Lagerfeld, Karl Lagerfeld.

Karl Lagerfeld is someone who seems like he has been around forever.  He is always there.  He never stays in the background.

Except, maybe in this photobomb

karl

Okay, let’s forget my lame joke there.

As a fashion lover, I think it is so important to look at the ‘roots’ of a fashion designers inspiration.  That is why I love reading about the background of designers.  For example, where they studied and what their muse has been.

For someone like Karl, you can see that he has identified his style.  It’s like he has identified his ‘365 Style’ (Nicki Hilton) and is using it to determine what to wear and when.

He is never seen without his gloves, and he always wears a stiff collar (is this inspiration from men’s fashion in the 1800s?).

Karl is someone who I am wowed by.  His designs are amazingly stunning and he seems so formidable.  If I ever met him I’d be terrified.

According to karllagerfeld.weebly.com

Karl Lagerfeld has a very different design philosophy as he goes by the ‘less is more’ concept, and swears by objectivity, simplicity and elegance. He uses the cut and proportion as the main feature of the garment and occasionally adds details.

The website also claims that Karl is also powered by creativity and energy and that routine for him is boring and he is ‘always breathing new life into the original garments’.

A young Karl…who looks slightly like Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame).

Am I the only one who sees the similarities:

Jemaine Clement

Let’s get to his background:

Lagerfeld was born in 1933 (although he earlier claimed it was 1935…hey we all wish we are younger than we are, don’t we?).  In 1955 he won a coats competition sponsored by the ‘International Wool Secretariat’ after which he was hired to be Pierre Balmain’s assistant.

He moved to Jean Patou where he designed two couture shows per year.  In ’58 his first collection was debuted, however it was badly received:

“A couple of short black cocktail dresses were cut so wide open at the front that even some of the women reporters gasped. Other cocktail and evening dresses feature low, low-cut backs.” (UPI).

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any of those cocktail dresses online.   Isn’t it funny how fashion and the perception of women’s clothes has changed since then.

In ’63 he began designing for Tiziani (a new Roman couture house which then branched out into ready-to-wear).

In ’64 he began to design for Chloe.  In ’73 his collection for Chloe featured a long, pleated ‘skirt’ that was so loose and baggy that people didn’t realise that they were actually pants (maybe like palazzo pants?).

Since the ’70s, Lagerfeld has also worked as a costume designer for stage shows.

More recently, Karl has designed for H&M (2004) and he has also designed for Chanel

There is so much to say about Karl Lagerfeld, but I won’t bore you.  Here are some photos:

Original Karl drawing for his collection by Tiziani.

Chloe show with Pat Cleveland 1970s.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe
Karl for Chloe 1970s beaded dress.

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