Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty (The Met)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2023
This first complete investigation into Karl Lagerfeld’s (1933–2019) artistry explores his extraordinary 65-year career, from the designs for Chloé and Fendi in the 1960s and 1970s to his celebrated leadership in the 1980s and beyond at Chanel and with his own label. Inspired by the “line of beauty” theorized by eighteenth-century English painter William Hogarth, this dazzling publication pursues the straight and serpentine “lines” and their intersections in Lagerfeld’s work as a means of understanding his unique creative process.
The book’s elegant parchment and cloth cover, emulating an artist’s portfolio, opens onto a pageant of stunning new photography by Julia Hetta of Lagerfeld’s fashion alongside the designer’s original sketches. The juxtaposition of drawings with finished pieces offers a window into Lagerfeld’s creative brilliance. Texts include personal reflections from Lagerfeld’s premières d’ateliers—the seamstresses behind his extraordinary creations—as well as Anna Wintour, Patrick Hourcade, Amanda Harlech, and Tadao Ando. Not only a lavish objet but also an important resource on Lagerfeld, the book concludes with an illustrated timeline of the designer’s long and illustrious career.