Brand experience and event creators pay tribute to the master of the catwalk, Karl Lagerfeld, who died in Paris yesterday.
From a pristine carousel with its fairground horses replaced with quilted handbags and pearls, through to a giant replica of the Eiffel Tower crammed into the Grand Palais in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld’s bold creations are part of a legacy that will be hard to replicate.
The pioneering fashion designer, creative director and man at the helm of the iconic House of Chanel brought a mock rocket launch to the runway in 2017 as part of the Chanel Space Station show. The following season he created an enchanting yet controversial forest complete with Chanel-branded autumnal leaves. From of-the-moment statements through to theatrical extravagance and, at times, nostalgic whimsy, the catwalk maverick’s commitment to detail with each Chanel show will be missed by many beyond the fashion industry and his influence is felt acutely by experience creators, who admired the immersive nature of his work.
He was the master of the catwalk experience, Produce UK founder and creative director Catherine Borowski said: “Love him or hate him (and we did a bit of both), he was the master of how to create a totally immersive and memorable experience, and he did this every time with some beauty and wonder at its heart. Not many people can chuck in a 265 tonne iceberg as the backdrop to their next collection and I doubt we’ll see that ever again.”
For Sophie Billi-Hardwick, marketing and new business director at XYZ, who grew up in France in the 1990s, Lagerfeld’s presence and avant-garde catwalk shows had a huge impact, both on those within the fashion industry and beyond. “He always knew how to capture the attention and make a divisive statement,” she said. “I particularly remember when the Parisian streets within the Grand Palais were alive with a feminist protest. It wasn’t only the bold and vivid colours of the collections, but it was the powerful story this symbolised that truly made its mark on me. His unconventional and outrageous campaigns will not only be missed by the fashion industry, but will be a legacy impossible to recreate.”
Read the article on Campaign here.