Fashion juggernaut Karl Lagerfeld is bringing a new spectacle to our sunny shores, but the German designer hasn’t been in runway mode recently. Instead, Lagerfeld has turned his eye for fashion to another aspect of the industry: photography.
For a recent book, Lagerfeld shot 109 photographs of celebrities and fashion personalities in oh-so-chic, little black Chanel jackets. The beautifully cut garment become an icon on the shoulders of Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Onassis and Catherine Deneuve – on the streets, in print ads and up on the silver screen.
For 100 years, these chic staples have been the epitome of simple elegance, and Lagerfeld's portraits are the perfect eclectic and effortless celebration of the garment's longevity. This is probably owing to Lagerfeld's intimate understanding of the garment and its significance for the French label – he has been Chanel’s chief designer since 1983.
The shoots were styled by Carine Roitfeld. As one of the world's edgiest and most irreverent stylists, Roitfeld has worked as editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris and currently holds the reigns at her own magazine, CR Fashion Book.
Together, Lagerfeld and Roitfeld reinvisioned the high-end fashion staple over and over for each of their muses. They cut and rolled the sleeves and layered the jacket under a leather vest for British punk model Alice Dellal; casually tied one high around the waist of Spanish actress and model Astrid Bergès-Frisbey in a casual 'street snap' look; and even fashioned one into a headdress for Sarah Jessica Parker. Roitfeld appears in the book too, channelling the one and only Coco Chanel to a tee.
This month, prints from The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld are Sydney-bound. The exhibition will take up residence in Pier 2/3 for two weeks, and has already recieved high fashion praise in Tokyo and London.
While the exhibition runs, Chanel’s Castlreagh Street store, which has just undergone extensive renovations, will also feature an exhibition of little black jackets from recent Chanel collections. Some things, it seems, never go out of fashion.