giant waterfall in the Grand Palais, and sent out a collection featuring lots of transparent plastic, iridescent eveningwear and a new take on classic Chanel branding. In a pristine white tent surrounded by the show’s most esteemed front-rowers, we caught five with the musician.

What did you think about the show set this time around?

G-Dragon: I was shocked when I came in – like woah! Where am I? It seems exactly like I’m in some kind of fantasy, wonderland. I like that. Every Chanel show I’ve been to is very conceptual. Even down to the music and smells, the whole thing is connected. This time it was really about nature. Each material and the set is very connected to the show and this time I felt like it’s still summer or something, and with the water sounds… it feels fresh.

“Karl is Karl, Chanel is Chanel – period” – G-Dragon

When did you first meet Karl?

G-Dragon: I’m not sure, maybe three or four years ago at Chanel when I first got invited. That time, I don’t remember it perfectly, but it was such an honour. For them, it’s like, ‘Who’s that guy? Who’s that Asian kid?’ – but I sat front row and everything was special for me. I was kind of nervous actually, so maybe I was a bit... sensitive to what was going on, and wondering what I should do, I couldn’t just be chill. Karl is a living legend so when I met him for the first time I just thought, is this real?! He’s just like (someone) from a book or a movie.

Karl’s persona and his style, it’s almost the way a musician constructs their identity.

G-Dragon: Karl is a rockstar. He’s really picky I think, but artists have to be. He is Karl Lagerfeld so there are no other words to introduce him. Karl is Karl, Chanel is Chanel – period, right? He’s on another level. His own zone. Nature, space and supermarkets… the shows are inspired by anything and everything and he’s got a lot of passion, so I really, really respect that. Every time I want so many things!

What do you love about Chanel?

G-Dragon: I love that it’s classic. To me, it means they have their own identity and history from the start until now. They’ve kept going and changing but they never change the spirit – Chanel is Chanel. As an artist that’s really important, that’s the motive. That’s really hard to do but it’s the most important thing, so I really respect that.

How does it feel to wear the clothes?

G-Dragon: A few years ago, guys thought Chanel was a women’s thing, but I’m kind of skinny I can wear women’s stuff too – so I think it’s unisex. It’s because the material quality is so good, and the detail. I’m kind of really into detail and fit. I’m actually wearing a ‘women’s’ piece right now. When I wear Chanel I feel like I’m not just wearing clothes, I’m wearing Chanel.

When did you first start becoming interested in fashion?

G-Dragon: I don't remember exactly, I forget. When I was really young like four, five or six my mom made me wear a lot of clothes, so I think from my mom. I’m kind of used to making something and drawing something on a t-shirt or whatever. One of a kind pieces, something different and special.

Watch the SS18 show below: