In true top designer form, fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld for his Karl Lagerfeld Spring '10 collection in Paris yesterday showcased beautifully tailored short shorts, textured metal mesh, and belted jackets
But what truly caught our eye about the Chanel and Fendi designer were the dangling figurines hanging on black leather handbags or clutches carried by the models walking down the runway. The metal figures were shaped to look like Lagerfeld strumming an electric guitar.
That's not all, though. The show's press kit came with a stencil of the same image! Fashion editors, guests, and celebrities loved it!
Still, they weren't surprised. After all, Karl Lagerfeld's offbeat but sleek, sophisticated image has quickly achieved cult status, appearing on t-shirts, turtlenecks, handbags, and jackets.
No one was surprised when his limited-edition line for H&M sold out in minutes, especially since many of the clothes were crafted in his style (note: white ruffles and black tuxedo blazers) and his face imprinted on a black and a white t-shirt in a self-portrait sketch, followed by his signature near the bottom.
Though H&M no longer sells the shirts, they've quickly become collector's items online.
Rather than wait impatiently in long lines, or get mobbed by chaotic crowds, I chose to take the easy route and buy my tees off Ebay. I find the white tee with his image in black and red to be my favorite–it can easily be tucked into a high waist skirt or worn with a belted blazer and jeans.
Last year, the sleek streetwear chic fashion chain Urban Outfitters came out with a Karl Lagerfeld dedication tee set with a sketch of Lagerfeld holding a fan with his signature fingerless gloves.
The cartoonish "Truly Madly Karl Roll Cuff Tee" was just another example of Lagerfeld achieving cult status–on the Frockwriter site where the shirt was mentioned, the blogger compared him to Che Gueverra and the Powder Puff Girls.
It's not 100 percent certain that Karl collaborated with Urban Outfitters on the tee, but it did sell quickly and became another to show your affinity for the style icon without breaking the bank on his couture clothing lines.
Also last year, a t-shirt designed by Karl Lagerfeld showed up at Saks Fifth Avenue modeled by Gwyneth Paltrow, who was the 2008 ambassador for the Key to the Cure campaign. The Karl Lagerfeld for Saks Fifth Avenue Key to the Cure t-shirt featured a cartoon of Karl on the back. The $40 shirt was sold exclusively at Saks and over $35 of the purchase would go to the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund.
Other amazing t-shirts imprinted with Kaiser Karl's image is the Karl Lagerfeld F***ing Awesome Gangster Situations T-shirt (yes F***ing Awesome is the name of the line) featuring a stately Lagerfeld folding his arms and the black
K Karl Lagerfeld Denise image t-shirt for $195, no longer sold at Net-A-Porter.
Plush toy company Margarete Steiff GmbH designed what is probably the most expensive teddy bear ever created, in a splitting image of himself–but with fur. Only 2,500 limited edition Karl Lagerfeld teddy bears were sold at Neiman Marcus in August 2008, each at a whopping $1500 a bear. The white alpaca bear was wearing sunglasses, a tie and skinny lacquered jeans just like Karl.
Now, for the newest Karl creation and my recent favorite. Naco Paris topped a black and white canvas tote with the logo Karl Who?, which made the Chanel reps so angry, they decided to take the label to court. Unfortunately for them, Naco Paris won. Ok, perhaps not so unfortunate. Since then, Naco has emblazoned the logo on totes and t-shirts and Mr. Lagerfeld himself was recently seen toting his own Karl Who? handbag. Glad to see the fashion guru has a sense of humor.
Like cult icons of the past including James Dean, Michael Jackson and even, The Smurfs, Lagerfeld has garned such a following that his face has become a brand and he is now a collector's item. All hail Kaiser Karl!
–Simona KoganSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40