An ode to Karl Lagerfeld

It's been just over a year and a half since the legendary Karl Lagerfeld left our world.

In honour of his incredible legacy, we look back at some of our favourite designs by the iconic creative, including a very special pair of earrings we have just launched today, in celebration of his life and work.

Looking into our archive reminds us of one of the many reasons we love working with vintage - though Mr. Lagerfeld is no longer with us today, holding his vintage treasures in our collection enables us to continually appreciate his vision, here to be worn and passed on for many more years to come.



Just launched: 1980s Karl Lagerfeld Drop Earrings in Gold Plate and Chocolate Resin.  Karl only launched his eponymous label in 1984, making these incredible, collectable earrings one of his earliest designs for the house.

Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1933, Karl had a visually creative slant from the start, a natural skill which was further developed in his university years, when he majored in drawing and history in Paris, where he had moved to as a young teenager.

In the mid 1950s, Karl's trajectory into the world of couture was seeded by an entry into a coat design competition - Karl would go on to win this competition and be joined by none other than Yves Saint Laurent, who had himself won the dress design competition held by the same award organisation.  

Soon after this, Karl was hired by Balmain as an assistant, and the rest, as they say, is history.


A pair of iconic Karl Lagerfeld era Fendi Earrings in black resin, gold plate and ruby glass cabochons (bottom left) and a gold and crystal Fendi bracelet (centre), also by Karl. These and the other precious pieces in the photos were sourced in Paris by Love and Object a number of years ago.  All now sold. 


Over the decades to follow, Karl applied himself as a freelance designer for many of the fashion greats, including Chloe, Valentino and Charles Jourdan.

But it was his 1967 hire at Fendi which solidified his status in high fashion, a role which saw him remain at the iconic house until his death - a fine example of his eye for jewels, shown above.


A 1977 Fendi advertisement in Vogue Paris, showcasing Karl's penchant for effortless elegance, a tone which permeated his work until his death.


Those who know of Karl will, however, likely be aware of him for his his most infamous role as the Creative Director at Chanel.  

A true testament to his vision and incredible talent, it is almost impossible to believe now, but when Karl was hired by the Parisian couture house in 1982, the iconic brand was facing a near imminent death.  It had been just over 10 years since Mademoiselle Coco Chanel had passed away, a fate which saw the house struggling to remain relevant without a visionary director that equalled Coco.


The multitasking master: Karl Lagerfeld fits one of his designs on top model Ines de la Fressange at Chloe's Paris studio in 1983. Karl was creative director here simultaneous to his role at Chloe and Fendi, and during this time, he was also concepting for his own label, Karl Lagerfeld, which was to launch just one year later.


The role at Chanel ultimately saw him recognised internationally as the 'Kaiser' of fashion, with almost sole responsibility for turning the brand around, to become one of the most covetable luxury companies we know and adore today. 




The ones that got away: A stunning, incredibly rare pair of 1980s gold plate and tortoise Chanel earrings sourced by us in Paris, and modelled on our founder the day they were sourced. Now sold.




A rare pair of 1980s Chanel earrings designed under Karl's creative direction, which we were lucky to have in our collection a few years ago. This pair sold to a beautiful bride-to-be - we love that our pieces get to be present during such special life moments.



Karl launched his eponymous label in 1984 - as if he didn't have enough to do already - it had been only two years into his tenure at Chanel and he was still designing at other Parisian houses, including Chloe, as seen above.

With an aesthetic designed to channel "intellectual sexiness", the 'Karl Lagerfeld' brand embodied Parisian style with Karl's signature effortless, rock-chic ease. Our newly launched drop earrings by the designer certainly emulate this look.



Above, Sakura wears our 1980s Karl Lagerfeld drop earrings in Matte Gold Plate and Chocolate resin. Shop them here.


We hope you enjoyed this fashion history trip as much as we did - for more background pieces on some of our favourite couture designers of eras past, take a look at our Journal archive, and be sure to return for weekly updates.

For more vintage designer gems available online now, click here to be taken to our current edit.




Xx L&O




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