7 Gorgeous Photos You Didn't Know Karl Lagerfeld Shot
Since the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld has used photography to creatively direct the behemoth fashion houses that are Chanel and Fendi. Through carefully calculated, yet seemingly effortless photographs, he has taken full control of the imagery that goes hand-in-hand with his incredible designs. His commercial photography can be found in the pages of major fashion publications—in the October 2016 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, he shot “Gigi Hadid’s Couture Fairy Tale,” an editorial staring Ms. Hadid and styled by Amanda Harlech—and is equally as elegant and provocative as his personal photography, which stylistically knows no bounds. Never without his black fingerless gloves, he embodies the ultimate fashion photography mystery maven—and has a whole body of little-known work to match. Below, revel in some of Lagerfeld’s most obscure, and utterly glorious, shots.
Especially adept at portraiture, Lagerfeld showcased a series of images he shot of Linda Evangelista at his 2010 show in Paris, Parcours de Travail (Work in Progress). Working outside the restraints of commercial photography, Lagerfeld’s use of asymmetrical color on Evangelista’s face is so beautiful, it recalls the abstract paintings of Pablo Picasso.
Lagerfeld shot the 2003 campaign for Chanel, starring Mariacarla Boscono and Frankie Rayder, in all of its beachy glory. I mean, it features Chanel surfboards for god’s sake. The entire campaign is like Jackie O-Dogtown and Z-Boys orgy, a perfect marriage of Chanel elegance and that chill surf mentality.
We’ve always preferred pearls as body jewelry—we’ve just never really been given the chance to demonstrate why. Well here, a young Kate Moss, shot by Lagerfeld, makes a pretty airtight case for this look. It’s likely Lagerfeld was paying cheeky homage to his predecessor with when he snapped—and possibly giving the world a glimpse into what his swimsuit getup would look like if he ever decides to take off those gloves.
The Eiffel Tower
At the Havana, Cuba installment of his exhibit Work in Progress—or, as they say in Cuba, Obra en Proceso—was a close-up shot of Paris’ most prominent landmark. The focal point of the photograph emphasizes the tower’s architectural complexity and industrial beauty. Conspicuously lacking any human subject, this may be one of Lagerfeld’s most personal shots to date.
Among the countless photo that Lagerfeld has taken of Baptiste Giabiconi—his French muse and the current face of Chanel, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld—are a particularly memorable series of unfiltered shots that were first published in Purple Magazine‘s FW09 issue. In the photos, Giabiconi prances around in black pumps with more grace than any of us could ever muster. In an interview with WWD, Lagerfeld described Baptiste as, “a boy version of Gisele [Bündchen]: skinny, skinny but with an athletic body – good for clothes and great with no clothes.” We can’t argue with that.
In a 1991 interview for Aperture, Lagerfeld declared his preference for black-and-white photography. Over a decade later, Lagerfeld snapped this black-and-white gem of Ryan Gosling for Interview Magazine when he was but a mere baby—a goddamn 22-year-old, scruffed-up, pre-Notebook godsent.
Self Portrait featuring Choupette the Cat
Turns out, Lagerfeld is not only a wiz at portraiture, but is also incredibly skilled at self-portraits—which he makes abundantly clear in the below self-portrait of himself and his now internet-famous, fuzzy companion, Choupette. In a surprising display of modesty, Lagerfeld lets Choupette take the spotlight here. Yet as he made clear in an interview with Numéro, if there’s anyone in the world that can get him to concede to second-in-command, it’s ‘ette; comparing the cat’s life to Velasquez’s Las Meninas, he described her as “the Infanta in the middle in white with everyone fussing around her.”
Images via W, Penny LA, Fashion Ad Explorer, Montecristo Magazine, Purple Magazine, Interview Magazine, and Numéro Magazine.
Stay tuned to Milk for more images worth ogling.