In a new Life in Looks video, Vogue editor Anna Wintour looks back at some of the late designer Karl Lagerfeld’s most memorable and Innovative design, as pictured on the pages of the magazine. Wintour is perfectly capable of talking about Lagerfeld’s genius; in addition to their professional relationship, the two have been good friends for decades. “When you go back to typical Carl, he’s always like, ‘I’m just a tailor,'” Wintour says in the clip.
The new video was released ahead of the opening of the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Monday’s Met Gala, which features a dress code “in honor of Karl Lagerfeld A trip down memory lane begins with 80, Naomi Campbell’s debut cover for American Vogue, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. In the photo, Campbell is undeniably glamorous in a Chanel pearl and gold jacket, paired with more casual leggings. “I love the combination,” Wintour said. This rebellious spirit dominated the late 80 and early 80 years, and its influence on Lagerfeld was particularly evident 1989 Vogue Editorial by Peter Lindbergh. “This photo is what Karl calls ‘urban ballerina,'” Wintour said of the photo, which shows the supermodel wearing a leather jacket with a colorful, full skirt. “We call it Madonna meets Marlon Brando.”
As seen in this 1994 editorial shot by Steven Meisel, Lagerfeld’s situation quickly will ease. The joie de vivre that prevailed in the 80 mid-‘s was epitomized by a cast of superheroes in tweed miniskirt suits in a range of muted tones. “When you visit Karl, he always has a bunch of colorful pencils,” says Wintour. “He told me that the collection was based on those pencil colors.”
As the years go by, the intersection of celebrity and Chanel increases. The apex of this fashion shift was Baz Luhrmann’s Chanel commercial starring Nicole Kidman, which they made with Moulin Rouge is a new take on the success. “Even though it was a small movie, Nicole, Carl and Buzz made it a five-hour epic,” Wintour said. “There were a lot of meetings, a lot of meetings, and a lot of script discussions.” The hard work paid off: Ads are immortalized in fashion history.
The final image in the Life in Looks video is not one of Lagerfeld’s designs, but one of the famous master himself. “This last photo is a moving image of Karl towards the end of his life,” Wintour said of Annie Leibovitz’s portrait of Lagerfeld hard at work at his cluttered desk. “He’s sitting at this overcrowded desk with all kinds of books. There’s probably a million iPads in there. You’d think he’d disappear under it.”