Karl Lagerfeld is one of the world’s most renowned fashion designers and widely celebrated as an icon of the zeitgeist. Karl Lagerfeld’s Modemethode at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the fashion cosmos of this exceptional designer and, with it, to present an important chapter of the fashion history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Karl Lagerfeld is known for injecting classic shapes with new life and for taking fashion into new directions. For the past sixty years – from 1955 to today – Lagerfeld’s creations have consistently demonstrated his extraordinary feel for the ‘now’. Right from the start of his career, the designer has worked for luxury houses such as Balmain, Patou, Fendi, Chloé, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel. As creative director and chief designer of Chanel since 1983, he is regarded among experts as the sole legitimate successor to the founder and fashion legend Coco Chanel. Since 1965 Lagerfeld has been designing two – of late even four – collections per year for the Italian house of Fendi, not to mention his own eponymous label.
Karl Lagerfeld is celebrated as a fashion genius not only for continuously revitalising classics like the Chanel suit, but also for endlessly reinventing himself. Having realised by the early 1960s that the future of fashion could not lie in haute couture alone, Lagerfeld embraced the younger ready-to-wear (prêt-à-porter) lines: ‘Fashion that does not reach the streets is not fashion’ (Lagerfeld). In addition to clothing, Lagerfeld designs a wide range of accessories to accompany his collections. Equally progressive in matters of distribution and marketing, he advocates bold ideas and a paradigm change in the fashion industry. Since the 1990s Lagerfeld has been complementing his work for luxury brands with collaborations with companies that produce affordable clothes for mass audiences. In 2004 he was the first well-known designer to create an exclusive collection for the Swedish fashion retailer H&M – a successful concept that has since continued with other designers, among them Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons and Versace.
“Modemethode”, Karl Lagerfeld’s “fashion method”, is his ambitious, all-encompassing approach: from the initial sketch to the finished garment, from the accessories, the architectural setting and music of the fashion shows, to the photographs and graphic design of press material, advertising, catalogues and window displays – every last little detail is devised by the designer himself.
“Karl Lagerfeld: Modemethode” until September 13th, 2015, at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Emil-Nolde-Straße 11, 53113 Bonn.