As Karl Lagerfeld Passed Away at 85, Look Back at His Most Memorable Designs and Styles
Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic dress designer passed away at the age of 85. He was born in 1933 and he died of pancreatic cancer on February, 19, 2019 in Paris, France. Karl said, “Gianni Versace once said to me, “There are only two designers that I admire, maybe even envy. Valentino, because he knows how to live, and Karl Lagerfeld, because, well, because he is a genius.” However, unlike others afforded that accolade, Lagerfeld had no use for reverence viewed from a lofty perch.”
“I find it quite funny and very annoying that young designers today cloister themselves off, pretending they are artists,” he said during one of our many interviews. “Designing clothes is working class. I am working class. Designing as an art is so contrived. It is not my job to express the pain and suffering of the world in taffeta.”
His personal style was well-known
Karl Lagerfeld, was as well-known for his personal dress style as he was for his iconic dress designs. He was a dress designer for Chanel for 35 years and Fendi for almost 6 decades. He designed capsule collections and he created an eponymous (in the fashion industry it is when a designer gives their name to another product or thing) line which failed surprisingly.
He was unmatched in production because he designed a collection a month which is pretty amazing considering how much work goes into designing a collection. He felt that it was unhealthy to ever stop producing and he liked to make people happy with his designs.
The Dramatics of Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld, it could be said his life was a gallery of pictures where each picture spoke a thousand words. His life was full of flamboyance and controversy. His audience or his models never knew what he would pull in the next fashion show. He was a creative luminary that was full of paradoxes and surprises. He did enjoy making people feel good with his iconic designs but he would not spare the audience if it would have a negative impact on his shows.
He was a very outspoken man who always let his opinions be known. He did not always use the best social tact when he described his designs or life. He could be very crude when describing himself as a legendary fashion designer but this is not the place to repeat what some of those comments were.
He was famous for his relationship with his cat but he had dogs in the mix as well. He was a very innovative fashion designer who literally designed backdrops to complement the lines he would show at the time.
He was a designer, artist, photographer and an enigma in the fashion world. He pioneered many designs and he would try things in his fashion shows that only he would try and he could get away with. He could get away with these theatrics because of who he was and his because of his immeasurable popularity. He would delight and surprise audiences with his antics during fashion shows.
Once in 1993, at a Fendi show he employed the Italian porn star Moana Pozzi, to model some signature lace-trimmed swimsuits which left no small displeasure among fashion editors who attended the show. In fact, they were shocked and aghast that he would employ such a notorious actress to model these swimsuits. One editor in particular, Anna Wintour, was so disgusted she promptly got up out of her seat and left the show. What her review stated after the show was not discussed. It most likely was not a favorable review though.
This is a classic example of the degree of controversy this man could create and he could get away with it. Other than the uproar among the editors the show pretty much went on without a hitch. It was almost expected that he would behave this way because he was truly a maverick and a fashion innovator.
Along comes the Autumn/Winter 2010 Chanel show, and he imports a 265-ton iceberg from Scandinavia and brings it into Paris’s Grand Palais exhibition hall. He employs 35 ice sculptures to hand carve the iceberg and then he plummets the temperature to 24.8 degrees to keep the ice sculpture from melting. The iceberg was sculptured into an ice cave that the models would emerge from to model their attire. The show surrounded a line of heavy winter clothes. It was chill out time in Paris.
The power Of Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld, wielded enormous power in the fashion world from his lofty dual positions as creative director at Chanel and from 1983 to 2019 and at Fendi where he worked with Silvia Fendi, since 1965. He was a workhorse from day one producing probably more fashion lines in one year then some fashion designers may produce in ten years. In an interview, with Vogues Suzy Menkes, he states that he produced eight collections a year at Chanel, five at Fendi, and two of his own brand. Menkes notes “And those 15 shows do not include his photography and books.”
Again, his unapproachable popularity came to light when he collaborated on a project with fashion giant H&M IN 2004. The clothes line sold out within days. Yet, as was mentioned, his own brand never took off. The great irony is that he was a very popular fashion designer but his own brand name clothes line failed.
The oddities of Karl Lagerfeld
He was born in Hamburg, Germany and was one of its most famous sons. In the Vogue Interview, he told how he was very happy in his Paris apartment (where his beloved cat Choupette reigns) and it was designed to his every specification. In his bedroom, in the apartment he pulled down every wall so he could set books in the room. He explains, “I love the physical presence of books, and in my bedroom in Paris I pulled down every wall so it’s like a huge box of frosted glass.” He has 100,000 books displayed in all his various homes located in different parts of the world. He was a unique human being indeed.
More Memories with Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld, partnered with high-street giant H&M for a few projects in 2004. He collaborated on a series of retail lines with the Swedish giant. “Meanwhile, over at Fendi, Lagerfeld is largely credited for constantly reinventing the label’s famous baguette bag, which became such a cult fashion item that actor Sarah Jessica Parker described it as a “very big deal” for her Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw, to carry one in the television series.”
Karl Lagerfeld, designing talents went beyond the fashion world. He designed the whole wardrobe for an English ballet company in 2009. The company is the legendary dance company Ballets Russes, which performed using his costumes in honor of their centenary. (Their one hundredth anniversary.)
As it was mentioned before he launched an eponymous “label” in 1984 that was for the most part unsuccessful. He acted as the creative director for Chanel, Balmain, Chloé and Fendi over a fashion career that spanned 70 years until his unfortunate death on February 19, 2019. He was known as the “Kaiser” of fashion. Apparently, he was one of the most famous fashion designers that ever lived.
He will be missed and greatly mourned by the fashion world. During his tenure as creative director at the illustrious “French fashion house” he created many brands that became synonymous with the brand that included tweed suits and pearl necklaces. Many of the creations were revived from the founder Coco Chanel’s archived signatures including the famous “C” monogram, the tweed suit and the famous chain handbag strap.
But do not get the wrong idea because Karl Lagerfeld, came out with many of his own signature designs he was one of the most prolific fashion designers that ever entered the fashion world. His creativity knew no bounds and he even created clothes for the “Duchess of Cambridge “ in which on this particular website she is shown wearing a classic Chanel tweed dress during her visit to Paris, France.
It appeared that Karl Lagerfeld, had his touch in many different aspects of the fashion world. He even created the famous red gowns worn on the Oscars and he did design clothes for royal families. He had boundless in energy and his creative genius knew no bounds. He was courted by luminaries in the fashion world. His show always offered elaborate backdrops and settings; His creative genius coming through in these venues as well.
He will not soon be forgotten for his classic and unique designs worn by women the world over. He did design fashions for women of all ages.
Conclusion: It was said that Vanessa Paradis, Kate Moss, and Cara Delavigne were three of the elite models who inspired Karl Lagerfeld’s creative vision. They were seen in his company more than once and they were considered to be a part of an elite group of models; who were in a place that only the most elegant and stylish women held. These women in this “select” group were put on a pedestal because they were a part of his inner “fashion” circle. In all senses of the word, Karl Lagerfeld, was a creative genius.