Monday, March 21, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld’s Influence

by Angela Ghang

Karl Lagerfeld is a celebrated renown couture designer who can bring style and shape to any design fitting a modern, classy and edgy look with eccentric colors. Born in 1938, one year before Coco Chanel retired from the Fashion House of Chanel, they say he was destined to take over the empire of Chanel. At a young age Lagerfeld moved to Paris and worked as a draftsman sketching costumes. In 1955 he won 1st place at the International Wool Association, where many designers and couture house took note of Lagerfelds design and style. In the 60s he worked close with the House of Fendi designing fur coats and in the 70s worked with the Fashion House of Chloe creating feminine and classic pieces along with perfume, "Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld" which became an instant hit worldwide.

In 1978 he started to design at Chanel and quickly became the Creative Design Director of Chanel in 1983. He made it a big responsibility to transform Chanel into something extraordinary. He changes it into an elite status, adding glamour and sex appeal. While being the Creative Director of Chanel he simultaneously worked with Fendi and Chole while launching his own line Karl Lagerfeld.

At Chanel he brought to life the traditional box jacket with denim mini skirts in 1991, combining club-influenced black fishnet bodystockings with the traditional Chanel camellia placed cheekily over the breasts and matching hefty lace-up boots with flowing georgette skirts and leather jackets. By 1997, Vogue had crowned him the "unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment".

Chanel 1988 Fashion Show:

Karl Lagerfeld is an established photographer never leaving his home without a camera. He shoots Chanel’s advertising campaigns every season along with fashion magazine editorials that are highly praised and respected.

"In November 2004, selected H&M stores offered an exclusive collection by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. It was the first H&M collaboration experience. Lagerfeld created a collection of around 30 pieces including men’s and women’s lines, accessories and a frangrance Liquid Karl. The press reported large crowds the one-off capsule collection sold out within minutes in many of the chain’s stores during its Nov. 12 launch." (from

The 'Lagerfeld for H&M' collection is distinctly Lagerfeld's signature: modern, elegant and flattering. There were slim silhouettes in black and white with accent colors of brick red and plum. Razor sharp tailored pieces of fine wool, a slim cut classic coat, starch-fresh cotton shirts and narrow knits that flatter everyone. (from

This collaboration influenced many other designer such as Stella McCartney, Victor and Rolf, Roberto Cavalli, Madonna, Commes des Garcons, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, and Lanvin to create a lower brand for the general public getting their brand out to a wider audience. Lagerfeld sets the trend for new collaborations and ideas that transcend to many other designers. He influences there minds and the industry to take a different direction, not always following traditional forms to become successful.

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