Karl Lagerfeld RIP

Dear Karl: RIP to the man who changed fashion.

So even before I had learned about Karl Lagerfeld’s death I had been thinking about starting a series of open letters to designers.. Designers who have changed the shape of fashion and deserve recognition (alive or dead)… And it seemed like the perfect time to implement this, because today is a day where all of fashion will be wearing black.

Dear Karl,

We all wonder what our deaths will look like; what legacy we will leave behind, and whether we will be championed or forgotten.  You, will never be seen as anything but the innovator, the legacy of chanel, and a man and designer with impeccable taste.
“I was 6 years old. I was sitting on my mother’s desk in the country estate, in the big house , on her desk, where I was not supposed to sit and sketch and I said to myself: You will become very famous.” Karl Lagerfeld
You clearly knew your path and talent at a young age, and you did indeed become very famous. But for more than just beautiful sketches and dresses. You became famous for reinvigorating our love of fashion’s finest. The detail, the new. You changed what we believed we knew about brands like Chanel and made a house that was built on the classics into modern works of art that still reflected their dna. That will never be forgotten, and it will be almost impossible to successfully follow. You chose to lead, lead the fashion industry to a new and better place. Your ability to design until your vision was brought to fruition is what we should all aspire to be. Yes, I personally believe perfect is the enemy of good…But when it comes to a piece that your heart and soul went into, you are absolutely right when you said “The most important piece in the house is the garbage can. You were not afraid to start over, and you were not afraid to reinvent elements to your brands identity and to yourself. This, was obvious a key element to your success in maintaining not only relevancy but a god like status within the fashion world.

The beautiful part of designing, is physically you leave yourself behind.  Every garment you designed whether carefully preserved in a closet, or being worn to the latest and greatest represents your time and effort.

I remember first reading about your story ins YSL’s biography The Beautiful Fall,  we all know how you felt about personal memoirs but that didn’t stop others from trying to capture the magic of your journey. From being a woolmark prize winner at a very young age, to assisting at Balmain and designing pieces for elevated houses like Chloe and Valentinio you became a name within yourself.  But, your true calling was Chanel. Embarrrisingly enough, I love chanel so much I even have the children book about Gabrielle and her hat making journey for my son. I think I enjoy it more than he does. While I was too young to remember this in person, I studied your bold fashion inspirations such as the Quran and your vehement and voracious quotes on athlesiure as it sprouted into a major trend within the past decade.

You refused to follow the footprints already marked on the path, instead you saw a completely different, more magical path.  For that, we are all grateful.

Chanel, is a brand that you covet; that you collect like fine art.  It is not just part of the logo mania fad, it is classic and new all in one. So we cherish our pieces, and hold them as a little piece of your brilliance and effect on this world. Today, fashion mourns your loss. It really won’t be the same without you.
“I am very much down to Earth. Just not this Earth.” Karl Lagerfeld
We are all better designers (and better dressed) because of your vision. May your vision live on, may your creativity spread, and may you be remembered as the man who changed fashion and found the loophole in rebirth. Forever grateful, The fashion community. and Gabrielle
COMMENTS
  • alexis

    REPLY

    RIP KARL, he was just amazing

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      he was truly an artist….

      February 20, 2019
  • lauren

    REPLY

    this is a beautiful letter, i think this a great idea for a series! RIP

    February 20, 2019
  • elizabeth

    REPLY

    aww, his death is so sad… I can’t believe he is actually gone. And truly, who could ever follow in his footsteps at chanel?!

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      I have no idea who they will choose to follow his design footsteps, but WOW, what a task that will be.. Although, I do this sara burton is doing a great job following in Lee’s footsteps, so who knows? Maybe someone lesser known will be the answer.

      February 20, 2019
  • rebecca

    REPLY

    this is beautiful, and a very thoughtful way to remember him.

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      I’m so glad you liked the letter!

      February 20, 2019
  • arielle

    REPLY

    he was a misogynist and only like slim euro centric women… he was disgusting and hated “curvy women”. yes, he designed well, but we can’t overlook this type of behavior. so gross.

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      I do know some of his quotes and his outlooks were not only hurtful to certain groups of people, but were antiquated in nature. He was not modern in his thinking- I totally agree with you on this.. and think it should not be tolerated from that point of view. Specifically, I was talking about a man who did change the face of fashion, and did do beautiful things for chanel and in design. Because he has passed, I think its ok to separate out “the work” and the person. If he was still alive, and I wrote an open letter to him I would praise him for his design eye, but suggest he open himself up to all sizes and all races equally.

      However, he has passed away… And in respecting that, i choose to focus on what he did give fashion, and the design was was pretty spectacular.

      I appreciate and respect your opinion and also see from that perspective why this post might not be for everyone.
      I truly I hope I did not offend you, and I appreciate you voicing this concern to me… as I personally love and respect ALL sizes, races, and genders equally.

      February 20, 2019
      • arielle

        REPLY

        So i get it, and I appreciate you addressing this. I was not saying his misogyny or warped view was also yours, I don’t get that feeling from you AT ALL.
        I just thought it should be noted, as a man he had some MAJOR flaws and some very terrible beliefs.

        While I don’t agree you can separate out the man from the work, I do understand why you chose to do this…For me, I would prefer just not read about him as an angel- when he wasn’t one.

        But i do like the concept of this series and hope to see some more open letters about better, more inclusive designers.

        February 20, 2019
        • admin

          REPLY

          Thank you for this thoughtful note and expressing your opinion. I totally respect it and I’m so very grateful you understand that his warped sense of view of the world is NOT something I would EVER share. From that perspective, I agree he truly needed to modernize with the times.

          I’m glad you like this concept, and the next one I write I will purposely choose a better role model all around…

          thank you for taking the time to express this, I always welcome constructive criticism and debate.. It’s good to educate and expand ourselves… 🙂

          February 20, 2019
  • lauren elizabeth

    REPLY

    hes so gross, his quote about curvy women…. ew. i’m disappointed you wrote this.

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      I am sorry you feel that way. I hate his quote about curvy women. And I specifically didn’t include it. As I said to a few other commenters on here, I find since hes dead I tried only to focus on his body of work. I’m sorry if that offended you, and I promise my next post in this series will focus on a better role model all around. I would love any suggestions you have for someone more inclusive. Thank you for taking the time to comment, this feedback is important. ANd I am obviously still learning, so I never want to offend or for anyone to assume my views are anywhere near his on topics of race, gender, or size.

      February 20, 2019
  • robertj

    REPLY

    I don’t say this lightly but i’m glad he is dead. he designed beautiful clothes but he was NOT a beautiful person… ew

    February 20, 2019
    • admin

      REPLY

      Ok, well no matter the person I don’t think its appropriate to say you are glad he’s dead. I agree he was a great designer, but not always the best person. I think since he’s dead we can separate the work from the man. If he was still alive, I would absolutely write to him to be more inclusive and open. But he’s gone, and I think his vision as a “designer only” can be celebrated without commemorating or mentioning his views as a person. We do that all the time with artists and figures within history. He will be remembered for both, but for the purpose of this letter, I write about him and his impact on fashion as a designer… I’m sorry you didn’t like this post. I will pick a better role model next time.
      I hope you know that me expressing love for his art, does not mean in any way shape or form I support the beliefs or quotes he said about women of size or his euro centric preference.
      I love all shapes, colors, and genders.

      February 20, 2019
      • robertj

        REPLY

        thank you for writing this, i understand what you were going for and i’m glad to hear you don’t support those type of beliefs. i look forward to seeing who you pick next.

        February 20, 2019
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