“Fashion does not have to prove that it is serious. It is the proof that intelligent frivolity can be something creative and positive”
What makes a legend? A legend is someone who leaves behind an unforgettable impression on others. They touch lives, they’re remembered, they’re cherished. There are all sorts of legends in this world – famous or not. To become one means finding your particular role, your calling, following it relentlessly, and touching others around you. Lagerfeld was one designer who can truly lay claim to the often-used, seldom-true phrase - a Fashion Legend.
Like most geniuses in their respective fields, talent is visible from an early age. At 21 Karl entered the International Wool Secretariat’s design competition (now known as the Woolmark Prize) and won the best coat category. He went on to work at Balmain for three years before moving to Jean Patou, where he designed for five years. His designs were daring, constantly pushing the boat out and challenging conservative critics with his avant-garde tailoring and daring hem lines. During the 70’s, positions at Chloe and Fendi followed where like the brands he had worked at before he transformed with his modern re-workings and non-conformity. In 1984 a position was presented to him, Chanel - an ailing fashion house seeked out Lagerfeld and hired him as creative director, a role that would secure his status as the fashion legend we know him today and as they say the rest is ‘fashion’ history. His tenure at Chanel launched supermodels, established the concept of non-model brand ambassadors, he was the first to collaborate with H&M and his cinematic worthy shows are evidence that when/if he had had the opportunity to foray in cinema he would undoubtedly have had the same success as his fashion comrade Tom Ford.
THE LAST SHOW - AW19/20
The show's set design transported guests from the Grand Palais in Paris to an alpine village, complete with snow-topped houses set against a backdrop of mountain peaks, in what may have been a nod to Lagerfeld's German roots. The collection was designed in collaboration with Lagerfeld's successor, Virginie Viard, the director of Chanel's Fashion Creation Studio and Lagerfeld's right-hand woman for more than 30 years. Models, including Lagerfeld favorites Cara Delevingne and Kaia Gerber, showed a parade of the brand's signatures, with plenty of blown-up tweeds, houndstooth prints in a variety of colors and pearl accessories. An illustrated card left on each seat at the show featured a drawing of Lagerfeld with Chanel founder Coco Chanel, with the words "The beat goes on..." written above their heads. Long-time ambassador Penelope Cruz, one of his numerous power muses, walked the runway for the first time in tribute to Karl Lagefeld.