Since it was announced that Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic work would be the theme for this year’s Costume Institute’s 2023 exhibition and Met Gala, interest in the German-born designer has spiked online.
During his 65-year-long career at the highest level of fashion, Lagerfeld, who died in February 2019 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, worked as a couturier at brands like Balmain, Jean Patou, Chloe, Fendi and Valentino, but it was his role as creative director of Chanel that granted him international fame.
Lagerfeld’s 1983 couture collection for the legendary Maison breathed fresh air into the brand and made him the most sought-after designer of his time. He directed the French house until he passed away.
As avant-garde and ever-evolving his creations for Chanel, Fendi and his own brand were, when it came to his own personal style, the designer was known for always wearing the same look: long white hair in a low ponytail, fingerless black leather gloves, large black sunglasses, shirts with high starched detachable collars, and a suit.
Sporting his quintessential look with his perennial sunglasses, gloves, shirt an ponytail at the launch of songwriter Lou Reed’s photo book “Emotion in Action” held at Cooper Classics Collection on Nov. 3, 2003, in New York.
Lagerfeld accessorized his tuxedo to fit his style adding several metallic chains hanging from a silver metallic belt, layered long dangling necklaces and multiple rings on both hands at one of the yearly events he never wanted to miss, Monaco’s annual Rose Ball.
The designer donned his most American look for the Chanel 2006-07 Cruise Collection fashion show that was presented on May 17, 2006, in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station. He finished his outfit with a belt that featured a large American flag with blue, red and white sparkling appliques.
Lagerfeld sparkled at 2008’s Met Gala wearing a silver sequin-covered jacket, a diamond chain around his waist, and a black belt finished with a diamond-covered buckle. He topped off the look with snakeskin studded fingerless gloves and a diamond brooch on his tie.
The designer on one of the rare occasions in which he traded his trademark black for another color. Lagerfeld wore a light gray suit and gray studded leather fingerless gloves at FIT Couture Council’s Annual Luncheon alongside Anna Wintour on Sept. 10, 2010, in New York.
Lagerfeld attended Chanel The Little Black Jacket photography exhibition dinner party on April 4, 2013, dressed in black from head to toe with brocade trousers, a diamond embedded belt and crocodile skin black boots.
Lagerfeld walked the runway holding hands with his godson Hudson Kroenig during the 2016 Chanel show on March 8, 2016, in Paris, wearing his favorite crocodile skin black pointed-toe boots.
Back in 2018, Lagerfeld posed with one of her lifelong closest friends, Princess Caroline of Hanover, at the annual Rose Ball he used to attend every year. That year he was often seen sporting a white beard for the first time, but he still kept the rest of his outfits true to his trademark.
One of Lagerfeld’s last public appearances was the New York show for Chanel Metiers d’Art D’Art 2018-19 Show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Dec. 4, 2018, in New York, just two months before his passing. For that significant show, the couturier walked the runway in true Karl Lagerfeld fashion and was accompanied by his Godson and Virginie Viard, his successor taking the helm as Creative Director of Chanel in 2019.