This year’s Met Exhibition is called Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, which is an exhibition showcasing some of the best works created by Karl Lagerfeld. His works have always inspired the fashion illustration community, and this post is a snapshot of how he inspired some of the fashion illustrators.
I created this illustration inspired by his 2010 whimsical Chanel show and his beloved cat, Choupette. As a fashion illustrator, Karl Lagerfeld was always an inspiration to me. His unlimited creativity and his way of transforming everything into beauty, from his collections to the amazing shows he produced. He wasn’t just designing clothes; he created a world of beauty and fashion. A true innovator and talent. – Adri Reynoso
Andrea Del Hoyo
For me, Karl Lagerfeld was (and still is) a huge inspiration in every aspect of his long trajectory, he was capable of leading different brands simultaneously with different styles but you can appreciate his essence in each piece. I want to achieve the same thing with my illustrations merging my style with the essence of different brands.
I know that he will continue to be a huge inspiration for me and my art, for all the impact he generated thanks to his creativity and everything that his designs and innovations brought to the fashion world.
Cheers to Karl – Andrea Del Hoyo
For me, Karl Lagerfeld was always an iconic designer with the craziest imagination. From a little black jacket to the entire outer space, there was truly nothing he could not produce a whole collection out of. I love how he would often draw inspiration from random unexpected places and seamlessly integrate it with the aesthetics of the heritage brands he designed for. The runway shows he would put on for Chanel were especially always full of surprises.
The looks I picked for this illustration are from the Chanel Fall 2015 “Brasserie Gabrielle” Collection. It featured a lot of fun details such as clutches in the form of café menus, embellishment inspired by mosaic tile patterns, and even jewelry that looked like forks twirling strands of pearl “pasta”. Even more so than grandiose gowns and spectacles, I think this was Karl Lagerfeld doing what he was best at – taking mundane everyday objects and turning them into extraordinary fashion items with his inimitable creativity. – Anna Huang
No doubt, Karl Lagerfeld is a legendary and significant person for the whole fashion industry including fashion illustration. I remember how I loved to look up his drawings and sketches when I was only starting my way as a fashion illustrator — his classic silhouettes were like a base for me, the point where I started finding my own artistic voice. – Anna Tsvell (Chanel Fall 2009)
I have chosen a look from the 2017 Met Gala: Cara Delevingne wearing a brocade Chanel pantsuit from the Spring 2017 couture collection. I think this look is inspiring in many ways because of its bold and unique design, attention to detail, versatility, and strong character. It could be worn on the red carpet or in a more casual setting and it reflects Cara’s strong and confident personality perfectly. – Clemens Maurer
This look is from Chanel Spring 2014. As always, the look has an impeccable cut, cool textures, interesting shapes, and… oh my God, what is this? Lagerfeld put all the models in sneakers! It was a turning point in the fashion trend because the sneaker fashion took off after this show. Girls all over the world started wearing sneakers under dresses and skirts. They were given comfort and fashion in one pair of shoes. This is exactly what I wanted to show in my illustration – Daria Gusanrenko
Karl has always been an inspiration to me. His black and white outfits, his recognizable and unique silhouette, his numerous and carefully chosen suits with changing details. The attitude, the culture, the knowledge… And then his marvellous collections for the greatest houses, his grandiose sets at the Grand Palais; rediscovering his vision of fashion through the years and the decades without ever getting tired of it. There is so much inspiration in this. – Elisa Walter (Chanel Fall 2019)
Instead of using the iconic sunglasses, I chose an eye makeup that resembles them. The ribbons are an ode to the Chanel boxes, and the anchor has a special meaning here – we were both born in Hamburg, Germany, and the anchor symbolizes our hometown. – Katarina Kühl (Dress: Chanel Fall 2014 Haute Couture Head piece: Chanel Spring 2009 Haute Couture, made by Katsuya Kamo Finger gloves: Chanel Fall 2009 Haute Couture)
I decided to illustrate the last Karl’s collection for Fendi.
I really love the mix of elegance, glam rock, and the retro vibe. We can find a lot of signature Karl’s details here: tight collars and turtlenecks, furs and transparent textiles, massive sunglasses, and smooth hairstyles. This collection still looks fashionable and actual and I love it.
Actually, I think that Karl never looked old-fashioned too. I was a finalist in Karl Lagerfeld’s drawing challenge and my illustration was reviewed on Instagram by brand design director Hun Kim. It was an important step in my illustrator’s career. So I’m absolutely inspired and grateful for Karl’s creations and his legacy. – Katerina Vasilyeva
I would say Karl has been a huge inspiration for me even before I began working with fashion illustration as he was one of the main designers that constantly drew my interest in fashion, style, and runway collections ever since I was a kid looking at fashion magazines. There is something very unique and special about the way he designed and presented shows. He was incredibly creative and had a strong style and aesthetic. Some of the runway setups were really mesmerizing, fun, and just out of this world. His amazing sense of color and innovative mindset continues to inspire me, my work, and my passion for fashion. – Laura Capriles
The less is more approach is in my view the most subtle way to promote fashion. Karl Lagerfeld’s designs are ode to this approach where he believed that the way a design should look like should always be simple and yet with innovative elegant designs the incorporation of accessories makes them even more appealing. His enigmatic persona translated in his fashion line which makes him my inspiration. -Mishal Mufti
Karl Lagerfeld was a phenomenal designer in the fashion world. His recognizable style inspired me to create art and inspired me to make my own style visible. – Polina Dubrovska
Karl Lagerfeld left me with a deep understanding that there is great power in black and white: the colors and the concept. Bringing together contrasting elements, textures, and ideals can create unique looks that make people question the validity of a conventional approach to fashion, attitudes, and life. His leather gloves and gorgeous cat elevated a traditional tailored suit from a conservative look to signature looks and clear evidence of taste. He saw the world unlike any of us could. From the great chaos of his desk sprung beauty immortalized in the pages of Vogue and proclaimed in the hearts of fashion fanatics forever. Anna Wintour claims he told her, “I am only a dressmaker.” We know him to be much more than that. Whenever I feel my art style is too much or unorthodox, I remember Karl’s work and confidence. There will never be another Karl Lagerfeld, but his life and legacy motivate thousands of creatives to chase their dreams and believe in their idea of beauty. Thank you, Karl. -Rafael Flores
When someone asks me do I have a person who inspires me or who l want to look up to, I never neeed to think for a long time. For me, it is definitely Karl Lagerfeld. First of all, I admire him as a person, and then as fashion designer. Karl is a brand person in his own right. His unique style that even if drawn with one simple line you recognize Karl’s silhouette. Bright, strict, mysterious and elusive. We can say that he is a gifted person, but not only that. He lived his job, worked very, very hard. Karl could sleep only 2 hours a day in the last months before the fashion show. He is an extraordinary perfectionist. He liked to bring everything to the ideal, that’s why he started photographing his collections. Karl’s sketches drawn with pencils and pastel may be viewed for hours. Chanel fashion shows each time evoked delight with fantasy and scenery. I may talk a lot about how much I admire Karl Lagerfeld’s talent. One of my dreams is to visit his library, if that is ever possible. – Tetiana Maliuta
I was inspired to create this as I love Karl Lagerfeld’s classy, glamorous designs and his sense of form. His designs are timeless and elegant. – Trina Batchelor
I love Karl Lagerfeld´s runway shows. I have never seen anything like them before! Everything is possible in his creations. I admire old-fashioned elegance in clothing, silhouettes, and hats. But what I really love is the story between Karl and Cara. Every artist needs their own muse – Veru Zachova