This isn’t a story just about one little boy from Germany. It’s actually a story about you and me, too. The little boy at the centre of the tale – Karl Lagerfeld - has a talent so powerful and so impressive, he was able to cast a spell over the way we dress and change what’s in our wardrobes forever. How does this fashion fairytale start? Once upon a time, of course.
Once upon a time, in a village far, far away from the chic streets of Paris, lived a little boy and his family. Life in Northern Germany did not involve very much glamour. It was less couture, more cows. But who says bovines can’t be beautiful? Certainly not the hero of this stylish story. While his dad introduced Europe to a special sort of milk called Gloria that’s perfect for sweet treats, Karl came to love the black and white cows that surrounded him and was especially fond of one, Tecla. However, as Karl grew older he spent less and less time with his grass-eating friends. His parents were very, very clever and expected him to be just like them. He quickly became a studious young man, spending much of his time reading, writing and drawing. Every day from then on, Karl’s mother would insist he learn a page of the dictionary off by heart.
By now, you must be wondering how Karl came to love fashion if he always had his head in a book? It all started when he accompanied his stern but chic mother to a fashion show. The moment Karl saw the first model sashay down the catwalk, it all came together. The magic sparked within him and he realized that fashion could be a career. Karl continued to read books and study illustration magazines – valuable research for what would become his very own fashion designs. Returning to the countryside, Karl knew his time surrounded by his old friends the cows was over. Karl soon arrived in Paris to seek fame and fashion, and let his creative tenacity run wild in the wardrobes of Europe’s chicest women. Before long, Karl had won a competition for the best coat design in the whole of Paris, and people soon took notice. Pierre Balmain – an already famous and celebrated designer – made Karl his assistant. Even though he was still a young man, Karl left Balmain and made his very own fashion wishes come true by becoming the youngest design director of the chic French brand Jean Patou - paving the way for even greater future success for the hero of our story.
Before long, the little boy from Germany had become one of the most celebrated designers in the whole world and women from all over the globe were eager to wear his designs. Within a few years, Karl would be leading the way at major fashion houses Chloé, Fendi, Chanel and his own-name label, Karl Lagerfeld. However, what Karl began to realise was that while women were able to dress in his designs, it was not so easy for younger generations. Putting a stop to this, Karl expanded so that his clothes are available for all! If you look into your wardrobe today, can you find your own little piece of Karl Lagerfeld history?
Black and white, his signature silhouette, fingerless gloves, Choupette the cat… One is never too young to be introduced to Karl Lagerfeld’s signatures.
Read more #FashionFairytales:
Giorgio Armani at Tatler