American Vogue has cast iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld in the spotlight, featuring 10 looks of the master’s creations for the cover of its May issue, photographed at the Palais Royal in Paris by Annie Leibovitz.
With a career spanning seven decades, Mr Lagerfeld’s tenures at Fendi and Chanel, respectively starting in 1967 and 1983, were for life, and ended at both houses at his death in 2019.
Ahead of next month’s Met Ball, the annual fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, Vogue has published a tribute led by editor in chief Anna Wintour, who is also the mastermind behind the museum's annual event.
Mr Lagerfeld famously quipped fashion didn’t belong in museums and yet so much of his life’s work is a celebration of his unequivocal creative genius.
"Fashion doesn't belong in museums"
In its May issue, Vogue interviews ten designers who praised Mr Lagerfeld, giving personal anecdotes and insights into their relationships, including Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, Thom Browne, Donatella Versace, Jun Takahashi of Undercover, Christopher John Rogers, John Galliano of Maison Margiela, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Chitose Abe of Sacai, Gucci and Simone Rocha.
This year’s Met Gala honours Mr Lagerfeld by focusing on the designer’s stylistic vocabulary as expressed in aesthetic themes that appear time and again in his fashions from the 1950s to his final collection in 2019. The show will spotlight the German-born designer’s unique working methodology, with most of the approximately 150 pieces on display to be accompanied by Lagerfeld’s sketches, which underscore his complex creative process and the collaborative relationships with his premieres, or head seamstresses.
Lagerfeld’s fluid lines united his designs for Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel, and his eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld, creating a diverse and prolific body of work unparalleled in the history of fashion.
One of the most striking photo’s in Vogue’s shoot includes model Naomi Campbell holding Choupette, Mr Lagerfeld’s beloved cat.
The exhibition Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty opens to the public May 5th. American Vogue's May issue is out now.