A Tribute to a Disruptive Fashion Icon: Karl Lagerfeld

Described as a “pioneering, young German designer,” Karl Lagerfeld redefined style in a way that few other designers have. Becoming the creative director at Chanel and Fendi, the fashionista was behind a number of styles as iconic as his own. Indeed, before his death in February 2019, the man himself was known for his distinctive look. Almost always seen in black sunglasses, high collars and fingerless gloves, all offset with his signature white hair, Lagerfeld was a man of contrasts. That showed both in his work and his personal life.

For years, he toyed with the media about his age and heritage. Constantly changing his story, it seemed as though Lagerfeld loved to create a sense of unrest among those that followed him. Of course, nowhere is this clearer than in his work. After working as Pierre Balmain’s assistant for three years, Lagerfeld became artistic director for Jean Patou in 1958. A stint in Rome followed before he was hired by Fendi to “modernize” their fur line. It was here that he made his first major impression on the fashion world.

Making Up His Own Rules

Tearing up the rulebook, Lagerfeld produced a collection comprised of pieces made from rabbit, mole and squirrel. The focus on elegance dragged fur into high fashion but also drew criticism from animal rights activists. Again, this was Lagerfeld’s desire to inspire, entertain and disrupt coming to the fore. In the 1980s, he was back at it with Chanel. This time, his work on the brand’s ready-to-wear fashion line was to have the biggest impact. Perhaps his most significant contribution to Chanel was the interlocked CC monograph. Now a symbol of high-end high street fashion, the logo has made Chanel as much of a household name as a runway leader.

Away from the garments he designed, Lagerfeld’s most notable contribution to fashion was his shows. Described by Jess Cartner-Morley as the “Hollywoodification” of fashion, Lagerfeld was always pushing the boundaries. In 2015, he highlighted the art of the peaceful protest for the spring/summer show before jumping on the casino bandwagon to host a cocktail chic event in Paris later in the year.

As all of the great designers do, Lagerfeld took his cues from the world around him. Since the turn of the millennium, casino gaming has gained prominence thanks, largely, to the internet. Today, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the UK, France or New Zealand, online gaming sites such as VegasSlotsOnline.com offer a Vegas-style experience in the comfort of your armchair. From progressive jackpot pokies and loyalty rewards to Bitcoin deposits and mobile options, the industry offers something for everyone. Lagerfeld's use of a casino floor in his 2015 show is a prime example of how he was able to spot trends ahead of time, as he did for most of his life.

Icons that Will Last More than a Lifetime

With variety and access have come notoriety and revenue. Today, the online casino industry is worth more than $50 billion. This, in turn, has reinvigorated interest in live gaming hubs such as Las Vegas. Buoyed by this, Lagerfeld set up a casino inside the Grand Palais. As stars such as Kristen Stewart played roulette and blackjack, models weaved their way around the tables, showing off the latest creations from Chanel. Such was the success of the show that Lagerfeld went on to design the Grand Lisboa Palace resort in Macau. Although it didn’t open until after his death, the casino now stands as a tribute to the life and work of Lagerfeld.

As bold yet stylish as the man himself, the casino complex features four main towers. Boasting a renaissance look, the venue is one of the most impressive in Macau. In fact, by going against the grain and creating a classic look in a modern setting, Lagerfeld has, once again, left a lasting impression. Even though his name may not be as familiar to the masses as someone such as Giorgio Armani and his famous Emporio collection, Lagerfeld will always be held in high regard by those in fashion. As disruptive as he was inspirational, the man from Germany and his creations will live on for many decades to come.   

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