Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Agony of Choice, Mr. Karl Lagerfeld

©Brigitta Huegel

Yesterday I saw this "KARLBOX" presented in the KaDeWe in Berlin. Hundreds of beautiful colour pencils, crayons and pencils. For the astronomically modest price of 2.500 Euro
Ridiculous. 
Every real artist - Rachel, Tom and Cro know that of course - needs good 'tools', and they have their price, but even a layman as I know that you mix most of your colour hues yourself - with a lot less pencils than those 72 in my Faber Castell Artists' Watercolour Pencils box

©Brigitta Huegel

When I stand in a drugstore in front of a shelf of 100 cream jars all promising everything under the sun - and we all know that in the end it all comes down to oil & water! - it happens that I walk out of the drugstore without buying anything. 

An overload of choice, scientists found out, stands in no correlation to happiness - it produces - and do I really need a scientist to tell me this? - STRESS
So: it is nice to have choice. But not too much. 
Because the most important 'things' you can't buy anyway: creativity and discipline and talent and inclination to work really hard for success. (And a little pinch of luck). 

The funniest thing, Mr. Lagerfeld, is, that YOU prefer BLACK. 
Which reminds me of a passage in a German children's book, König Mauzenberger: eagerly the King (Cat) mixed all the beautiful colours he had in his new paintbox. The result: 
Karl's Black. Single-coloured, monochrome, plaincoloured BROWN












14 comments:

  1. Which proves the old adage "less is more". A very good lesson.

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    1. Yes, dear Emma - and too much confuses me.

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  2. I am much the same when I am in a bookshop - all those hundreds of books - which to choose - my mind goes blank and I end up choosing nothing.

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    1. In a bookshop the offers are overwhelming - but as I do not buy because of 'recommendations' (by bestseller lists) I just wait till a book "hums" at me.

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  3. Can you imagine, Britta having to put all those pencils in perfect color and numerical sequence every time!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Oh Maria - I think you hit the nail right on the head - and I suspect that this order-fussiness/-neatness is just Mr. Lagerfeld's problem...

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  4. I would like to see a Karlbox. If I had one I don't think I would dare open it and it would stay on a shelf for ever and ever.

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    1. The box is impressing, Rachel - beautiful wood - and of course greed inside me cries "I want to have it!" But as you say: if things are too exclusive one has "to force oneself" to use them - and often they make life more complicated as it already is.

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  5. You're absolutely right about how having too many choices can create stress. The cereal aisle in our grocery store must have at least a hundred different kinds of cereal... so I pick my same boring box of Fiber One every single time. Still... I do remember a Christmas gift that gave me enormous pleasure as a child. It was a box of 64 crayons... with a built-in sharpener. Although I'd been perfectly happy with my standard boxes of 8 colors, that box of crayons was a treasure to me.

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    1. I can imagine your joy at Christmas when you got that box with 64 crayons! Do you remember which colour was used up first? (For a time for me that was lilac, because I drew heather landscapes en masse... :-)

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  6. When I was at college, certain students had a habit of scraping all their left-over paint, and depositing it under the bench they'd been sitting on. Occasionally we'd gather-up all this paint and mix it; the colour was known as 'benchend'.

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    1. And which colour did it come to? Brown? Or mixed colour?

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