FAREWELLTO A GREAT ARTIST
He died in Paris on February 19, 2019, at the age of 85. When he started in Chanel in 1983, the brand was considered ‘almost dead’. Karl Lagerfeld became a permanent international name in Chanel. He relaunched and updated the company, maintaining its characteristic style; he converted the Chanel jacket of the 50s into an enduring, timeless style, adaptable to all types of looks, introducing golden chains, the camellia and the double CC logo as unmistakable features of the brand. He was known for his taste and his styling tendency of a sometimes snobbish eccentricity.
He worked as a designer for the most important fashion houses:
PIERRE BALMAIN: 1955 – 1958
JEAN PATOU: 1958 – 1963
CHOLÈ: 1963 – 1978 ; 1992 – 1997
FENDÍ: 1965 – 2019
KARL LAGERFELD: 1974 – 2019
CHANEL: 1983 – 2019
HENNES & MAURITZ (H&M): 2004
His career as a photographer was extensive. He started out in the mid-eighties and never gave it up. Contrary to what one might think, his photographic work did not focus on his own fashion collections; he carried out assignments for prestigious magazines, was a celebrity portraitist, and even devised advertising campaigns for brands such as Adidas or Volkswagen.
I do 12 collections a year, and when the rest of the
designers talk about stress, what do they mean exactly?
As a photographer, Karl published numerous books: Visionaire 23: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Another Fashion Book, Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited. He was commissioned to create famous calendars, such as for Marie Claire Italy, or the illustrious Pirelli calendar, back in 2011. Furthermore, numerous photo exhibitions were held for and by him, including the last one, The Glory of Water, where drawings and photographs of Roman fountains were displayed. It is indisputable that a creative genius who managed to reflect his expert skills in everything he tried his hand at has left us.
I hate intellectual conversations with intellectuals, because I only care about my opinion. His key to success was “having a sense of humor and being somewhat disrespectful, that’s what’s needed to keep the legend alive
Karl Lagerfeld with his characteristic glasses.
“In the book Karl Lagerfeld and I, Maillard reveals the motive: since nobody sees his eyes, he takes the opportunity to have a discreet nap at work meetings or when he finds the speaker boring”
How he defined his style:
– Never use the word ‘cheap’. Nowadays everyone can look chic with clothes that aren’t expensive (the rich buy them too). You can be the most stylish person in the world with a cotton shirt and jeans. It’s up to you, but never use that word.