The first Monday in May is a big event in the US fashion industry, as it is the day of the Met Gala, the Oscars of the fashion industry. Not only do celebrities from the fields of film, fashion, music, television, sports and social media attend the gala, but the red carpet is also a place where celebrities and designers compete. The 2023 Met Gala will be dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld and will focus on the legendary works of the artist.
The exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, is inspired by The Analysis of Beauty, a book written by 18th-century artist and writer William Hogarth. Curator Andrew Bolton says the show will not be a retrospective of Lagerfeld’s life, but will focus on Lagerfeld’s evolution from 2D drawings to 3D clothing, and the relationship between drawings and finished products throughout his career.
Karl Lagerfeld has been a regular at the Met Gala, from the Seventh on Sale in 1991 to Alexander McQueen: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty — and, of course, Chanel Chanel Night in 2005.
Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty will feature about 150 pieces from five of the brands Karl Lagerfeld shaped, including BALMAIN (which he joined after winning the Woolmark in 1954), Patou, Chloe, FENDI and CHANEL, And his own eponymous brand. Between 5,000 and 10,000 pieces will be selected from each brand’s historical archives, including some from private collectors and the Met. Each main section of the exhibition is divided into 10 small sections to mark Karl Lagerfeld’s birthday on September 10th; Each section contains seven pieces, because seven is Karl Lagerfeld’s lucky number. The pavilion will be designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Curator Bolton needed to find a unifying theme to interpret and help us understand the vast volume of designs Lagerfeld created during his lifetime. And he found inspiration in the memorial service he held for Lagerfeld at the Grand Palais in Paris in 2019. He said: “The speakers included some of his top designers who have worked with him for years. His top designers at Karl Lagerfeld worked with him at Chloe, as well as Chanel and Fendi — people who have worked closely with him to turn his designs into clothes. And they mourned him with love.” That led Bolton to his subject matter: Lagerfeld’s sketches.
Karl Lagerfeld died in February 2019 at the age of 85. He had a profound influence on the fashion and art world. He joined FENDI in 1965. In 1983, CHANEL succeeded in reviving the brand, carrying forward the exquisite craftsmanship of haute couture, and making CHANEL one of the most profitable fashion brands in the world. He is arguably one of the most prolific, brilliant and accomplished fashion designers in the entire history of fashion.