"Eternal Icons of Chanel, reinterpreted by Karl Lagerfeld" (2002)
- Danièle Bott, Chanel: Collections and Creations
I have to admit that I haven't always been a Karl Lagerfan. There is no doubt in my mind that he is an artistic visionary, with the propensity to propel fashion beyond the narrow realm of the catwalk and in to the world of 'art' at large. However, in my heart I have not always taken to his work at Chanel. In my mind, the stars, stripes and denim of his Spring/Summer Collection in 2008 were lightyears away from the stylish girl we once knew as Coco Chanel. And the dark, masculine cubism-inspired collection of Fall 2012 reminded by more of German folk tales than of elegant French silhouettes gliding through the streets of Paris. In short, I feel that all to often we see more of Karl than of Coco.
But Lagerfeld is not only the Head Designer of the fashion house called Chanel. He is also Creative Director. A title that enables him to construct upon the brand, the name and the image that together encapsulate that 'je ne sais quoi' that makes Chanel…well, Chanel. In 2013, Lagerfeld directed a series of short films, starring Keira Knightley, which pieced together the legacy of the fashion house through the story of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel.
To me, this reveals the raw essence of Chanel. Unconventional sophistication meets timeless elegance. Delicate femininity entwined with unshackled masculinity. Both romantic and powerful; both vintage and now.
To me, this proves that Coco is still at the core of the style called Chanel: that fashion is merely an interpretation in a small limited time frame that changes from season to season… And Karl Lagerfeld too has proven that he has earned the position as that 'interpreter'.
"La mode se démode, le style jamais"
- Coco Chanel