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Karl Lagerfeld was never speaking about death, he was defining it as a “disgusting”thing. A tribute ? No, thanks, we shouldn’t “encumber with rests”. However, as it is impossible to not speak about his departure, I invite you to speak about him but at the present time. What do you think about it ?
Lagerfeld, it is the story of the giant that was incarning french fashion. There is good designers, really good designers and Karl Lagerfeld. He is a timeless fashion and has a very well defined vision of how women should be and should be weared.
Karl Lagerfeld is born next to the Elbe river in Germany and grew up in a splendid house 40 km far from Hamburg. In 1954, aged 21, and recently installed in Paris, he takes part of the Secrétariat international de la laine contest and win the first price in the coat category. His piece is made of yellow wool with a big decollete in the back part and had a je ne sais quoi of scandalous for the time.
Spotted by Monsieur Balmain of whom he become the personnal assistant, he takes the artistic direction of Jean Patou in 1959, aged 26. In the following years, between 1964 and 1983, he is creating ready to wear clothes for Chloé with a boheme and romantic style aligned with the free spirit of the 70’s. Luxury, yes, but in a comfortable way.
In 1965, he joins the famous italian fur house FENDI. For it, he even draws the logo on a table corner, two “F” for “Fun Fur”. In tribute of his 50 years of work in the famous house, he organises the scandalous fashion show “Haute Fourrure” in 2015. Composed of 30 different looks, this show was exibiting a coat made of the extremely rare sable fur and valued $1 million according to the Financial Time.
Chanel history is universaly known. Chanel is the ancestral house created in 1910 by Mademoiselle Coco to give women their freedom. The identification codes of the famous brand are innumerable, the boater, the camellia, the node, the quilted bag and obviously the initial “CC”.
In short, it is an incredibly wealthy and prestigious house that Lagerfeld take back in 1983 ! However Chanel is , at that time somehow unfashionned and he needs to give it a second youth to be a reference in couture again. Lagerfeld will lead this project with talent, mainly thanks his collaboration with the model Inès de la Fressange who will be the first model in history to obtain an exclusivity contract with a couture house. The 2 of them re invent Chanel, and make of it one of the trendiest fashion house. Lagerfeld see fashion at 360º. He is drawing hundreds of collections, shoot the press releases and imagine the show decors, he litteraly incarn the brand, he becomes the brand.
Since then, every CHANEL fashion show had been an event, haute couture collections of course, but ready to wear also, cruise collections, or art works collections. It is with an incredible rythm that Lagerfeld create and impose his vision of french fashion to the world.
We know him for his impetuous quotes, for his visceral hate of conventionnal, Lagerfeld express really well his point of view about women, about fashion, about style, about everything ! The character is fully cosmopolitan, from German birth, living in Paris, but always mooving between Roma and New-York, he speaks 4 languages and says “Fendi is my italian ID, Chanel is the French one”
Lagerfeld is multi tasking person, he is capable of printing his silhouette on a bottle of Coca-Cola Light or even to strick the pose for the road security with a yellow jacket. With an amazing humour, he was telling us without any complex :
“No one wants to see round women on podiums”
“I don’t like animal massacre, but I don’t like either human massacre and visibly, it is quite popular around the world”
“I hate to have intellectual conversation, only my own opinion interest me”
Lagerfeld is also a great art fan. He is making the full design of a flat of Monte Carlo with the brand Memphis. He is also practicing photography since 1987, thanks to a studio on the back of his library, 7 rue de Lille. Finally he is a great admirator of the artist Szekely from whom he bought a lot of pieces.
Karl Lagerfeld is the story os half a century of fashion and he will never really leave us.
“I am living my memories, I don’t need to write them”