Road-tripping to Karl Lagerfeld’s Vermont castle
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Although my trip to Vermont, which followed on the heels of the men’s Spring/Summer 2010 runway shows in Milan and Paris, was supposed to be pure relaxation time, before I left the Green Mountain State I couldn’t help but try to track down designer Karl Lagerfeld’s newly purchased pied a terre on Lake Champlain I’d heard much about (and was reportedly the setting for Chanel’s Spring 2009 print ad campaign)
After dining at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury (It is touted as one of the best restaurants in the state. I’m hoping to include that experience in a future story -- perhaps for the Food section) and spending a night in Burlington, Mrs. Rage and I headed north to the Lake Champlain Islands.
We stopped at Hero’s Welcome, a fantastic general store in North Hero,Vt., about 12 miles) shy of the Canadian border. I ended up chatting with one of the owners Bob Camp (who told us he’d spent much time in Los Angeles during his previous incarnation as chief executive of Pier 1 Imports) as well as one of the employees who told me where the locals believed the Kaiser’s manse to be located (This being a vacation and all, searching through public records wasn’t on the agenda.).
We found the place just where she said we would -- a brick, Greek Revival house right on the main dragin Grand Isle (We aren’t going to make it easy on the lookie-loos by telling you exactlywhere).Of course there was no sign of the designer himself (it being the middle of the couture shows and all) and frankly it seemed a little downscale for the likes of Lagerfeld -- it’s not even on the lake.
It didn’t make sense until I was on the plane on the flight home and read Ken Picard’s conversation with Joyce Lockerby in the Vermont weekly Seven Days. Lockerby, you see, works for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and her job is operating Vermont’s only drawbridge. And that happens to be just a high collar’s toss from Lagerfeld’s purported place.
So maybe Kaiser Karl doesn’t have a castle, but he’s sure got one heck of a drawbridge, and a moat that just so happens to stretch into two nations and ranks as the sixth largest body of fresh water in the U.S.
That should make for one heck of a swim collection, no?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: At top, Hero’s Welcome in North Hero, Karl Lagerfeld’s rumored homestead in Grand Isle, Vt.Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times