There are fashion designers a plenty, but few as iconic and notorious as the late Karl Lagerfeld who sadly passed away on Tuesday 19th Feb (2019). His illustrious career spanned over 65 years; working as creative director for Italian fashion house Fendi then joining Chanel in 1983, a decade after Coco Chanel died. Arguably the most prestigious couture house to helm, his work at Chanel has been meteoric, with his designs bringing new life to the label.
Lagerfeld himself was originally born in Hamburg, Germany in 1933 but spent most of his adult life in Paris. He had an intense love affair with France and everything French, and Chanel was the Frenchest of the French brands! Appropriately, he was awarded Paris’s highest honour in 2017, the Grand Vermeil. On being presented the medal, the mayor Anne Hidalgo said, ‘Paris loves you – you are Paris’.
Despite his success and acclaim working behind the scenes as a designer, Karl Lagerfeld also chose to claim the limelight publicly. He was renowned for courting controversy and sported a signature look that became as celebrated as his work. He said of his own appearance ‘I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.’ Starched white collared shirts, leather fingerless gloves, tail coat suits, a ponytail and most importantly his black sunglasses, which were always a constant and became his moniker.
It seems some of the world’s most successful people are known for wearing virtually the same thing every day, the likes of Steve Jobs , Hilary Clinton and Anna Wintour. Karl Lagerfeld’s was no different, his ‘uniform’ became synonymous with his identity, even the logo to his inaugural brand, ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ featured a side profile of his face. Close friend and rival Yves Saint Laurent was also renowned for his homogenous look of suit and signature eyewear.
‘Sunglasses are like eyeshadow; they make everything look a little younger and pretty’ (Karl Lagerfeld)
Whilst most of us wouldn’t dream of wearing the same thing every day, there is something incredibly powerful about owning your own style, not to mention the simplicity of choosing your outfit in the morning! Although colour and shape may inevitable vary throughout the years, creating your own personal persona certainly has its benefits, and eyewear is by far the easiest place to start. Choosing a signature frame (or frame shape) is a very simple way to define your personality and create an image for yourself. Being bold with your choice of eyewear allows you to stand out in a crowd even if your clothes are very simple or classic. So why not define your style with a strong pair of frames, despite the uniformity of having a ‘look’, there’s no doubt that it screams confidence, and who knows, maybe it will bring you the success of Karl Lagerfeld or Steve Jobs!