Meryl Streep is a brilliant, glittering star, and you should probably think about that in case you should ever foolishly try to throw shade at her glowing aura. Even if you're Karl Lagerfeld. Maybe especially if you're Karl Lagerfeld.
Just before the #Oscars, Lagerfeld, the 83-year-old head designer at Chanel, made a less-than-classy quip about some alleged drama that had gone down between Streep and Chanel. In typical Meryl fashion, the eloquent AF 20-time Oscar-nominee did not mince words when she issued her own statement in response to Chanel's lackluster "apology." I hope Lagerfeld's cholesterol is OK, because Streep just served him a hefty dish of salty, salty beef.
She told People:
"In reference to Mr. Lagerfeld’s 'statement,' there is no 'controversy': Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication. That publication printed this defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally, and continues, globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of my record-breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience. I do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic 'statement' of regret for this 'controversy' was not an apology. He lied, they printed the lie, and I am still waiting."
Ouch. Someone go get Mr. Lagerfeld some ice for that nasty burn. Streep's response so thoroughly eviscerates the fashion mogul that you might almost feel bad for the poor man — that is, until you hear what he said first.
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In an interview with WWD, Lagerfeld mentioned that he had been working on a dress for Streep to wear to the Oscars, at the actress's own request — a statement that was true enough. Next, he claimed that Streep requested they stop work on the dress since she had decided to go in another direction. This is also true. The problem comes in with the reason Lagerfeld supplied as to why Streep chose another designer.
Lagerfeld claimed that a representative from Streep had called and said:
"Don’t continue the dress. We found somebody who will pay us."
He went on to explain that Chanel never pays stars to wear its dresses on the red carpet, and threw in a dig at Streep for good measure:
"After we gift her a dress that’s €100,000, we found later we had to pay... We give them dresses, we make the dresses, but we don’t pay... A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?"
Meryl Streep is many things, Mr. Lagerfeld, but "cheap" isn't one of them. A representative from Streep's team set the record straight to The Hollywood Reporter, saying Streep does not accept payments for wearing gowns on the red carpet, period.
Chanel immediately began back-pedaling. They told THR:
"Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep's stylist to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards, with the full understanding that she was considering options from other design houses. When informed by the stylist that Ms. Streep had chosen a dress by another designer there was no mention of the reason. Chanel wishes to express our continued and deep respect for Ms. Streep."
Lagerfeld himself went back to WWD to issue his half-assed non-apology that Meryl called out above. You can read his statement below if you want, but TBH, you'd be better off just scrolling back to the top and rereading Meryl's comment again. Here it is:
Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep’s stylist, on her request, to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards. After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep’s team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination.
Streep ultimately looked flawless in a custom Elie Saab gown. In the timeless words of Joey Tribbiani: Damn it, Karl!