When Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel passed away in 1971, the empire she had built under the name “Chanel” seemed to have died with her. Her brand, struggling to find anyone worthy enough to fill her shoes, searched out a young Karl Lagerfeld, or better known now as God’s gift to fashion. He had an admirable track record with big designers such as Balmain, Chloe, and Fendi, dazzling Chanel owners Alain and Gérard Wertheimer. After investing millions in Chanel’s beauty products and advertisements, in 1983 Alain cajoled Lagerfeld to end his contract with Chloe and join Chanel as head designer. Since then, Lagerfeld has completely restored Chanel to it’s former glory and has brought the brand name respect, success, and an estimated $19 billion fortune.
This week in Paris, Lagerfeld’s designs blew the competition out of the water. This comes as no surprise, as all his work is highly sought after. His collection was presented in the Grand Palais, a perfect venue for his Fall 2017 ready to wear looks, which were all accompanied by intergalactic themes. One of the most difficult tasks Karl has had to complete, and still has to think about each day as Chanel’s head designer, is how to bring fresh ideas to the runway while respecting his predecessor’s classic looks. Lagerfeld’s designs, although starkly divergent from Chanel’s early collections, had the indistinguishable aura of Coco herself seen in his Chanel suit pieces, pearl spotted headbands, and constant presence of tweed. With a sizable rocket centered between intersecting runways, this collection was both futuristic and vintage, an impossible combination, made possible by Karl Lagerfeld’s flair for the dramatic. But don’t doubt his sometimes outlandish designs, Chanel bags’ value has increased faster in the past five years than the housing and stock market, proof that when Karl speaks, the fashion world listens.
Other than how to successfully run a multi million dollar company, there are a lot of things we can learn from Karl Lagerfeld. No man is as dedicated to his craft as he is, and if you don’t believe that, he once said that his incentive to lose weight was the handsome suits designed by Hedi Slimane, who once worked for Yves Saint Laurent, a close friend of his. He also said that “fashion is the best motivation for losing weight… If you don’t like your image, you only have to change it” in an interview with a British newspaper. With his sage words in mind, a quick look at Chanel’s Fall 2017 line might have you suddenly inspired to shed a few pounds.