“Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”
-- Karl Lagerfeld
Like many, I was deeply saddened to learn of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing this week. He was truly a creative genius who never grew uninspired and whose remarkable career spanned more than half a century. I really admire his ability to generate such unique work as creative director for multiple fashion houses at once, and constantly reinvent, while remaining true to his brands’ DNA. No doubt, we lost an inimitable icon who created some of the world’s most significant and timeless art. To try and articulate the contributions he made to the world would be a disservice; his impact on fashion, design, culture and society are too great to even fully comprehend. His legacy and indelible imprint will inevitably live on. And, I know I’ll cherish my inspiration drawn from him along with his designs that hang in my closet.
One of my favorite Karl memories was seeing him photographed with Dottling, the safe company that LA Closet Design represents in the U.S. Dressed in his typical “uniform” he helped make the Dottling look ultra-chic.
Another memory is when I saw a story a few years ago that toured Karl’s spacious pied-à-terre. I found it fascinating that a person with such a vibrant design aesthetic retreated to a monochromatic, and in some spaces, sterile-feeling, home. While his muted gray apartment straddled modern and classic, the most memorable part of his home was not his closet (surprisingly!), but rather his insane book collection. I’d love to know when he found time to read while designing for multiple fashion houses!
Not only was Karl a visionary in the fashion world, he had an undeniable aesthetic that was entirely his own, and allowed him to seamlessly bridge the gap between fashion and interiors! Most recently, the Hotel de Crillon in Paris commissioned his inimitable eye for the re-design of their most exclusive guest suites. The resulting collaboration was timeless, modern, and clearly Karl.
As the world mourns, perhaps the best way to pay tribute to the famous fashion fixture is to continue to make the world a chicer place, and purchase a piece of Chanel, Fendi or his namesake Karl Lagerfeld merchandise. If you need some ideas, here are few pieces that are sure to reflect his creative spirit: