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Channeling Chanel for fall

Lagerfeld's ready-to-wear re-defines a season

 by Kalea Yoshida
Web Devil

 published on Friday, April 9, 2004


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There are many reasons for Designer Karl Lagerfeld's success, some of them being his talent and vast experience in the industry. Born in Hamburg, he emigrated to Paris and began his career in fashion at the young age of 17. His designing résumé is impressive and includes the houses of Charles Jourdan, Valentino, and Krizia.

In 1964, Lagerfeld left the world of fashion to study art in Italy for eight years. Not able to stay away from his first love, he returned to work at Fendi as a design consultant. It wasn't until he reached the house of Chloe, where his 1972 "Deco" collection received international attention.

Leaving Chloe in 1983, Lagerfeld settled in at Chanel as the director of collections and ready-to-wear. Vogue has since reported that his traditional box jacket and denim mini skirt combo back in '91 was one of the best moments of his career. They went on to say that Lagerfeld is the "unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment," a difficult title to claim as far as industry standards are concerned. The German-born designer is fluent in German, Italian, French, and English and loves antiques. In 2000, he collaborated with the famous London-based Christie's to auction off a 320-piece lot of antiques, dating back to the 18th century. The final bid went to an unknown buyer for $21.7 million.

Last month he unveiled his latest creation for Chanel, the fall 2004 ready-to-wear collection in Paris. This season revealed a looser, androgynous look for women that tells a tale of urban exploration. Tweed jackets were paired with basic pants and newsboy caps, while the dresses were sheer and the skirts, lacy. Moving slightly away from the usual Neapolitan and pastel hues, Lagerfeld decided to experiment with yellows, purples, splashes of royal blue and canary yellow. The colors of the American flag made their appearance as well, in the form of layered outfits and on the trim of blouses and knee-length skirts. The overcoats were long and so were dress lengths. A few pieces contained patterns and colors that were reminiscent of a Southwestern motif.

Lagerfeld has outdone himself by once again, re-defining the look of Chanel this season and provided the industry with a palate of brilliance and superb style. Fall pieces won't hit Chanel stores until later this year, but you can view the entire collection now.

Reach the reporter at kalea.yoshida@asu.edu



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