R.I.P. to the Godfather of Fashion – Karl Lagerfield!


R.I.P. to the Godfather of Fashion – Karl Lagerfield!

As the fashion industry mourns the icon – Karl Lagerfeld, an article is not enough to talk about the decades he invested in the industry and his accomplishments. However, let us delve into some snippets about his life and get to know a little about him and his work.

Karl Lagerfeld was a visionary, doyenne of the fashion industry, an eccentric diva and someone who was not afraid to speak his mind irrespective of the consequences. In his trademark black trousers, white shirt with stiff collars, finger-less gloves, black glares and his head full of ponied grey hair, he looked like a guardian and preserver of fashion.

Karl Lagerfeld nee Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born in 1933 in Hamburg, Germany to a wealthy family. In his teens, he had engrossed himself in high fashion and made the move to Paris at the age of 14 where he learned history and drawing.

In 1955, Lagerfeld shared the first prize in the International Wool Secretariat competition in the coats category which he shared with Yves Saint Laurent who won in the dress category. He was then hired as an assistant to Pierre Balmain in 1958. Lagerfeld then went on to work with Jean Patou where he designed haute couture collections. Lagerfeld worked in Rome with couture house Tiziano and also designed for Curiel.

Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection at Jean Patou

Image Source: http://www.voxsartoria.com/post/108166797998/july-1958-the-first-karl-lagerfeld-collection-at

In today’s times’ freelancing is common, however, when Lagerfeld took up freelancing for Chloe, Mario Valentino, shoemaker Charles Jourdan, it was ground-breaking especially when you are already working for renowned fashion houses. He was one of the first fashion designers to do so.

Karl Lagerfeld at a fitting of one of his designs at Chloe’s Paris studio

(Image Source: https://www.montagemagazine.com/61_mo6_chloe1/)

Friendship between two greats of the fashion industry that started at the Wool Secretariat design competition

(L – R) Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld winning the Wool Secretariat
(Image Source: http://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/3112/karl-lagerfeld-yves-saint-laurent-at-the-wool-secretariat)

Lagerfeld was hired by Fendi to modernize their fur line wherein he included rabbit and squirrel fur which were never used before in fashion. He did not limit the use of fur for occasional wear only but also incorporated fur in everyday wear. Lagerfeld worked as the Creative Director for Fendi’s womenswear and fur lines up until his death.

Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi

(Image Source: http://keywordsuggest.org/gallery/392382.html)

Fendi Fall 2014 Collection – The debut of “Karlito” charm

Cara Delevingne in an oversized fur hat (Image Source: Vogue.com)

This season apart from the clothes also witnessed the debut of the “Karlito” fur charm which was made in the likeness of Karl Lagerfeld and was priced at $1,685. Its demand was such that it had a waiting list.

Fendi Fall 211 Ready-to-Wear

(Image Source: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2011-ready-to-wear/fendi/slideshow/collection#9)

(Image Source: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2011-ready-to-wear/fendi/slideshow/collection#11)

Fendi Couture Fall 2018: This season Fendi tried to extend its repertoire from fur to also include materials that impersonated various furs. They wanted to give their clients a choice and strike a balance between those that favor fur and those that want garments made without fur. Apart from fur, the other materials used were printed, frayed chiffon; heat-shrunken sequins and plissé organza all impersonating various furs.

(Image Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/gallery/fendi-couture-fall-1202748746/#!4/fendi-couture-fall-2018-4)

(Image Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/gallery/fendi-couture-fall-1202748746/#!9/fendi-couture-fall-2018-9)

(Image Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/gallery/fendi-couture-fall-1202748746/#!11/fendi-couture-fall-2018-12)

(Image Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/gallery/fendi-couture-fall-1202748746/#!6/fendi-couture-fall-2018-6)

(Image Source: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/gallery/fendi-couture-fall-1202748746/#!15/fendi-couture-fall-2018-16)

Lagerfeld was also hired to resurrect the almost dying Chanel, which enjoys a successful run till this day. While trying to revamp the fashion house he did not disrespect his predecessor but tried to keep the aesthetics of the house, so as not to alienate longtime loyalty of the brand.

He was also responsible for the use of the interlocked “CC” logo of Chanel into a style pattern.

Interconnected “CC” Monograph of the Chanel logo

(Image Source: http://logosolusa.com/famosa-logo.html)

(Image Source: https://www.cleo.com.sg/fashion/chanel-karl-lagerfeld-iconic-designs/)

Lagerfeld was flamboyant in his representation of the runways for his shows. They were exceptionally flamboyant and showed that he was not just creative with clothes but also liked to extend it to the décor of his shows which added to the brilliance of the shows and told the story of his clothes.

