Ode to Karl Lagerfeld
I want to capture Mr. Lagerfeld in an eternal still photograph, treasure the inspirations he made to the fashion world, incarcerate his immense, out of the ordinary personality, and etch his influences and knowledge to the future.
Karl Otto Lagerfelt was born in 1933 to a wealthy German businessman father and a Swedish mother. He was a man of inspiration, a businessman who knew not only about money but about commercialization; hence he changed his last name from Lagerfelt to Lagerfeld to make it more marketable. He escaped his hated childhood to Paris as a teenager. Though not having attended art school or a traditional fashion education, he was still very involved in the fashion world,entering a fashion competition which is now called the International Woolmark Prize and won the coat category.
Mister Lagerfeld was a man that could not merely be painted as a black and white still portrait. Despite his minimalistic look: his black suit, white shirt, and pristine white gloves, his white hair in a neat ponytail, his personality, outlook into fashion was nevertheless out of the ordinary and painted like an animation in every color possibly dreamt of. Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, describes him as the "soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking and voraciously attentive to our changing culture". However, it was at Chanel where Lagerfeld truly became famous. His success was attributed to this ability to follow Coco Chanel's initial dream of a "total look", which states that clothing are less important than what they are accessorized with and how they are worn.
Karl was a prominent figure in the fashion industry. Let us not remember him in the past as the mad but brilliant fashion icon. Rather, he is a man that lives in the present. "He lives out his own legend in every way he can think of, with every instinct he has, and in a world of stolid conventions, he has the courage to perpetuate a vision of something wonderful." (NY Times). He has the talent and courage to seek the unconventional in both the world and the fashion industry and he has the bravery and obstinacy to not succumb to the dangers of the dark side of the fashion industry.
Let us remember Mister Lagerfeld in a black and white photograph, forever etched in the present, forever an inspiration and forever as a genius.