Karl Lagerfeld is a well-known figure not only in fashion circles. His image and peculiar behavior, as well as his aura of mystery and versatile abilities, made him a legend. He is gone, and yet the world does not forget him, and Karl’s story is still alive. It is difficult to find a designer who is such a visionary, and one with immense talents in a variety of fields. He unquestionably closed an era in the fashion world.
Table of Contents:
- Karl Lagefeld – haute couture icon
- Coco Chanel’s successor
- Karl Lagerfeld – image
- Own brand
- Summary – Karl Lagerfeld the renaissance man
Karl Lagefeld – haute couture icon
Karl Lagerfeld, or more precisely Karl Otto Lagerfeld, has been changing or coloring his own biography from the very beginning, leaving a mass of insinuations. Most questionable is his date of birth. Interestingly, for a long time his mother hid from him when exactly he was born. Most sources give the date as September 10, 1933. One thing is certain, he was born in Hamburg. Russian-German blood flowed in his veins, although he claimed his father was not Russian, but Swedish. From an early age, Karl Lagerfeld was distinguished by great diligence and courage, as well as extraordinary maturity and talent in the field of drawing, in addition to which he had a passion for photography. He began his fashion adventure in Paris. The teenager and his mother arrived in the French capital in 1952. Two years later he had his first success, as he won the prestigious International Wool Secretariat competition in the coat category. He was hired fairly quickly by the fashion house Balmain, then created for Jean Patou under the pseudonym Roland Karl. Disappointed by the lack of achievements, he decided to go to Italy. This is where more fashion brands hired the designer. Fendi and Chloe are fashion houses that had a huge impact on the rest of his career. Importantly, he continued to create for the first company until his death. The Fendi monogram with the letter F is his original idea, as are the sport coats lined with fur. Karl Lagerfeld is largely behind the fame of the fashion brand.
Karl Lagerfeld’s biography reveals that he was a revered and coveted designer of all time. His great talent for drawing and his fashion sense helped promote or reinvent many fashion houses. He was constantly developing and looking for new solutions, so each time he surprised with something completely different, innovative and fresh. He worked extensively, taking on a variety of collaborations, although he was always best known as creative director of the house of Chanel. Karl designed more than just clothing and accessories!
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Coco Chanel’s successor
The young designer Karl Lagerfeld conquered Paris and Italy rather quickly. His talent was recognized by many fashion houses, but it was definitely Chanel that gave him the greatest fame and creative freedom. It was he who literally resurrected the spirit of Coco Chanel and made the company revived and even entered the top of the most famous. In 1983, he became the artistic director of this French fashion house, a position he held until his death. He cleverly juxtaposed the brand’s specific vibe with hot trends and the vision of the modern woman. It was he who re-promoted boucle fabric – one of Chanel’s trademarks – and created the double C as the most recognizable logo in the world. It is also thanks to the designer that the shows have become a true theatrical spectacle. The unique set design, musical setting, plethora of stars and amazing costumes all combined to elevate the luxury fashion house to a whole other level. In 2010, Karl Lagerfeld was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor by the President of France for his services to the Chanel fashion house.
For 30 years Karl Lagerfeld worked with his assistant Virginie Viard, and it was she who took over the reins of the Chanel brand after his death. He is bravely trying to continue the work of Coco and his long-time collaborator. This is an extremely difficult task, because these were two extraordinary personalities, even icons.
Karl Lagerfeld – image
Designer Karl Lagerfeld was a colorful figure in the fashion world. He had bold views that aroused considerable controversy. Equally peculiar was his image, which still remained the same for many years. After the weight-loss treatment, the creator was able to wear the coveted outfits, which he made his trademark. Most often he chose a black jacket and pants with a Givenchy or Dior Homme label. Such a simple base has always been complemented with a white shirt with a collar as high as 10 centimeters, sunglasses and mittens, sometimes with striking brooches or rings. The designer’s uniform is not just clothes, as he always appeared in a low ponytail. He cleverly capitalized on his image when he created the Karl Lagerfeld auteur brand. His likeness, as well as that of his beloved cat Chaupette, is thus recognized around the world.
Designers mostly start with their own brands. Karl Lagerfeld was relatively late in deciding to create under his own name, since 1982. The birth of his brand pleased customers and surprised them at the same time, for the reason that the tongue-in-cheek collections were something quite different from earlier designs for the haute couture and prêt-à-porte departments. In the beginning, the company operated under the name Lagerfeld Gallery, changing to Karl Lagerfeld in 2007. From the beginning, the designer stuck to one distinctive aesthetic. His beloved mix of white and black and play with shapes and material textures can be seen in the collections. Classics mixed with hot trends, that’s how extremely modern things were created. Accessories, as well as clothing with the Karl Lagerfeld label, have been adorned with the figure of the designer or his cat for a long time. These are high-quality products made, among other things, from natural leather. The brand’s offer is very wide, as you will find women’s and men’s lines, as well as those for children, but that’s not all, as the assortment is expanding steadily. Karl Lagerfeld Jeans is for younger customers who love denim and street fashion style. After the designer’s death, his friend Carine Roitfeld took over the reins at the author’s company, and she is trying to continue the direction taken by Karl Lagerfeld. The new creative director has often worked with him on other projects, so she is very familiar with his requirements, inspirations or expectations.
Summary – Karl Lagerfeld the renaissance man
The fashion world has known many designers, but few have been as multi-talented as Karl Lagerfeld. Designer, visionary, photographer, director… You can list his functions and talents endlessly. He definitely stood out for his extraordinary fashion sense and his ability to transport us into this magical world. Karl Lagerfeld loved to surprise! The sets of Chanel shows have always amazed, and the photo shoots have captivated with nuance. Karl Lagerfeld has worked hard for his success, working in many fields. To his credit, he has, among other things, a book on weight loss treatment, limited collections for the Coca Cola brand, as well as for “chain stores,” for example, he has designed for H&M (he did it as the first known designer!) and Carrefour. There is no denying that his portfolio is extremely rich. Many say his death ended an era in the fashion world. There is not the slightest doubt that Karl Lagerfeld strongly influenced the fate of this trend. Several years have passed since his death, and he is still a living legend. No wonder, since he was largely responsible for the fate of modern fashion. Karl Lagerfeld was born in 1933 and died on February 19, 2019.
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