Chanel’s space station themed Fall/Winter 2017-2018 women’s ready-to-wear collection 

(Image Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/style/celebrity-fashion/how-karl-lagerfeld-became-worlds-14020938)

Karl Lagerfeld and Cara Delevingne at the supermarket-themed Fall/Winter 2014-2015 show

(Image Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/style/celebrity-fashion/how-karl-lagerfeld-became-worlds-14020938)

Lagerfeld went on to establish his own brand – Karl Lagerfeld, along with being the Creative Director of Chanel and Fendi.

Karl Lagerfeld started his own brand whilst still continuing to be the Creative Director of Chanel and Fendi

(Image Source: https://www.redhotsunglasses.co.uk/blog/brand-in-the-spotlight-karl-lagerfeld/

He also created 60 illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen’s – The Emperor’s New Clothes

(Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Emperors-New-Clothes-Classic-Fairy/dp/0871135272)

Lagerfeld the Photographer

(Image Source: https://birdinflight.com/inspiration/critique/expertise-photographs-by-karl-lagerfeld.html)

Lagerfeld embarked on collaborations with various brands. He was one of the first designer’s to be asked by H&M to collaborate on a limited collection of 30 pieces. This led to the outcome for future brand collaborations.

(Image Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/news/g23095/hms-best-designer-collaborations/)

Coca-Cola Light x Karl Lagerfeld: Karl Lagerfeld’s collaborated with Coca Cola to create a chic look for Coca Cola Light. It also happened to be his favorite drink.

(Image Source: https://hk.asiatatler.com/style/remembering-karl-lagerfeld-looking-back-at-some-of-the-fashion-icons-best-collaborations)

Faber-Castell x Karl Lagerfeld: Lagerfeld did all his sketches with Faber-Castell products this led to a collaboration wherein he curated 350 products for the KarlBox.

(Image Source: https://hk.asiatatler.com/style/remembering-karl-lagerfeld-looking-back-at-some-of-the-fashion-icons-best-collaborations)

Karl Lagerfeld established a bookshop called 7L in December 1999. It offers a large selection of catalogs and monographs dedicated to fashion, books on gardens and landscapes and cookery.

(Image Source: http://www.librairie7l.com/the-7l-bookshop-in-paris.php)

Bigwigs from the entertainment and fashion industry bid him their final goodbyes with heartfelt messages. In a career spanning decades, Lagerfeld has been among a handful of designers who have had a long-standing tenure in the fashion industry.

What we can learn from his journey is that one can take forward a brand even if one has not established it and yet carve a niche for oneself. He not only took forward the legacy of two well- known brands like Fendi and Chanel but eventually established his own. He juggled many responsibilities without compromising on quality. He kept up with the changing times to appeal to a clientele that belonged to various ages. In spite of being in this late 80s he still worked hard till his death.

We may not encounter a genius like him in our lifetime, however, it remains to see how Chanel will fare under its new Creative Director, Virgine Viard, the house’s studio director Silvia Ventirini Fendi is set to reportedly succeed Fendi as its Creative Director.

Look at Karl Lagerfeld’s final collection for Fendi and Chanel:

Fendi Fall-Winter 2019/20 Collection in Milan Fashion Week – Karl Lagerfeld’s final collection for Fendi

(Image Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/shows-trends/a26442585/karl-lagerfeld-final-collection-fendi/)

(Image Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/shows-trends/a26442585/karl-lagerfeld-final-collection-fendi/)

(Image Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/shows-trends/a26442585/karl-lagerfeld-final-collection-fendi/)

Chanel Spring-Summer 2019 Couture – Lagerfeld’s final collection for Chanel

(Image Source: https://www.eonline.com/ap/news/1016186/karl-lagerfeld-dead-at-85-look-back-at-his-final-chanel-fashion-show)

(Image Source: https://www.eonline.com/ap/news/1016186/karl-lagerfeld-dead-at-85-look-back-at-his-final-chanel-fashion-show#photo-982508)

(Image Source: https://www.myfacehunter.com/2019/01/chanel-springsummer-2019-haute-couture.html)

(Image Source: Image Source: http://www.10magazine.com/news/in-memory-karl-lagerfeld-best-fashion-moments-fendi-chanel/)

Submitted by: Manisha Fernandes








Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *