In case you didn’t know who Karl Lagerfeld was, let me give you a quick introduction. Karl was a German fashion guru who worked as the creative designer for Chanel. That’s right! The clothing we see in Chanel stores and girls long to have in their closet, he was the man behind the scene.
You might be asking what was so special about his designs that kept him working for this well-known company for so long? Well, he had that special spark that no one else had. He could take any style and shape and transform it into a modern-classy yet edgy version. Lagerfeld was not only known as a designer for Chanel but also for his graphic design skills. In the early ’80s, Lagerfeld meshed the “CC” creating the renowned Chanel logo that we’ve seen everywhere. Now, how did a German designer breathe life to a brand that was “dead” to the public before the great turnout today? He had a great strategy… are you ready? He reinvented antique pieces that could be acceptable to the modern public. Easy peasy right? But his designs didn’t just offer a more revolutionized ensemble, he went beyond everyone’s expectations. A good example of this, and my personal
He was also well known not only for going beyond people’s expectations with his designs, but his out of this world setups transported the public to that time in history. To give you an example of how extravagant his ideas were, take a look at Chanel’s 2017 fashion week in Paris. Chanel decided to close the show with something no one was expecting, they launched their own rocket ship to space. This was the most Instagrammed moment in the show. The rocket ship actually took off at the end of the show and went up 33 feet in the air. Crazy right? After that insane show, I was wondering how in the world do they have time to do all of this?
After spending an hour searching for a good series on Netflix, I was lucky enough to bump into this documentary called “7 Days Out.” It shows the incredible amount of work that it takes to set up, bring the clothing pieces to life, and have the fashion week event, all in 7 days. I personally love fashion, and through this hour-long documentary I was able to see why people love Chanel. It’s not only the design, it is the magic that happens in the workshops. Hundreds of people work together to create a piece of art. Haute couture is not only about the design, but finding the high quality and very expensive materials that this creation demands. It is about paying extreme attention to detail, and only the most experienced and capable sewers can manage to represent exactly the idea that makes each garment unique.
After Karl’s passing, I can only think about the next successor that will fill in the shoes of this great designer. Will Chanel be the same brand that Karl worked so hard to keep modern yet classic, or is it time for a change in the fashion industry again? In a statement released by Chanel’s president of fashion Bruno Pavlosky, it read:
“Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of Chanel. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.”
Either way, the fashion industry will miss this creative soul that as Chanel puts it, “marked the successful point for their brand because of his exceptional intuition and ability to see ahead of his time.” Karl Lagerfeld, the world says goodbye to you, but your legacy is still alive in the hearts of every person who wears your designs.