WEEKLY

FASHION IS AN ATTITUDE
時尚,始於態度

2019年2月19日,一顆千年難得一遇的巨星殞落了。人稱「老佛爺」的Karl Lagerfeld曾經以最閃爍耀眼的姿態,劃破時尚的界限,獨領風騷,成為時裝界的翹楚和指標。他的逝世無疑使人痛心疾首,不過其深入民心的形象,包括那副招牌的墨鏡、整齊的銀髮,以及筆挺的西裝,將會長留在我們的心中,永不褪去。

一代奇才的誕生
愛迪生說過,天才是「一分的天分加上九十九分的努力」。這句精闢獨到的說話,顯然不適用於Karl Lagerfeld身上,因為他生來就是時裝設計的天才。他於1933年9月10日在德國出生,父親是個商人,故他的家境富裕。在這樣的生活環境之下,他的童年本應是無憂無慮的,然而他卻恨不得快點長大成人,實現時裝夢。四歲那年,他希望要一個衣架作為生日禮物;六歲那年,他已精通英文、法文、德文,每天專注看書、畫畫,甚至不跟其他同齡的孩子交流。

直至十四歲,Karl Lagerfeld終於能移居法國巴黎,正式展開奇妙的時尚旅程。1955年,他贏得國際羊毛秘書處所舉辦的時尚設計大賽(即現在的國際羊毛標誌大獎),遂於時尚界打響名堂。他首先獲得頂尖設計師Pierre Balmain的青睞,擔任其助理一職,繼而陸續出任Jean Patou及Chloé等著名品牌的設計師。縱然每個品牌的風格迥然不同,但他仍能設計出一件件令人愛不釋手的單品。

爾後,他於1965年在Fendi擔任藝術總監,又在1983年接下Chanel藝術總監的工作。公然穿梭於兩大品牌的他,不但沒有半點應接不暇,反而顯得游刃有餘,大力推行改革,成功穩住品牌的地位及形象。

破舊立新
Karl Lagerfeld之所以如此受人景仰,是由於他對時裝有一番獨特的詮釋。在Fendi,他提出用動物的毛皮製作為皮草,更把皮草融入日常穿搭,引領品牌走向高峰。Chanel自創辦人Gabrielle Chanel與世長辭後,業績一直處於下滑狀態,但Karl Lagerfeld竟有如醫生般,令本來漸漸沒落的品牌「起死回生」。由Gabrielle Chanel帶領的Chanel展現出一種自由獨立的感覺,而傳到Karl Lagerfeld的手裏,他亦勇於在經典的黑白風格裏尋找突破,加上珍珠、山茶花等配飾,讓Chanel的服裝從此變得不一樣。另外,由他掌鏡的時裝秀也富有天馬行空的元素,迷你海灘、皇宮、郵輪、太空火箭……每個別出心裁的場景,都把時裝帶到另一個層次。

我行我素 活出態度
人類仰賴氧氣維生,可是Karl Lagerfeld自言他呼吸的不是氧氣,而是時尚。對他來說,工作形同呼吸般重要,只要一息尚存,他就會有源源不絕的創作靈感。他從不跟着別人的步伐走,甚至經常作出驚人的決定。H&M也許是大家眼中的廉價品牌,他卻偏偏與之合作,因他相信「時尚在於選擇」。明明已過花甲之年,他竟為了保持形象而毅然減肥,更減去四十二公斤。就連愛一隻貓,他亦瘋狂得想跟牠結婚,並把遺產分給牠。他總是用出人意表的行為告訴我們,「做回自己」才是最重要的生存之道。

Karl Lagerfeld用一生造就了無數傳奇故事,可謂前無古人,後無來者。就讓我們牢牢記住他的風采吧。

撰文:王以珞

美術:王曉澄

On 19th February, 2019, a fashion legend passed away at the age of 85. Karl Lagerfeld, who was nicknamed “Kaiser Karl” for his obstinacy, always flouted the conventional boundaries and made his own rules, making him one of the most prolific and talented fashion designers in the industry. While mourning the loss of Karl Lagerfeld, we should never forget his appearance—the sunglasses, silver ponytail and the slim black suit.

The Born of a Legend
Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Apparently, this pithy, insightful quote does not apply to Karl Lagerfeld, as he was born to be a genius. He was born in 9th October, 1933 in Germany, and raised in a well-off family. Living under these conditions, he was supposed to have worry-free childhood. Yet, Karl Lagerfeld hated to be a child because he had always dreamed to be a fashion designer since he was small. At the age of 4, he asked his mother for a valet for his birthday. And at the age of 6, he could already speak English, French and German fluently. He would choose to read books and do some sketching instead of playing with other children.

Having an unhappy childhood, he could finally move to Paris, France when he was 14 and embarked on his enchanting fashion journey. In 1955, he won the International Wool Secretariat award in the coat category (known as the “International Woolmark Prize” now), which made him all of a sudden. He was then spotted by the top designer Pierre Balmain, who hired him as an assistant. He also worked for different leading design houses such as Jean Patou and Chloé. Though those brands have completely different styles, he could still manage to design many adorable fashion items.

Later, he became the creative director of Fendi and Chanel in 1965 and 1983 respectively. Taking the helm of two leading luxury brands, he never showed that he was unable to handle his work. He renovated all the brand identities and successfully maintained the status and reputation of the brands.

Breaking the Rules
Karl Lagerfeld was so famous because he had unique interpretations of fashion. In Fendi, he suggested to use animal furs in making fashion items, which led to a huge success to the brand. And since the death of Gabrielle Chanel, the founder of Chanel, there was a substantial decrease in the brand’s turnover. But Karl Lagerfeld gave Chanel a new lease of life. When Gabrielle Chanel was still alive, the brand put emphasis on freedom and independence. While Karl Lagerfeld was leading the brand, he tried very hard to look for a breakthrough in the classic black-and-white style by adding new elements like pearls and camellias. Besides, he transformed the venues of the haute couture fashion shows into a beach, palace, cruise shop and spacecraft. He elevated the shows to another level.

Attitude Determines Altitude
All human beings need oxygen to sustain life, whereas Karl Lagerfeld said he did not breathe oxygen, but fashion. To him, working is like breathing. He would have endless inspirations as long as he survives. Throughout his life, he never followed in others’ footsteps, and he also made startling decisions. He worked with H&M, the fast-fashion brand, since he believed that fashion was all up to one’s decision. Aged over 60, he still managed to lose 42 kilograms in order to look good. He loved his cat, Choupette, to the extent that he wanted to marry the cat and distributed his assets to it. He did all these things to tell us the importance of being ourselves.

Karl Lagerfeld created a lot of legends and made many unprecedented achievements in his life. Let us remember all the groundbreaking things he brought to the world.

Text: Elok Wong

Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #234

FASHION IS AN ATTITUDE

 

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