OUT WITH THE NOT-SO-OLD: Karl Lagerfeld is cleaning house again — this time in Biarritz and Monaco — and serious furniture collectors are already buzzing. The designer has turned to Sotheby’s to sell 240 pieces of 20th-century items in Paris on May 15. The auction, estimated to bring between $3 million and $4 million, boasts all the big names of French modernism including Jean-Michel Frank, Eileen Gray, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, Pierre Legrain and Alberto Giacometti. But Frank is definitely first among equals in the collection. Some 50 pieces — tables, lamps and even a chimney item by the designer — represent one of the biggest single collections to hit the market. Lagerfeld’s last clearinghouse, a series of sales with Christie’s in 2000 to empty his Paris mansion of its 18th-century contents, netted $28.5 million.

Meanwhile, the multitasking designer has mounted an exhibition about himself that bowed Wednesday at The Bon Marché department store. The eclectic display offers Lagerfeld’s take on everything from photography to philosophy to fashion via video monologues. There’s even a souvenir on offer: a CD featuring a selection of Lagerfeld’s favorite songs compiled by Michel Gaubert.

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