Posts Tagged ‘Karl Lagerfeld’

Personal Uniforms

daft punk Diane-Pernet-June-2012Milan terry-richardson

While uniforms in general (military, school or even corporate uniforms) remain fascinating in everyday life and a continuous source of inspiration for fashion designers, certain individuals (from Karl Lagerfeld and Diane Pernet to the Daft Punk guys) lead the concept to another level, creating their own personal uniforms.

As Rick Owens confesses in a GQ interview: I have twenty of the same thing, I wear the same outfit every single day. I can’t imagine having to choose clothes in the morning. It would drive me crazy. I mean, I found one thing I like and then I probably have twenty of it. I change it a little bit every year, maybe, but it’s basically the same thing”.

Wearing an uniform (the same outfit day by day, only with slightly changes) is definitely a fruit of self-discipline. Especially when it comes the world of fashion – an elitist tribe of glitz and glam, it’s not easy to stand out of the crowd. Perhaps the ultimate extravaganza is to find a restrictive, distilled personal formula, blend with it, achieving an iconic look. Sometimes this could be a lifelong project. But I guess it worths.

Lagerfeld vs. Lagerfeld

Sometime in the early 60s, the Argentinian author J.L.Borges had published a short story entitled “Borges and I“. In doing so, he introduced the concept of Self as being separate from the public persona perceived by readers through his works. That’s an inspired technique he used often along his entire work, which also allowed him to take a critical attitude towards himself, referring at Borges as somebody who “has put together some decent passages, yet these passages cannot save me.”

There’s always a sense of modesty and self irony in Borges’ writings. We cannot say the same thing about Karl. However, watching Karl Lagerfeld’s recent interview, released for Net-A-Porter, I felt something different and unexpected. The 78 years old designer talks to himself. So, for the first time (and the last time, as he claims) it’s Lagerfeld vs. Lagerfeld. Enjoy!


The Lagerfeld Myth

You see that’s all I did in the last 20 years… Chanel and myself. A camera for all the photos I took. A palette for all the sketches I made“.

That’s sincere enough, and perfectly underlined. The October anniversary issue of Dazed&Confused features a “time capsule”, a gallery of iconic characters, designers, objects and artefacts of the last 20 years of dazed fashion. Together with their personal statements and their contributions to the fashion world. After Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld is probably the most iconic fashion character. He’s not just a fashion designer, he’s already a brand and a fashion myth. You may wonder why, or how did he make it. I don’t know, maybe he just kept it simple, he preserved the Chanel heritage and shifted it into a masculine version, he added some details:  a hard white collar, a black tie, dark glasses, etc. And let the others do the rest.

There are certain benefits of being famous and iconic. Lagerfeld is now prepared to launch a personal line of mass market fashions: “Karl”. Affordable – genuine – design sounds pretty cool. The line, with 100 pieces priced around $95 to $450, will debut exclusively on on January 25 and add sales on on February 28. He will be the first designer to do it, as he was the first designer that joined H&M for a commercial collection.

See, that’s what I appreciate, mostly, to Karl. Not his black&white suits, neither his white hair and leather driving gloves, nor his designs for Chanel (these are only the details of a bigger picture ). But his ability to constantly push the boundaries, to look forward to the new fashion perspectives. I’m sure that for Mr. Lagerfeld, the new “Karl” line it’s not a financial challenge as it’ s an intellectual one. It’s all about the prestige of being the first to do it, leaving room for all “the others”, those designers who will follow. He’s not following anyone, but all the others are following him. Just check Lagerfeld’s profile on Twitter–  followers: 774,222  , following: 0.