Karl Lagerfeld, one of the 20th century’s best fashion designers, died Tuesday in Paris. Credited with saving Chanel while he became its innovative director, Lagerfeld turned into recognized, no longer most straightforward for his stylistic brilliance, however additionally his outspoken and debatable remarks.
His perspective on fashion turned valuable, but his reviews of girls represent the darker facet of the industry.
The haute couture king informed the New York Times that style designers are artisans, not artists. As catwalk appears have emerged as an increasing number of unattainable, with models debuting styles you wouldn’t see anywhere; however, the runway, Lagerfeld emphasized style’s software.
Designers “take themselves very severely because they want to be taken as artists,” he said. “I think we’re artisans. It’s an implemented art. There’s nothing awful about that. If you need to do artwork, then display it in a gallery.”
Despite his lifetime contracts with excessive-fashion labels Chanel and Fendi, Lagerfeld embodied a down-to-earth angle on clothes. “People purchase dresses to be happy,” he said.
But the fashion designer’s legacy is tainted by the way he conformed to enterprise stereotypes. Fashion may be extra than a bit of artwork to him. However, women had been now not.
Lagerfeld had a habit of complaining about ladies’ bodies, whether or not he was announcing they appeared unpleasant or needed to shed pounds. He was known as Adele “a touch too fat” as an aside while discussing her lovable voice and later insulted plus-sized ladies once more: “No one desires to see curvy girls at the catwalk.”
He also grumbled approximately other people’s faces. In 2012, he insulted Pippa Middleton, saying the Duchess of Cambridge is stunning, but “her sister struggles. I’m not too fond of the sister’s face. She should handiest display her lower back.”
Worst of all, Lagerfeld disregarded objections to sexual harassment inside the enterprise. He instructed Numero mag remaining spring that he become “fed up” with the #MeToo movement. “If you don’t want your pants pulled approximately,” he stated, “don’t become a version! Join a nunnery; there’ll continually be a place for you inside the convent.”
Lillian Fallon, a New York City-primarily based style creator, stated Lagerfeld’s conflicting legacy represents a broader fashion. “His comments on plus-size women and models in widespread sort of summarizing the elitist mindset of the fashion industry and the treatment of women as items intended for consumption,” Fallon stated. “He seemed to embody quite a few the bad stereotypes of the style industry.”
Lagerfeld “surely became not on board with the push to have a greater correct representation of girls and wasn’t simply inquisitive about various splendor.”
While obituaries awareness on his more humorous costs — Lagerfeld once stated that “sweatpants are a sign of defeat” — we need to consider that he became best midway modern. The clothier’s legacy turned into certainly one of breaking style traits but conforming to its old tropes.