Karl Lagerfeld: Behind the line of beauty

Although the 2023 Met Gala has ended just as quickly as it had begun, the tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld has cemented itself as an iconic moment in fashion’s history.

An annual affair at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Met Gala raises funds for the museum’s Costume Institute and is themed according to the institute’s fashion exhibition held that year.

Years later and the Met Gala has acknowledged Lagerfeld’s instrumental role in not only fashion design but fashion history as well.

Spanning a six-decade career, a posthumous exhibition titled ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’, will be held from 5 May through till 13 July. The expansive collection will include over 150 objects on display, and will pay tribute to the various designs created during his tenure at fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Balmain, Patou, and his own namesake label.

This year’s event was co-hosted by pop singer Dua Lipa, actresses Penélope Cruz and Michaela Coel, tennis sportsman Roger Federer, and as always, Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour.

The theme was simple yet impactful, with a dress code intended to honour the designer in the wake of his passing in early 2019 due to pancreatic cancer.

Prominent figures across several industries such as film, music, sport, fashion, art, and politics, are known for assembling together on the iconic steps of the museum once a year- a real-life illustration of the world’s 100 most influential people in present time- dressed head to toe in custom or archival designs that are fit for theme.

From enormous cats to silver embazzled skin to Lagerfeld’s signature tweed fabrics and black-and-white ensemble, the exclusive steps of the Met Gala were no strangers to outrageously dressed A-list attendees this year.

Visualised (left to right): Anok Yai, Jared Leto, Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa, Penélope Cruz, Doja Cat, and Kristen Stewart.

A pioneer of fashion design and creative direction, the 85 year-old steered several fashion houses, most iconically Chanel, into a realm of luxury and fantastical visions.

Beginning in the 1950’s, the then young and burgeoning artist was bursting at the seams with designed silhouettes that would forever be stitched to his name.

In spite of the extensive contributions made towards fashion among several brands, it was here- as creative director of Chanel- that Lagerfeld was able to truly grasp the couture fashion world in the palm of his fingerless-gloved hand.

Holding this position from 1983 until his passing, the German designer revolutionised the fashion house’s brand and resurfaced it to its former glory as a high luxury label.