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Karl Lagerfeld

By Emily Ardizzone

Karl Lagerfeld S/S 97, photograph by Niall McInerney, Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive. Used with permission.
Karl Lagerfeld: a name synonymous with high fashion and discerning taste, a name that also sends shivers down the spines of those that fall victim to his quick wit and cutting criticism. In the midst of Fashion Week chaos, Lagerfeld celebrated his birthday on September 10th. As he nears the end of his seventh decade, 2013 will be a year to remember for one of the most iconic and important men in contemporary fashion.

The Berg Fashion Library looks back at his numerous achievements that span decades and design houses with a free article documenting his outstanding career in the fashion industry. To whet your appetite, this photograph from the Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive comes from one of Lagerfeld’s earliest shows for his own label. Taken during Lagerfeld’s Spring/Summer 1997 collection, supermodel Helena Christensen wears a figure-hugging navy gown, exuding ease and elegance.

The early 90s were a period of transition for Lagerfeld as he notoriously lost over 100 pounds in weight so that he could wear one of fellow designer Hedi Slimane’s skinny suits, which now have become part of his iconic, signature style.

Karl Lagerfeld S/S 97, photograph by Niall McInerney, Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive. Used with permission.
Another rare photograph from Bloomsbury’s Fashion Photography Archive of the man himself taken during the finale of his Spring/Summer 1997 show shows his sunglasses and slicked-back hair are present as ever. Already a major player in the fashion world at this time, his dedication to fashion is still unparalleled. Turning eighty next year, he maintains his position as a doyen of contemporary style and remains a formidable fashion force to be reckoned with.

Emily Ardizzone is the Editorial Assistant at Berg Publishers, an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, with responsibility for the Berg Fashion Library and other fashion projects including the recently acquired Fashion Photography Archive. Read previous Berg Fashion blog posts.

Informed by prestigious academic and library advisors, and anchored by the 10-volume Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, the Berg Fashion Library is the first online resource to provide access to interdisciplinary and integrated text, image, and journal content on world dress and fashion. The Berg Fashion Library offers users cross-searchable access to an expanding range of essential resources in this discipline of growing importance and relevance and will be of use to anyone working in, researching, or studying fashion, anthropology, art history, history, museum studies, and cultural studies.

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