Karl Lagerfeld and sculpture?!

“I'm very much down to earth. Just not this earth." But which earth, Karl? After his death, Karl Lagerfeld is remembered as a fashion star, a great designer, an important trendsetter in the fashion world and an outstanding personality who often made cynical comments. But did he ever make a detour into the world of sculpture?

"People who wear sweatpants have lost control of their lives." “I hate the word cheap. People are cheap, clothing is expensive or inexpensive.” It is because of these and other quotes that Karl Lagerfeld was loved or hated - regardless, these comments have become some of his many trademarks nevertheless. He was a fashion designer who polarized people not only with his fashion, but above all with his personality. Whether you are familiar with him as a fashion tsar, a genius, a cynic, a designer or a striking personality, no one usually associates him with the world of sculpture at first thought. But does that really do him justice?
Born in Hamburg in 1933 (his year of birth is not clearly documented, there is speculation between 1933 and 1938, but most sources point to 1933), Karl Lagerfeld became famous in the French fashion world of the 1950’s.
At that time he began his work with fashion groups such as Balmain, Patou, Chloé and Fendi, until he was appointed creative director of Chanel in 1983, remaining loyal to the brand until the end. He was 85 years old, has left behind a fashion empire and was rightly celebrated as a creative mind and one of the greatest artists in the fashion world. But what about the sculpture scene?
If we look back at the years 2011 and 2018, we can find connections between Lagerfeld and three-dimensional art.
In 2011, together with master chocolatier Patrick Roger and Langnese, Karl Lagerfeld designed a chocolate hotel suite in the Paris luxury hotel "La Réserve". The desk, carpet, bed, bedspread and even a pillow with lace were personally designed by the fashion guru and then made of Belgian Magnum chocolate by Roger. The chocolate sculpture of his muse Baptiste Giabiconi on the chocolate bed was a special feast for the eyes and mouth - good enough to eat!
This was followed in 2018 by the opening of his first and last sculpture exhibition in Paris at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Here he presented his collection entitled Architectures, which includes tables, lamps, consoles, fountains and mirrors and, according to "Karl" - as the designer most recently liked to market himself, having turned his name into a brand - and which was inspired by antiquity and Greek architecture. To bring his pieces, which were created in collaboration with designer and architect Aline Asmar d'Amman, to life, he used natural stone - in fact two very special types. These two types of marble are "Arabescato Fantastico" and "Nero Marguina". And, as one would expect, the first of these two hasn't been mined for thirty years.

Karl Lagerfeld | Untitled II 2018
Marble Nero Marquina
H90 L230 W60cm /H35.4 L90.5 W23.6 IN
limited edition of 8 + 4 AP
© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

As you can see in the photos, Lagerfeld has stuck with his favorite colors and has remained true to himself – black and white have become his trademark in all areas of his art and his own clothing style.
The sculptural works are limited editions with eight copies in both colors and four artist designs, all worked and polished by Italian artists after being created by CNC robots.
So yes! Karl Lagerfeld has also made a detour into the world of sculpture - good for him, because he would have missed something worthwhile.
One can argue about whether the fashion world and the models, who often have ‘manufactured’ bodies, because they are well-trained or thin, who are then dressed with garments tailored to them, represent a real and living form of sculpture in a certain way.
But what is certain is that Karl Lagerfeld has shaped many types of art and will be remembered by many people from "different" worlds in numerous ways, and also in this world, even after his death. Thus the wish he made during his lifetime, will surely come true: "I think it is better for people to turn over in their graves, than to rest forever".

Karl Lagerfeld | Untitled II 2018 Marble Nero Marquina H90 L230 W60cm /H35,4 L90,5 W23,6 IN limited edition of 8 + 4 AP

Karl Lagerfeld | Untitled II 2018 Marble Nero Marquina H90 L230 W60cm /H35.4 L90.5 W23.6 IN limited edition of 8 + 4 AP © Carpenters Workshop Gallery


Author: Natalia Nedza 

The "new one" at sculpture network, art lover and fashion enthusiast. It is my pleasure to present you another, less known side of Karl Lagerfeld.



Titelbild: Karl Lagerfeld designs a hotel suite made of chocolate (01.05.2011), France © Langnese

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