There aren’t many designers that would inspire me to jump on a plane to go to a retrospective of their work half way across Europe, but he certainly does. I have to admit I’m a little obsessed with him. He’s like a modern day fashion da Vinci, a polyglot with innumerable talents, an enigma, a mystery. I watched the documentary about him last year and was pleasantly surprised to find he seems really kind with a dry sense of humour. He always leaves you with a sense of wanting to know more though, which is why the exhibition will be such a success.
The exhibition – ModeMethode (Fashion Method) is currently open to the public at the Bundeskuntshalle museum in Bonn. The venue was chosen as Lagerfeld is seen as the most important German Fashion Designer; the museum houses Germany’s main Art and Exhibition Hall. There can be no doubt that the curator knows her stuff – Chanel muse Lady Amanda Harlech had the unenviable task of determining which pieces would be included in the exhibition, and somehow managed to narrow it down to 126 outfits, 120 accessories, plus numerous buttons, sketches and ad campaigns. The exhibition is so-named as its goal is to show KL’s work process – displaying the steps between his initial sketch to the super styled fashion photography we see when we open Vogue.
I personally can’t wait to see the recreation of his overflowing desk at the beginning of the exhibition, complete with Choupette’s food bowl, art materials and favourite books. I’m also excited about navigating the fashion journey (a road represents the different stages of his career). The “Reinvention of the Tweed” section is a must for fabric fans who have watched in awe season after season as the classic Chanel tweed has been modernised, with some pieces applying a complete trompe l’oeil technique so jackets look like tweed but are actually embroidered. Transparent mannequins allow visitors to look inside the garments to get a sense of the amount of work that has gone into producing them.
Just don’t expect to see the man himself there – you should have guessed he doesn’t like to revisit the past. He’ll be busy designing the next collection, while we all eagerly await the next Chanel or Fendi catwalk show. Some things never change.